Can Will Grier elevate his game enough for West Virginia to take the next step up the college football ranks?
That’s one of the questions that will be answered when the 17th-ranked Mountaineers kick off their 2018 season facing Tennessee on Saturday (September 1) at 3:30 p.m. EST. Below are live streaming options. Below are live stream options.
The senior quarterback is coming off of a strong junior season, in which he aired it out for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, while leading West Virginia to a 7-5 record, before it lost to Utah in the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl game in December. That 30-14 loss stung Grier, considering he missed the game due to a broken middle finger on his throwing hand — an injury he suffered during the second-to-last game of the regular season against Texas last November.
That bitter end of the season fueled Grier’s motivation for this year.
“I think we were disappointed in the middle of the season last year,”Grier told TheIntelligencer.net. “I think we’re really talented, and we put that on display. We couldn’t always put it together and win games, and we felt we could have won. So, we put in a lot of work this off-season to win those games, and no matter what you do, you have to go out and do it on Saturdays now. It’s like I said — it’s about executing and putting it all together.”
Tennessee sounds like it’s up to the challenge of limiting Grier’s production, with some of its defensive players even remembering facing the QB when he was a freshman.
“When we played him in 2015 he kind of scrambled a lot on us,” Vols linebacker Quart’e Sapp said, as reported by 247Sports.com. “Some of the older guys, we remember that. We’re stressing to keep him in the pocket.”
Sapp added: “They’re a really explosive offense.”
Adding to the game’s anticipation is West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen saying he only utilized “Or” on the Mountaineers’ depth chart because Tennessee did it first — not to keep his starters a secret for strategic purposes.
Dana Holgorsen, on hiding true starters on the depth chart: “we ‘OR’d them because Tennessee ‘OR’d us first.” Says team can only do it in the first week.
— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) August 27, 2018