In what could be a make or break year for head coach Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia may have caught a bit of a break to open the 2015 season.
Georgia Southern announced Wednesday that starting quarterback Kevin Ellison has been declared academically ineligible and will miss the first two games of the 2015 season. The Sun Belt Conference school opens the year in Morgantown against WVU Sept. 5, following that up with a home game against Western Michigan Sept. 12.
Provided there are no further academic missteps, Ellison will be eligible to return for the Sept. 19 game against Citadel.
While Ellison passed for just 1,001 yards for the run-heavy Eagles, his 1,096 yards rushing were second on the team behind Matt Breida‘s 1,485 yards. He ran for more than twice as many touchdowns (12) as he passed for (five), while his 172 carries were 44 more than his passing attempts.
Ellison, a second-team All-SBC selection, was one of just five FBS quarterbacks — Navy’s Keenan Reynolds (1,191), Boston College’s Tyler Murphy (1,184), Georgia Tech’s Justin Thomas (1,086) and Nevada’s Cody Fajardo (1,046) being the others — to rush for more than 1,000 yards in 2014. Ellison, Reynolds and Thomas all return for at least another season in 2015.
As for WVU’s rush defense, a similar one that will be going up against a GSU team that was second nationally at 381.1 yards per game? The Mountaineers were 63rd in the country last year, giving up 168.2 ypg on the ground.