Will there be enough Red Bull in West Virginia this preseason for Dana Holgorsen?
West Virginia's coach, in his third year, will be pacing the field at Milan Puskar Stadium for the next month as he rebuilds his roster from quarterback to punter.
The Mountaineers are coming off a lackluster debut season in the Big 12 Conference, and not many are picking them to do much better this season.
The defense can't be worse. And while the offense will be breaking in many new starters, it certainly has potential to put up points and roll with the changes.
As many as nine junior-college prospects could report to camp today, along with two key transfers -- quarterback Clint Trickett and running back Charles Sims -- who might be holding down starting jobs by the team's opener Aug. 31 against William & Mary.
But those decisions are several weeks away.
Here are five of the biggest questions facing West Virginia as camp opens today.
1. Who will win the starting quarterback job?
Junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress were the story of spring. But neither vaulted to the top of the list. Enter Clint Trickett, a Florida State transfer, who is immediately eligible because he already graduated, and West Virginia has a bona fide competition to replace Geno Smith. Trickett might have an edge, but Millard has played in the offense, and Childress has perhaps the most talent and longest time to develop. This will be the most compelling story of camp.
2. Who will step in at wide receiver?
The go-to wide receivers are bound to emerge in Holgorsen's system. It's just monumentally unclear who that will be. The most prolific pass catcher left on the roster from a year ago is Jordan Thompson, who had just 13 receptions. Ivan McCartney was welcomed back to the program but will be competing with Kevin White, Daikiel Shorts, K.J. Myers, Connor Arlia and Devonte Mathis, who are all unproven.
Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey -- both drafted by St. Louis -- are gone. "I haven't lost any sleep over Tavon and Stedman moving to the NFL," Holgorsen said last week. "We don't hold anybody back.
"That's not the first time we've lost receivers to the NFL and be able to line up next year and execute our offense. It gets me excited of being able to get out there and face the challenge of being able to take 10 strong guys and coach them and be able to develop them."
3. How much will the defense improve?
Granted, the Pinstripe Bowl was no defensive masterpiece, but it's silly to judge Keith Patterson on a single game at the end of a long, difficult season. Since he was promoted to coordinator and Joe DeForest was shifted to special teams, there is optimism on the defensive side of the ball, and that's notable. Players just sound more convincing when saying they understand the 3-4 and their role in it. And there's only one way to go.
"He's been a [defensive coordinator] before," Holgorsen said. "He's got a bunch of experience calling plays in this specific defense we want to run, and I think the results will show."
4. How many junior-college transfers will pan out?
Holgorsen and his staff brought in nine junior-college players this year. How many will report to camp is unclear right now, but of those who do, how quickly will they be physically ready for the Big 12?
5. How quickly will the new targeting rule be understood?
Big hits are a part of college football. But this season, some of them will be grounds for disqualification.
When Big 12 supervisor of officials Walt Anderson explained the new targeting rule in depth at the annual media days -- it is intended to help cut down on the risk of concussion by lowering the target zone for clean hits -- what was clear is that this is one rule that will take up a lot of time in preseason.
Holgorsen said he will bring in referees to help teach his players, send clips of hits off for clarification, and make sure the coaching staff understands the new rule before passing it onto players.
Jenn Menendez: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1959 and Twitter @JennMenendez.