30 May 2012
Since the move Oliver Luck and his office pulled off to get WVU into the Big 12, WVU Football is getting more media coverage since the glory days of Pat White and Steve Slaton. Magazine covers, photo shoots, and college football shows have been finding their way to the mountain state of West Virginia. So what does this have to do with off-season concerns?
For starters, players need to keep their noses' clean and stay out of trouble. WVU players need to realize they have a lot of people watching their every move. There have already been some recent off-field issues concerning some Mountaineer football players. I don't know what these players were thinking, but you have a whole state watching your every move, and when you have a lapse in judgement, it gets the attention of the national media.
Even though those were considered minor incidents, WVU players don't need to pull a TCU fiasco where 4 players on the team failed their drug tests and get busted for marijuana. The Mountaineer program was in the media last year for all the wrong reasons with what transpired between Bill Stewart and Dana Holgorsen, and now they're actually getting a good rep. Just don't ruin it.
Another concern is getting everyone healthy and maintaining that health throughout the whole season. The 'Eers need sophomore running back Dustin Garrison to fully recover from his torn ACL he injured during a practice prepping for the Orange Bowl. Garrison posed as a huge threat to the little used running game last year and seemed to make as much as possible out of each rep he got resulting in 742 rushing yards and averaging 5.5 yards a carry as a true freshman. If Garrison doesn't make it back fully ready to go, then the unit takes a drastic hit in depth and potentially relying on true freshmen for the second consecutive season.
Don't forget about the defense, too. The coaching staff needs to make sure everything gets settled on the defensive side of the ball with the new 3-4 scheme being implemented. Even though the squad forced three interceptions in the annual Blue and Gold Game, it's hard to tell in those types of games if the offense isn't showing all they have or the defense is just playing outstanding.
Joe Deforest knows how the Big 12 works with being at Oklahoma State for over ten years and he knows what needs to be done to get wins. Even though Oklahoma State finished 107th overall in defense last year, they finished #1 in the country in turnovers gained and that is exactly what co-defensive coordinators Joe Deforest and Keith Patterson want to do. They understand WVU has the 15th best offense in the nation coming back from the year before, and all they want is wins. It's what Joe Deforest understood at Oklahoma State, and he did his part in forcing turnovers and giving the offense more chances on the field. Stick with the recruiting on the defense, and you could see more parts improve in other statistical categories come the next couple of years.
As long as everyone stays out of trouble, the injured get healed, and the defense gets the new scheme under their belt, you can expect big things come this season for the Mountaineers.
A season to never forget.
|< Prev||Next >|