(Photo by Ben Queen – USA Today)
It isn’t very often that the Mountaineers come across an opponent that runs a triple option offense. As a matter of fact, it has been over five years since the last time they met a team with this unique style of play on the gridiron.
On September 5, 2015, West Virginia was tasked with playing the Georgia Southern Eagles, who were at the time led by Head Coach Willie Fritz. Being that this was the season opener, many Mountaineer fans were nervous about how the team would handle the Eagles’ complex offense. Some even believed that West Virginia could have easily been upset in the contest. However, it just wasn’t meant to be for Georgia Southern, and the Mountaineers would roll to a dominant victory.
Led by an impressive performance by safety Karl Joseph, West Virginia’s defense was able to force five turnovers, four of which were by Joseph himself, en route to a 44-0 victory. Defensively, the Mountaineers kept Georgia Southern’s run game in check, holding them to only 3.4 yards per carry. Through the air, West Virginia’s defense was even more impressive. They would hold Eagles quarterback Favian Upshaw to only 2-of-13 passing for 29 yards and would intercept him four times.
West Virginia was more than prepared to face the triple option that night, and they will need to recapture some of that magic once again in the Autozone Liberty Bowl. The defense will need to come prepared to play, and a solid gameplan must be put in place by Jordan Lesley and Jahmile Addae. If they can rally the troops and have a solid plan behind them, the Mountaineers will be set to bring home their first bowl win in four years.