West Virginia Runs Wild

West Virginia routed Oklahoma to win the BCS Fiesta Bowl Wednesday night.  The spread offense is run best by schools that have the Mountaineer moniker:  West Virginia and Division I-AA champion Appalachian State.  Why?  Because both Mountaineer teams are run first spreads.  And, tonight, Oklahoma simply could not stop the West Virginia running attack. 

The spread is great for college football and is one of many reasons why the college game is more exciting than its pro counterpart.  But just because you run the spread, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it with a run first mentality and that’s what West Virginia (and Appalachian State) does. 

Texas Tech runs a nice spread, but Mike Leach’s Red Raiders will struggle to contend for a BCS title because they don’t run enough.  You can’t throw on every 3rd and 1 situation.  We saw how much the pass first spread struggles when Hawaii played Georgia in the BCS Sugar Bowl.  If you can’t run, or don’t run, your quarterback will get killed. 

It will be interesting to see how new coach Rich Rodriguez will implement the spread offense at Michigan, a traditional I-formation proponent.  Since Rodriguez is the pioneer of the spread, my guess is that the Wolverines will run and run well.

John Furgele 

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