Wisconsin's screen package did a lot of damage to WVU's defense last Saturday in the Badgers' 24-17 win, but the upside is that WVU could adapt much of what the visitors did to their own offense.

In more than one key third down situation, Wisconsin quarterback Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi disdained the use of his big receivers downfield, and instead went with safer screen passes. the results were good for the Badgers but bad for WVU, as the well designed plays usually picked up a first down.

Contrast that to West Virginia's offense, where wide receiver screens, once a staple of the attack, were nowhere to be found.

The Mountaineers have a number of screens in their offensive arsenal, but they could probably take a page or two from the Badgers' playbook.

One of Wisconsin's most effective screens was one where a wide receiver came back toward the quarterback to catch the ball behind the block of another wide receiver on the same side. That's not a unique play by any means, but Wisconsin made it work by adding the fullback as a blocking back on the play. More than once, WVU cornerback Lance Frazier had to take on the block of not a wide receiver, but of a bulky fullback that's used to taking on linebackers. The resulting mismatch resulted in some good gains for the Wisconsin offense.

Is there any reason WVU couldn't adapt such a play for their own uses? Of course not. In fact, such a design fits in well with West Virginia's scheme. Getting a blocker such as Moe Fofana in front of shifty Travis Garvin or big Aaron Neal or Miquelle Henderson should be just as effective for the Mountaineers as it was for the Badgers.

Another effective technique Wisconsin used on their screens was getting the receiver moving back against the defensive flow of the play. Sorgi used this effectively on a couple of passes to Brandon Williams, who, while coming back to the ball, would continue across the field behind a line of blockers who simply had to wall off WVU defenders who were flowing in the direction of the pass.

A hidden benefit of this type of play is that if the pass does not cross the line of scrimmage, the offensive line can be downfield before the pass is thrown, which gives the offense a huge advantage in getting blockers into the play.

One of the attributes of a good coaching staff is being able to learn from opponents. And in this case, the West Virginia staff would seem to have a great opportunity to do just that.

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