Morgantown, West Virginia – Imagine being a defensive coordinator at a big-time Power 5 Conference college football team and you have to prepare for dynamic offenses every single week.
Now imagine preparing for Jarret Doege and the West Virginia Mountaineers current offense. Neal Brown’s Run Pass Option (RPO) offense isn’t the problem. The offensive line isn’t the problem. The problem is that Jarret Doege is not a RPO quarterback.
Yet, West Virginia still runs the RPO! The Run Pass Option offense is designed to put opposing defenders in conflict. They must commit to stopping the run or stopping the pass, but it’s virtually impossible to stop both.
Unless, of course, you have an immobile quarterback running the offense.
And that’s where West Virginia finds itself. With Doege, opposing defensive coordinators can simply key on Leddie Brown with no real possibility of the quarterback keeping the ball and creating plays himself.
This is such a simple, fundamental issue that it’s difficult to understand how Neal Brown doesn’t see it. It’s easy to place the blame on the offensive line, but Leddie Brown struggled to gain yards against Long Island University and that had nothing to do with the performance of the offensive line. It had everything to do with the defense being able to focus all of their attention on the running back.
No one has even thought to run the RPO offense with an immobile quarterback before, but Neal Brown is attempting to do it with Frankenstein running his team. Although it will be somewhat effective against inferior teams, it simply won’t work against good defenses with an intelligent defensive coordinator.
This isn’t an indictment against Jarret Doege. He’s a square peg who is being forced into a round hole. He has no business running Neal Brown’s offense. Either Brown needs to alter his offense to work with Doege as his quarterback, or he needs to play Garrett Greene, who is more than capable of being successful in the RPO offense.