Consider that the whole thing happens in about two seconds. The ball is snapped and the offensive line blocks in a way to let the defensive line and the defenders from the second level get up field and approach the offensive backfield. Smith then has to decide if he'll make one of two throws or if he'll make a trickily timed handoff to the running back, who had been loitering in the backfield and acting like he wouldn't be taking a handoff.
If the pass is there, Smith lets it rip, either to a slot receiver who's run a short route inside or to a receiver on the back side of the play who should have blockers on the outside.
If the pass isn't there, Smith knows that's because the defenders in the middle of the field have vacated that space to cover the pass. Smith then hands it to the running back, who can speed through and then past a defense that's been duped into heading in the wrong direction.
"It stresses the linebackers more than anything," quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital said. "It's a quick enough play that we can't do anything deep because we're not really blocking it, so you have to have a quarterback who can get it out quick. But he's got three options and it's all his decision. That's why we have a draw scheme. It's a slower run play, so Geno should be able to read the defense before he makes a decision to hand it off."
It's not an explosive play, though WVU's individual talent can produce one from time to time, but it's effective and essential for what the Mountaineers do. They pick up chunks of yards and move the chains with the play. They can use it in any formation. They run it fast because it doesn't require much from the players before the snap, least of all substitutions since it works with just about every personnel package.
It also makes use of WVU's best offensive attributes, which are the smart and sharp quarterback and twitchy receivers who are a handful on the go and in open space, especially against the linebackers the play targets.
Pay too much attention to those marquee types and the Mountaineers will slip a draw in and catch the defenders off guard and likely off balance. Pay too much attention to the run and - well, that's not something you want to do against WVU. Devote equal attention to both and the Mountaineers have what they desire.
"Really and truly, it makes the defenses pretty plain," Dawson said. "Defenses want to disguise, disguise, disguise before the snap, but when we snap the ball, they have to show their hand and eventually you've got to cover who you've got to cover. The beauty of the play is that everything happens after the snap."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.