Charlotte, NC – The Mountaineers kicked off their 2018 season with a 40-14 route of Tennessee in the Belk College Kickoff and the one thing that stood out about West Virginia was not necessarily it’s offense.
It was the defense.
In an impressive showing, it was one new face in particular that spearheaded the Mountaineers’ defense: Kenny Bigelow.
Bigelow spent his first four seasons with the USC Trojans where he seldomly saw the field before transferring to West Virginia. Knee injuries kept him sidelined for much of his career and hindered his development. Since transferring to West Virginia, Bigelow has not only turned some heads in practice behind closed doors, but finally put it all together in his debut as a Mountaineer.
He finished the game with two tackles, both for loss, and a forced fumble on the opening play of the game.
His presence was known right out of the game and gave Tennessee center Brandon Kennedy fits through the entirety of the afternoon. His ability to get serious push created gaps for linebackers to come down and make plays. Although he may only get credit for two tackles, he helped create upwards of ten, if not more.
West Virginia entered the off-season with some major question marks once defensive lineman Adam Shuler and Lamonte McDougle transferred out of the program. Bigelow seems to be an upgrade, through one game that is, but they desperately needed that veteran leadership up front to go along with Reese Donahue.
In the post game interviews Bigelow stuck out as a guy that had a ton of passion and confidence in the defense. His energy is certainly contagious.
“Everybody was feeding off of each other. Everybody was playing for each other. I’m talking to Reese (Donahue), Reese is talking to me, I’m talking to Zeke (Rose) everybody is feeding off of that energy. I make a play, guys gets hype, Reese makes a play, guys get hype. We was able to feed off each other for the entirety of the game,” Bigelow said after the win.
For a guy who has never truly played the nose tackle position, he seemed to feel extremely comfortable.
“In my time at USC, I was fortunate enough to play in multiple defenses, so I’ve had experiences playing in 4-man and I’ve had experiences playing in 3-man (defensive line fronts) so the transition for me more so was from end to nose because I never truly played nose until now. I feel with the scheme that Coach Gibby has and Coach Tall has done a great job helping me transition to it, I feel it was a good fit for me.” Bigelow said.
It’s hard to make assumptions on the impact of a player after one game, but I think it is safe to acknowledge the talent Bigelow has and a man getting a sexond chance to play the game he loves is a dangerous combination.
He will certainly make the most out of it and it will surely benefit West Virginia in 2018.
Get WVSN in your mailbox!
Opponent to Face WVU in Duke’s Mayo Bowl Announced
Heavyweight Win Lifts Oklahoma Over WVU Wrestling in Big 12 Opener
Bowl Game Revealed for WVU Football
Watch: Bruce Irvin Registers First Sack with Lions
WV Sports Now Daily Notebook – December 3
WVU Remains Projected to Meet Familiar Old Big East Opponent in Bowl
West Virginia Slated to Meet Ranked ACC Opponent in New Bowl Projections
Cortez Braham Opens Up About WVU Exit, Details Final Conversation with Neal Brown
In-State QB Commits to WVU Football, Joins 2024 Class
Zach Frazier Announces Surgery, Confirms End to WVU Career
Watch: Unbelievable Catch in West Virginia State Championship Game Garners National Attention
WVU Postgame Show: A Missed Opportunity Against St. John’s
Postgame Reaction to WVU’s Loss to St. John’s
CRW Hoops: WVU Basketball-St. John’s Preview, Predictions
Watch: WVU WBB Mark Kellogg, G Lauren Fields on Puerto Rico Trip, Upcoming Schedule
Breaking Down WVU Football’s Committments for 2024
7shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsWith some new recruits announcing commitments to the WVU football program this week, the 2024 class...
Complete List of High School Recruits Offered by WVU Football
6shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsTo say the WVU football program has been putting in a lot of recruiting work since...
Transfer Players Who Have Signed with West Virginia Football
5shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsSince the Mountaineers have been increasingly active in pursuing transfers lately and there’s an important distinction...