Dana Holgorsen’s Air Raid spread offense is known as a pass-heavy system. But with plenty of young players at quarterback and receiver, West Virginia has relied heavily on running backs Charles Sims and Dreamius Smith so far this season.
Not just to carry the football. To catch the football, too.
Sims and Smith both average more than five yards per carry and rank in the top 7 in the Big 12 in rushing at 82 yards per game and 62.8 yards per game, respectively. But Sims, a post-graduate transfer from Houston, is also tied for the team lead with 12 catches and has tallied 81 receiving yards.
That, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said, presents perhaps the biggest challenge for the Cowboys defense.
“I think they consider (the running backs) a couple of their better athletes, so they’re getting them out in receiving formations,” Spencer said. “That’s very tough for us, because when you scheme, it’s not like you can scheme a two-backfield set, then one of them shifts out and is another wide receiver.
“It challenges you with your play calling and calling on your personnel. It creates different challenges when those tailbacks are in different positions like they are.”