Mountaineers’ Gibson, Spavital Ready for First Game
Coaches Tony Gibson and Jake Spavital are eager for the Mountaineers to take on the Hokies.
Tuesday afternoon the Mountaineers assistant coaches were made available to address the media ahead of the team’s game against Virginia Tech. With all of the coaches comments, it is clear they are ready to see their players in live action and take on an opponent.
At this point in the year, the only way to further improve and grow as a team is to play new opponents and learn along the way. Both coaches Tony Gibson and Jake Spavital are ready for the season to actually start and continue pushing their players forward toward success.
Non-conference matchups can prove to be a bit of a challenge for coordinators as they may not be too familiar with the game plan and style of the opponents, making game weeks a little harder to prepare. Coach Gibson and Coach Spavital are both as prepared as they will be until the first few snaps of the ball get going Sunday, where both can then adjust and realign their players accordingly.
Gibson discussed Virginia Tech’s offense and his general plan for how his “Dawgs” will attack the Hokies. The Hokies have a very large, effective front which will be a challenge for Gibson’s defense from the start.
“They are just strong, tough kids; they move the line of scrimmage,” Gibson said. “They do a great job with their gap schemes and pulling guys. They also do a great job with their zone schemes as well.”
Gibson will have the task of scheming ways to throw off this experienced offensive line, a task that will be difficult as Gibson pointed out the experience the Hokies have from senior center Eric Gallo.
“He is a guy with a lot of experience and I don’t know if we will be able to confuse him with the three-down stuff,” Gibson noted.
The defensive guru was asked if he plans to put pressure on their quarterback, and Gibson was hesitant to give a straight yes or no answer. Having a definitive concrete plan for attacking the quarterback is a risk that Gibson is not ready to take or commit to one way or the other, rather it is a game time decision.
“At times,” he said. “The thing that scares me a little bit is that quarterback run and trying to pressure and they find a seam on you. We will kind of see how they want to attack us and we will know by the end of the first quarter what they are going do and what their plans are going to be.”
On the opposite side of the ball, the media heard from offensive coordinator Jake Spavital as he prepares for his first game calling plays in the gold and blue. Coach Spavital sounds eager for the debut of his starting quarterback Will Grier.
“Grier, just being around him, he is ready to play to be honest with you,” he said. “He wants to get out there and see if he has still got it.”
As many know, Grier went 6-0 two seasons as the starting quarterback at Florida before being suspended and ultimately transferring to West Virginia. Not only is Coach Spavital eager for Grier to take the field, every Mountaineers fan is ready as well.
“He can extend plays; he has great footwork. It is kind of deceiving how fast he is in terms of going out of the pocket and extending plays,” Spavital said. “That’s the thing that has been the most impressive for me. I know he can sit in the pocket and make all of the throws. ”
Both Gibson and Spavital are known for their successes on their respective sides of the ball. Coach Gibson has been developing a reputation for West Virginia’s defense over the past few years that he will be looking to defend and expound upon come Sunday. Coach Spavital will unleash Will Grier to the college football world Sunday, while at the same time making his Mountaineer play calling debut. Both coaches have a lot on the line and are ready to play, but most importantly; ready to win.