MORGANTOWN—The West Virginia Mountaineers football team participated in an 88-play, two-hour scrimmage last Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium.
It was the first time that WVU has practiced any sort of live tackling, and it was also just the second time in the past five months that head coach Neal Brown was able to have his entire squad together.
After the scrimmage, Brown gave his thoughts about what he saw, both good and bad.
“I wasn’t excited about how our defense finished the scrimmage on Saturday,” he said. “They got off to a good start but didn’t finish at all and then offensively, we did some good things in the second half after watching it a couple of times on tape.”
Brown said the next practice he held focused on situational work. They did some two-minute, end-of-the-half scenarios, and they also concentrated on tempo with a focus of getting the units on and off the field quickly.
“Defensively, we didn’t get lined up well on Saturday, so we worked a lot on that,” he explained. “That was much improved. Today, really the defense dominated. It was as much of a dominant practice as I’ve been a part of in a long, long time. I don’t know if the offense won a single period. There were periods of practice when the offense didn’t win a single play.”
Brown said he will have to go back and watch the tape to determine if it was great defense or just poor offense.
“I’m not sure we blocked Darius Stills all day,” he said. “I thought he was extremely active. I thought we ran to the football better on defense. Offensively, it was very disappointing. I didn’t think there was a whole lot of competing going on. The passing game with the receivers and quarterbacks was really nonexistent all day.”
Brown also complimented the secondary for the way they competed during team situations.
“I thought our defensive guys really bounced back and competed today,” he added. “They owned their mistakes and came out and made corrections, and our guys on the backend really competed. I think they had multiple interceptions. A couple of them they just took away from the wide receivers. Our defensive backs had more fire than our receivers did.”
WVU continues to work towards playing their home opener, which is scheduled for Saturday, September 12th against Eastern Kentucky.
It has already been announced that no spectators will be allowed into the stadium for that game. Due to safety precautions from the COVID-19 pandemic, only essential game operations personnel and families of the players and football staff will be admitted.