football Edit

WVU unveils McKoy in wildcat, has options for it in bowl game

McKoy was effective as a wildcat quarterback.
McKoy was effective as a wildcat quarterback.

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Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital made it clear that anything was on the table in the offensive playbook when the Mountaineers traveled to Oklahoma.

And he did mean anything because the Mountaineers rolled out something that they hadn’t shown at any other point this season and actually installed this past week.

A wildcat package with sophomore Kennedy McKoy given the controls.

“Yes, this was the first week. That’s what we’re talking about with not having schools it got us a lot more mental reps and meeting time so you’re able to go out there and run these packages,” Spavital said.

The plan was simple.

A way to show the Sooners something that they hadn’t seen on film to more effectively run the football and keep the opposing offense on the sideline. McKoy hadn’t played any quarterback since he was a freshman in high school but he did have experience in that role so it was a natural adjustment.

However, he was surprised when running backs coach Tony Dews informed him Monday prior to the game that there was going to be a wildcat package and he would be getting the call at quarterback.

“It definitely helped me being already comfortable in the shotgun, taking a snap and giving an indicator,” he said. “I wouldn’t really say any of it was hard. It all came back to me.”

Throughout the week, West Virginia installed four to five plays for McKoy to run out of the package that the coaches repped with him throughout the course of the week. That ranged from the basic to responding to certain things that Oklahoma would do to adjust to the look.

While West Virginia continuously brought a wide receiver in motion, McKoy didn’t have the option to hand the ball off or pass in the game instead use his patience and vision to find yardage on the ground. The motion would help flow the defense one way in order to get McKoy a lane to pick and pop.

It worked to the tune of 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 attempts, while the Mountaineers also completed a two passes out of the set when the ball was given back to Chris Chugunov. To McKoy there was no difference between taking the ball directly or on a hand off allowing him to find yards.

“I thought Kennedy had a good feel for that stuff. The way Kennedy was running the ball I was very happy with him,” Spavital said.

But with starting quarterback Will Grier likely to miss the bowl game as well, is there a future for this package and what could be next for it moving forward?

Apparently there is quite a bit.

“I think we can get more creative with it,” Spavital said. “…I think we can grow off that and see where it takes off. We’ve got some time with the bowl prep so let’s see where we can take it.”

That means the possibility of handing the ball off or even throwing it down the field. But can McKoy execute that part of playing the quarterback position, even if it is in a Wildcat situation?

“I’m ready to show people what I can do other than running back. I can throw some passes,” he said.

“I would like to do it,” he added.

And he just might.

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