MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Earlier this fall, senior wide receiver Daikiel Shorts said the goal for his final collegiate season was to surpass the 1,000-yard mark and to earn All-Big 12 honors. Last Saturday in WVU’s season opener against Missouri, Shorts put on a show in his first ever 100-yard performance.
With that, the stage for a breakout season has officially been set.
“When we watched film, they (Missouri) showed that the middle was wide open but I didn’t expect it to be that wide open,” Shorts said. “We just kept attacking and it kept working so I was pretty happy about that . . . I had a feeling there would be some opportunities (for me) over the middle, which there were, and we just took advantage of it.”
Head coach Dana Holgorsen has frequently deemed Shorts as WVU’s most reliable wideout. Shorts proved him right on Saturday, catching eight of the 11 passes quarterback Skyler Howard threw his way for 131 yards.
“Anytime Daikiel (Shorts) gets open, he is our most consistent guy,” Holgorsen said during his postgame presser. “There were a lot of holes. We’ve been working hard (on the intermediate passing game) and I thought it paid off.”
Shorts completed his junior campaign with 45 receptions for 528 yards with five touchdowns. Now that he has become a specialist over the middle in WVU’s improved routine-pass play offense, those numbers are expected to nearly double.
“He (Holgorsen) talks about making routine plays and I feel like those middle routes are just routine plays,” Shorts said. “Sometimes you get 10, sometimes you get 20, sometimes you get five, but it keeps the ball moving and keeps the drive going . . . If they want to play back deep and give us everything over the middle, we’ll take it. We’ll just nickel and dime it down the field. That’s routine plays.”
Cover Image Credit: wvusports.com