If that turns out to be true - that the running backs are as strong or stronger than the receiving corps - expect them to get the ball. That could be in a variety of ways, from handoffs to short passes to lining up running backs as receivers.
"It doesn't matter how you get them the ball,'' Dawson said. "The important thing is getting it to them any way you can.''
There seems to be another advantage to what West Virginia has in its backfield this season, too, as it relates to the Mountaineers' style of offense. With the exception of Garrison, all of the running backs are fairly similar. While Garrison is a bit more lithe than the others, Sims, Smith, Buie and Smallwood are all fairly big backs capable of running between the tackles or getting the ball on the edge.
The advantage there is that defenses can't identify the back - or backs - in the game and assume they will run certain plays because of their styles.
"Obviously there's a difference between Dreamius running in between the tackles and Dustin. The body types are different and the skill sets are different,'' Dawson said. "But if you get Dustin in the open field he's pretty good. That's our job being smart on how to utilize people.
"Still, if [Garrison] is in the game, we can't do just this with him because it's not going to take long for those guys to know that he's either running this play or that play. They'll do it all.''
As for the other backs, Sims, Buie and Smallwood all seem to fit the versatile mold. Smith, because he's 5-foot-11 and 217 pounds, is perceived as more of a power runner, but even that is a misconception, Dawson said.
"Even in the spring, Dreamius was one of those guys that can do multiple things,'' Dawson said. "He's a very physical guy, thick guy, fast, solid. If they pigeonhole him [as just a power back] they're making a mistake. When he gets in the open field he'll outrun you as quick as anyone will.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.