Technically, the answer for WVU’s defense is “Yes.” Defensive coordinator Joe DeForest was in the coaching box above the field Saturday night for the first time in his career. The team played well. He noticed and liked the differences in his game duties. It’s not going to be any different anytime soon.
“I loved it,” said DeForest, who doubles as the safeties coach. “I thought it was calm. It’s so surreal up there. In 23 years coaching, I’ve never been in the box before. I don’t think I’ll ever leave. I could see what was going on in the secondary, which is my most important thing, and I could see the big picture. I was calm and could make calls. I think that has a lot to do with how we played.”
Now, realistically? Well …
TCU is not an offensive juggernaut. It has some nice rankings, but those numbers were nicer weeks back and before injuries, and Casey Pachall and the Big 12 happened. That team is good, but its offense is not on level with Texas Tech and Kansas State and not on level with Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
The Mountaineers played new people, but also played fewer people (!) and asked them to do fewer things. TCU saw a fresher team with more energy and (increasing) enthusiasm, but didn’t see much different from the schemes. I’ll remind you the scheme was not the problem.
Yet you can only work with what you have and for a change, WVU’s defense has some positive momentum to take to practice. It is in practice where the Mountaineers must roll … or Rowell. For real, hitch your wagon to this guy.