Mountaineers Recharged After Bye Week
The WVU football team is rejuvenated after bye week.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Through the first four games of the season, the West Virginia University football team posted a 3-1 record but an early bye week came just at the opportune time for the Mountaineers.
Coming off a sloppy win over Kansas, the break proved beneficial in more ways than one for WVU.
“I always think bye weeks are good,” sophomore defensive end Reese Donahue said. “It gives you time to heal up and set up your opponent. Sometimes it’s even good because the coaches gave us a couple days off. It’s good to get a break and get away a little bit. You come back in fresh. Obviously, I love to play a game every Saturday but it’s always good to have a bye week.”
During those days off, several banged up Mountaineers had a chance to heal.
“Hopefully we can get healthy,” defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said. “That’s the biggest thing, we needed it. It’s not like it broke up any momentum of us playing really well so it came at the right time. We had two really good days of practice last week. I thought Sunday we had a lot of pep in our step. It’s good to get everybody back out there and run around. Watching film and making sure that our guys are (in the right place); we fixed some things, we simplified a little bit. Hopefully that will help out.”
WVU has been without the assistance of David Long, Grant Lingafelter, Jacob Buccigrossi, Toyous Avery and Marvin Gross to name a few. Against the Jayhawks, Kyzir White, Brendan Ferns and Mike Daniels all suffered injuries.
Therefore, the extra time to heal was important.
“Getting healthy, continue to grow as a team and just getting better,” center Matt Jones said. “We’re getting prepared for TCU.”
The additional week of preparation was constructive towards getting ready to head to Fort Worth on Saturday, especially for the Mountaineers’ defense.
Gibson’s dawgs surrendered 564 total yards of offense to lowly Kansas. WVU’s defense relinquished 367 yards on the ground.
Things aren’t going to get any easier against the Horned Frogs (4-0). TCU’s rushing offense is 25th best in the country, averaging 5.19 yards per carry. Don’t forget the threat the Horned Frogs pose in the air.
The Mountaineers don’t have a lot of room for error on Saturday. Therefore, the defense used the extra week to improve their fundamentals.
“Just to get better at our tackling, our scheme and just to get better at what we do on defense,” redshirt junior Dravon Askew-Henry said.
Working on the basics was also stressed on the offensive side of the ball.
“Making sure we have the ball secure. There were a couple times we got loose with the ball in my opinion against Kansas,” running backs coach Tony Dews said. “So we don’t want to get lackadaisical with fundamentals.”
WVU will have to dig deep the remainder of the season with a brutal schedule lying ahead the next eight weeks. Saturday’s game is slated for 3:30 p.m. (ET).
Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS