Holgorsen's offense at Oklahoma State, meanwhile, finished No. 1 in total offense among FBS schools and his quarterbacks, on average, were 27-for-41 for 345 yards. But he also had a 1,500-yard rusher in Kendall Hunter.
By contrast, West Virginia last year threw the football more than at any time since Marc Bulger was around in the late 1990s. And the Mountaineers averaged 18-for-29 passing and 213 yards. So it's easy to see that there is big change afoot. West Virginia threw the football on 42 percent of its plays, by far the highest percentage in the last 10 years. Stephen F. Austin threw it 67 percent of the time, Oklahoma State 54 percent.
"There were six games last year at Stephen F. Austin where at least 14 kids caught a pass, which is pretty good,'' said Dawson, who watched 15 players catch a pass in a game against Albany. "Now on a regular day, with the way we run tempo and no huddle, I would venture to guess that eight receivers are going to play in any game.
"You want to be two-deep at every position because unless you're special, you can't take every single rep. We're going to run 85 to 90 plays a game. For a guy to go full speed that many reps is just tough. I would guess that the No. 1 receiver is going to take 70 percent [of the reps] and the No. 2 receiver is going to take 30 percent.''
Where, though, are Dawson and Holgorsen going to find eight receivers? There are only seven scholarship receivers on the roster heading into spring and only four have caught more than two college passes.
It's not hard to imagine that Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Brad Starks, J.D. Woods and Ivan McCartney can be plugged into five of those spots, and Coley White (if he's not required to play some quarterback) and mid-year freshman Vernard Roberts will get good looks. But beyond that there is probably going to be a need for freshmen like Dante Campbell and KJ Myers to make an impact in August.
Then again, Dawson will no doubt include running backs in the receiver mix, and there are possibilities there, too, with guys like Trey Johnson and Daquan Hargrett and eventually freshmen Andrew Buie and Dustin Garrison.
"That's why we recruit [running backs] who can catch the football, so we can motion them out of the backfield and they can run routes against linebackers,'' Dawson said. "We all know they can't cover too well.''
There were, of course, no linebackers within hearing range.
Oh, and just so you know, the pre-spring depth chart does not list a tight end on offense, which could have been the case for the last 10 years, too, given the position's production. Tyler Urban is listed as the backup at the Y receiver spot.
In that sense, of course, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.