Here’s your second common takeaway from Saturday’s game: “The defense is back on track!”
Never mind you that WVU’s defense, which was terrible last season, beat the offense, which was wonderful, in the 2012 spring game. So let’s tap the bakes on where things are and why. At WVU, and under Dana Holgorsen, the defense will often get the best of the offense in the spring.
The offense doesn’t do a whole lot and the defense is better able to absorb, adjust and prevail. And when the defense has more experience and probably even more talent, well, temper your expectations just a touch.
Will it be better? Maybe, but we’re guessing. We didn’t see enough from the 14 practices before the spring game and that 15th practice was pretty vanilla. Yes, the defense got some pressure and it was aggressive on occasion, but the offensive line still has patches on some parts and the quarterbacks took a few coverage sacks. The offense also worked on specific things (get passes outside) and steered away from others (running the ball).
We can say with certainty a large number of defensive players have experience and presumably confidence. It sounds like Keith Patterson has those players in packages that suit them and the defense better. Where it goes, no one knows.
Yet here’s what I’m stuck on today. A year ago, WVU entered the offseason with very few questions. If you sit and think, nobody arrived in the summer to impact the defense — not Garrett Hope, not Rick Rumph, not Nana Kyeremeh. Karl Joseph played in the spring game.
The story was mostly the same on offense, too. Holgorsen said after spring game he had room for two new players.
Well, that story could not be more different now. Get ready for at least four quality additions on offense and defense when the talent arrives during the summer.