Morgantown, WV – West Virginia head coach Neal Brown took to the podium Saturday evening after the first team scrimmage and stated that first-team defense beat the first-team offense “soundly”. He quickly noted the day before the defense had their worst practice since they took over the program and as a result, the offense was moving the ball up and down the field.
Defensive lineman Jeffrey Pooler Jr gave some insight on what drastically changed.
“Basically, just slowing ourselves down,” explained Pooler. “I feel like we think too much sometimes. Once we slow ourselves down and just play the technique that are taught by our coaches, then everything just opens up – you see more and you can go fly around.”
“We were out there just flying,” continued Pooler. “The day before, we were kind of sluggish. So, we were fired up for the scrimmage and we just went out there flying from snap one all the way down. Then once one of us going, it just fired the rest of us up. We all feed off each other.
As for the offense, it was miscues and the penalties, most notably illegal procedures, that put them behind the chains.
“Miscommunications – didn’t make plays,” said right tackle Kelby Wickline. We need to bring more energy, but I mean that’s fall camp. Your legs are dead. You just got to make the best of it. It’s going to rally back and forth. You just got to go out there and play your best. It just didn’t work out for us.”
“The practice before, we had a better practice than the defense,” explained running back Alec Sinkfield. “I guess the defense had more of a chip on their shoulder.” explained running back Alec Sinkfield.
It’s the first scrimmage under a new coaching staff and a ton of inexperience. Mistakes are going to happen but will the offense get it fixed? Sinkfield and Wickline think so.
“Moving forward, it wasn’t anything we couldn’t fix,” stated Sinkfield. “It was just the attention to details, the little things that hurt us.”
“It takes reps,” continued Sinkfield. “We got to keep doing it over and over again. It going to be hard to get it one time. I think with more reps it will be smoother.”
“Mentally if you’re not careful you can cave a little bit,” explained Wickline. “You just got to come prepared every day, knowing they’re going to bring fire – you got to bring fire. You can’t come down or half speed, that’s how you get worse. As they say, ‘get better or get worse’. That day, they brought it.”
Wickline noted they had a better practice today.