There are many positive takeaways from the Mountaineers win over Georgia Southern, especially on defense. Senior Karl Joseph led the impressive Mountaineer defensive showing that kept the Eagles off the scoreboard.
After a 3 interception (all in the 3rd quarter) and total of four takeaways, Joseph earned his first career Big 12 defensive player of the week. He also had a game-high eight tackles which included seven solo tackles. The physical tone was set early by Karl Joseph and K.J. Dillon and the defense held Georgia Southern’s offense to 189 yards, 3.3 per play.
Coach Dana Holgorsen was very pleased with his safety’s performance and awarded him the game ball, which he usually does not do. “Yeah, I have never given anybody a game ball, but I gave him one down in the locker room.” Holgorsen continued, “He’s the inspirational leader of what we are doing. It’s been fun to watch him mature and grow up.”
Dana was not exaggerating when he said they usually do not give out a game ball. The coaching staff watches film and collectively as an offense, defense and special team, give out players of the game only when WVU gets the victory. “I thought it was appropriate based on what Karl has done… turnovers have been something we have been focusing pretty hard on so how does five to nothing suit ya?”
He continued, “So obviously giving him a game ball is something that is warranted, then he turned around and gave it to the whole defense. So he is doing all of the right things right now.”
Coach Holgorsen also went on to outline how Joseph has been a great leader playing over 3,000 snaps in the Gold and Blue in three years. He is also the guy Dana trusts to stand in front of the room to motivate the defense. He finished by adding that the three interceptions were not easy ones and he can not wait to see what could happen against a passing offense.
K.J. Dillon had many great things to say about his teammate, “Karl got the game ball… I’m nominating him for player of the week nationally… three picks, I mean come on now, fumble recovery, five/six tackles–that’s a great game.”
Dillon continued to talk about Joseph’s three takeaways, “we shoot to take three takeaways as a defense and he got three by himself, that’s amazing. That’s all I can say, he had a great game; I’m just proud of my brother.”