MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Ivan McCartney already has figured out his partnership with Tavon Austin. He's even put a label on the collaboration between the two West Virginia football receivers.
"I'm Batman. He's Robin," McCartney said. "We've worked that out."
The duo figure to be the pass-catching superfriends for the Mountaineers in the fall, if for no other reason than that's what they've been through in 11 spring practices. Yet McCartney's categorization might be a little inaccurate, but a lot of good for WVU.
McCartney, who is a sophomore from Florida's Miramar High, can remain Batman, but Austin is Bruce Wayne. He's been unmasked and the opposition knows his capabilities after two seasons and 73 receptions for 938 yards and nine touchdowns.
"When I go out there, a lot of teams haven't seen Ivan yet," said Austin, a junior from Baltimore who last season caught 58 balls for team-high totals of 787 yards and eight scores.
"I know a lot of teams will probably key on me, but that opens up Ivan. As soon as they see Ivan play, they won't be able to double me and that's going to open things up for everyone."
That's the designed danger of first-year coordinator Dana Holgorsen's offense.
The field is spread and filled with receivers to force the defense to dip into its depth and put extra defensive backs onto the field. The scheme also backs away from focusing too much on player.
The personnel expands the space and the routes the receivers run are supposed to go into those areas.
With the 6-foot-3 McCartney on the outside and the 5-9 Austin on the inside, they can work together to get each other open and pressure the defense all over the field.
"The way the offense is set up is a high-low situation," McCartney said. "If Tavon does his part underneath to get me open and I do my part over the top to get him open, it'll work and we'll be open."
Traditionally in Holgorsen's system, one receiver has caught 90 or more passes and earned the attention of the defense, but a second receiver has been able make the most of that situation and catch 70 or so balls also.
Quite often, it's an inside and an outside receiver teaming up to rack up the stats because the duties of the positions give defense problems.