If you’re waiting on West Virginia head football coach Dana Holgorsen to apologize for the amount of attention his defense is receiving, you’ll be waiting a while.
“We have 14, 15 guys that have been in our program for the last 3,4,5 years,” he said.” They’ve helped me make the transition from the Big East to the Big 12. They’ve played in a lot of football games.”
With all the experience returning from a 7-6 season that saw the Mountaineers lose to Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl, the painful reminders of past defensive efforts are fresh in the minds of Mountaineer Nation.
The hopes of the 2015 season rest on the shoulders of WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.
Earlier this year, Gibson said he felt this defense has the chance to be the best unit in the country. Not in the Big 12 Conference, but in the country.
While Gibson has set the bar high, there are questions that remain on defense. Can the defensive line step up and be a force up front? Is the speed there at the linebacker spot and will ACL surgery effect Jared Barber? Can Terrell Chestnut stay injury free? And can Daryl Worley become the player he has the potential to be?
On the offensive side of the ball, you have to wonder who will step up at wide receiver.
West Virginia is replacing two NFL picks in Kevin White and Mario Alford. Those returning this year have received playing time, but have never been “the man”.
Shelton Gibson is a name we continue to hear a lot about. This is the year Jordan Thompson becomes the player he was hyped to be out of Texas? Will Gary Jennings and Jovon Durante put their stamp on the offensive?
Give Holgorsen credit, he understands this is a different football team compared to those of the past. Holgorsen is known for his fast-paced air raid offense that puts up huge numbers. But this year will be different, and Holgorsen knows it and he’s ready to adapt to it.
“We have a good running game and some young receivers, but our nucleus is back with the offensive line and some running backs who run the ball and then play good defense.” Holgorsen said.
“That’s something I’m not really accustom to, but that’s going to have to be the formula this year.”
The countdown to 2015 continues…..