(Photo by WVU Athletics)

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Last Saturday in Stillwater, WVU’s downfield passing game was nonexistent. Most of this was due to the immense pressure the Cowboys’ defense was putting on Quarterback Jarret Doege. However, there were a few instances where the Mountaineer receivers could have made a play on the ball, but just didn’t.

If West Virginia wants to defeat Baylor this Saturday, they absolutely have to start hitting on their deep balls. If Doege is given the time, he can make the throws no problem. Doege will produce. The player that absolutely has to show up in this aspect of the game is Sam James.

We have seen James take the top off of a defense before, and we know he has elite speed that could be a major issue for secondaries. What has plagued James so far into his college career is drops. Though this appears to have been cleaned up, there was a pass or two against Oklahoma State he should have caught that could have swung the game.

Sam James absolutely has to step against the Bears. He is going to arrive as one of the best receivers in the Big 12 eventually, so why not Saturday? If James does not have at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Bears, I will not be feeling very good about our chances.

However, if he can string together a deep ball or two, accompanied with a play where he does most of the damage in the YAC department, we will be in business. The time to Climb is now, and James will go a long way in helping the Mountaineers do so.


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