The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 29, 2011

Mountaineers hope to draw crowd of 4,000 for spring game

MORGANTOWN — With good weather expected, a crowd of more than 4,000 could turn out for the West Virginia’s annual Gold-Blue football game.

“We’ve already sold 2,953 tickets at $10 each,” Matt Wells, WVU athletic marketing director, said Wednesday evening. “Were hoping to have more than 4,000 if there’s no rain.”

The spring game, winding up 15 practice sessions, will be played Friday at about 7:45 p.m. under the lights at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

A group of former WVU gridders will play an “old timers game” at 7 p.m. before the start of the Gold-Blue contest.

Bill Stewart, who is in the last of four years as the head coach, doesn’t need to see the Gold-Blue scrimmage to know this has been a really fine spring.

Stewart has seen growth on both sides of the ball. And he has seen maturity.

“I have seen relentless play by the defense, and the offense has been grasping what we’ve been trying to do,” Stewart observed.

The Mountaineers worked on their kicking and kick returns in the earlier workouts this week, preparing for Friday’s finale.

Stewart expects the Gold-Blue game to be like a practice No. 15. “The guys will go out and play hard,” he continued. “But we also need to protect them.

“You only have so many guys to play with and can’t lose them all to injury.

“It’s been a good spring for us. It really has. There’s been much, much progress.”

Stewart noted that there have been some “big, big plays”, offensively and defensively.

But he believes the biggest thing left before fall camp is for the coaches to study film of the spring work and settle on a two-deep chart.

“Once we figure that out, well be in good shape for (hopefully) a heck of a season,” Stewart added.

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