MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - If Shannon Dawson were to get the Christmas present he wants today it wouldn't come wrapped.
Instead, it would be in the form of some kind of assurance that come early Saturday evening - at roughly the time West Virginia wraps up its Pinstripe Bowl game with Syracuse and the 2012 season - he will have someone to replace the seemingly irreplaceable.
Dawson is West Virginia's offensive coordinator. That means he's the one fortunate enough to be working with Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
It also means that after those three play their final game on Saturday, Dawson will be front and center in trying to figure out what to do next.
Truth be told, though, Dawson doesn't seem too worried by what appears to be a massive rebuilding job. He's worked with head coach Dana Holgorsen in this offense on and off for a few years and at a few stops, and in every instance irreplaceable players were always replaced.
"It's been that way everywhere we've been. It's just the nature of our offense to get playmakers the ball,'' Dawson said, referring to the slew of passing records set by Smith, Austin and Bailey and the entire West Virginia offense. "Now what we've got to do is find people to replace those guys. And it's not been any different anywhere we've been. You have people you think are irreplaceable and then, all of a sudden, so and so steps out of nowhere and becomes a really good player.
"It'll happen. But we're going to enjoy this last game with these guys. They've meant a lot to this program and they've meant a lot to us. We appreciate those guys and we want to send them out the right way.''
Smith, Austin and Bailey are certainly at the forefront of the group of offensive players who will make their final appearance Saturday against Syracuse. Smith holds every passing mark in West Virginia's record book - significant - and most of the insignificant ones, too. Austin and Bailey are 1-2 in most of the receiving categories.