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Shot or Not? Lee Kpogba Tags Poor Preparation as Reason for Struggles of WVU Defense



Losing can create dissension within any team, and some of that has been creeping out from the West Virginia football program lately. But did WVU linebacker Lee Kpogba fire a shot at the coaches, maybe defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley, during a press conference just days after the team’s seventh loss of the season?

It wasn’t direct or clear, but fans and media are left wondering what Kpogba was intending by his comments since he failed to elaborate. “I just feel like us as a defense, we could’ve prepared better some games and put ourselves in better positions to win,” said Kpogba, who was in his first season as a full-time college starter at the FBS level. He spent the 2021 year at East Mississippi Community College and was a backup at Syracuse in 2019 and 2020 at Syracuse.

He did continue on and include that the players failed to close out some games and didn’t execute well enough as a whole, but it’s not usually common for a player to bring up not being prepared, especially because it is up to the coaches to ensure they are properly ready for a game. And hearing these comments at the end of a disappointing season that included multiple games that saw the Mountaineers get behind by a significant margin early offers an unsettling feeling for fans.

Does Kpogba feel the poor performances by the defense could have been avoided? Does he think the defense wasn’t always put in the best position to succeed? Is he just saying what others on the defense have had in their minds all season? Or was he not intending for that to be about the coaches, but that the players themselves should have prepared better?

As of now, all of that is left up for interpretation. But when this is said days removed from Charles Woods, a leader of the defense, deciding to announce his intentions to transfer an hour before kickoff of a game and then the head coach and that player trade off comments, it’s then fair to wonder if Kpogba meant what he said as a shot or not.

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Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti now serves as the Managing Editor of WV Sports Now, manages and serves as the lead host for Pittsburgh Sports Live and contributes to Steelers Now, Pittsburgh Sports Now and Nittany Sports Now. He also contributes to West Virginia's Metro News among other outlets.

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