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College Football Preview: 10. West Virginia Mountaineers

10. West Virginia Mountaineers Returning Starters: 15 Returning Star: QB Geno Smith Key Loss: DE Bruce Irvin Player to Watch: WR Stedman Bailey Dana Holgorsen leads one of the most prolific passing attacks that we have seen in a while. Senior Geno Smith is back to lead the attack after a dream junior season. He has a good arm that can throw deep balls and is also pretty accurate. He also has good mobility that comes in handy for the time of offense Holgorsen has. He will enter this year as one of the favorites to win the Heisman. The backfield is decent but must improve if the Mountaineers are to win the Big 12. Sophomores Dustin Garrison, Vernard Roberts and Andrew Buie will likely share the load. Garrison will probably get the most carries. It helps Smith that he has such great receivers to throw too. Junior Stedman Bailey was an All Big East wide out last season and senior Tavon Austin was an AP All-American. Bailey fast and lethal deep. If he doesn't have any off-the-field problems he can have an even better junior year. Austin is a constant target for Smith and will once more be one of the best at his position in the nation. Junior Ivan McCartney and senior J.D. Woods are often overlooked due to Bailey and Austin but are reliable. The offensive line is still pretty solid despite the loss of tackle Don Barclay. Junior Pat Eger will have to step up without Barclay. Center Joe Madsen is probably the best center in the Big 12. Much like many Big 12 teams the Mountaineers have a prolific offense but the defense is weak. The line lost Bruce Irvin one of the best pass rushers in the nation. Junior Will Clarke will have to step up in order for West Virginia to have any type of a pass rush. Linebacker Najee Goode made play all over the field and will be a tough loss. Junior Doug Rigg is a sure tackler and Jewone Snow is inexperienced but has true talent. The secondary is the best unit on defense thanks to Terence Garvin. Garvin is fast and a ball-hawking safety. Cornerbacks Ishmael Banks and Pat Miller are underrated pieces of the puzzle. The special teams is headlined by kicker Tyler Bitancurt and punter Mike Molinari. Even with a move to a tougher Big 12 the Mountaineers will still contend for a BCS bowl. Heisman Hopeful: Geno Smith Big 12 Rank: 2nd

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