The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 24, 2012

West Virginia defense enjoys rare win over ‘O’

MORGANTOWN — I was surprised that the defense defeated the offense 43-34 in West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue spring football contest.

In fact, I can’t recall ever seeing one of those games ever being won by defenders. It was always an offensive show for the fans.

But there were those who did not seem surprised at all that the defensive units overcame an early 14-0 deficit and wound up dominating the event last Saturday night in the rain.

Joe DeForest, WVU associate head coach and defensive coordinator, most certainly let it be known with emphasis that he wasn’t surprised at all by the spring game’s outcome.

He said, “I am happy for our players on defense and I’m happy for our coaching staff. It gives you something to build on.

“I’ve seen improvement (in the defense) every day this spring. Every day we’ve improved on defense, whether it was a certain position or a certain coverage or a certain blitz.

“We’ve gotten better at something different every day. Our guys came up with big plays at key moments and really turned the momentum around.”

The biggest plays for the Blue (defensive) team were pass interceptions by defensive backs Matt Moro, Brodrick Jenkins and Will Clarke. Avery Williams came up with a fumble recovery.

Quarterbacks Geno Smith and Paul Millard both had a good night passing the ball. The two combined for 49 completions in 65 attempts for 534 yards and three touchdowns.

Smith completed short passes to Stedman Bailey and Jordan Thompson for touchdowns. Millard connected with Dante Campbell for a TD. Shawne Alston scored on a 1-yard run.

Tyler Bitancurt made two field goals from 36 and 37 yards.

Dana Holgorsen, in his second year as head coach, seemed content with how things turned out. In fact, he had said before the game he expected the defense to perform very well and that the offense might be a little complacent.

After the contest ended, he commented:

“From an offensive perspective, we made some big plays and scored some touchdowns. But we turned the ball over.

“From a defensive perspective, we gave up some plays, but got some turnovers.

“So somewhere in the middle of that, we’re going to be a good football team. But we’ve got a long ways to go.”

The Mountaineers will be concentrating mostly on classroom studies in preparation for final exams the next three weeks.

Then they will begin a summer of workouts on their own with strength and conditioning coach Mike Joseph and his staff.

Tyler Anderson, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound junior linebacker from Morgantown, wasn’t surprised because the defensive players generally felt they would come out on top.

He said, “As a whole, I think it made everybody feel better. We went out there wanting to win.

“We got some turnovers and made some big plays. We played hard. But we still have to get a lot better,” Anderson said.

He likes the new defensive scheme. He said it’s easier to play and requires less thinking.

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Questions raised about Turnbull’s firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gettin’ ready for gobbler season: Step 4 — the setup

    This just in — in a recent study on turkey hunting and turkey hunters it was found that 98.7 percent of the time when hunters were unsuccessful when calling in a gobbler, the hunter made some mistake during the last 50 yards of the bird’s approach.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 wright Former Red Devil star realizing dream of playing D-I basketball

    When former Oak Hill High School standout Kalif Wright was a kid, he would play EA Sports’ NCAA March Madness video games and dream of one day getting a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • McClung moving from mound to dugout

    Seth McClung was getting his daughters Madison and Fallon inside and ready for their baths when his phone rang. He’s said before that he enjoys the role of “daddy day care.”

    April 15, 2014

NCAA Hoops
AP Video