Georgia Southern's 4-2-5 base isn't as atypical within the collegiate landscape as its triple option pistol offensive stylings. But the Eagles, with eight returning starters off a unit that held eight of 12 foes under 25 points, have plenty of talent and experience in the front four and a deep secondary whose numerics could test the Mountaineer passing game.
A look at the depth chart shows all four linemen and three of five defensive backs having started the majority of last season. GSU Coordinator Jack Curtis doesn't utilize the same varying and split coverage set-up as TCU's 4-2-5 (the Horned Frogs call two coverages on most snaps, with half the five playing one coverage and the other half playing another in an effort to disguise and confuse), but the principles within the sets remain much the same: blanket the passing game, get solid play in space and quickly get to the football once its released.
If Georgia Southern can close passing windows and at least limit WVU's run game behind a wha appears to be a stable of backs and a solid line, it could ride that play and an offensive that values possession into the fourth quarter with a chance for the upset. Assistant head and receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, below, speaks to the effort he expects from his unit, what packages the Mountaineers might employ, the use of back-up quarterback William Crest and his initial use of true freshman Jovon Durante paired with Shelton Gibson on the outside.
Here, quarterback Skyler Howard, making his third start at the major collegiate level, talks about his experience - including playing in 15 college games entering his junior season - his confidence and desire to prove himself and what his goals for the offense are in the opener. Howard also speaks to the increasing energy level, his comfort with the young wideouts and the balance and his philosophy between trying to make a play and understanding the risk-reward process.