MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia secondary has suffered a season of ups and downs. From multiple injuries to losing family members, nothing has been a walk in the park for this truly veteran defense.
Though junior cornerback Daryl Worley hasn’t had the most consistent season, he feels as though the adversity and struggles he and his teammates have faced has only made the chemistry between them stronger.
“It’s definitely sensational,” Worley said during his post-game interview following the Mountaineers’ second Big 12 victory against Texas. “It just shows who we are. We’re a family. We’re always there for each other and that’s where our strength comes from. I mean we just keep working and we stay around and keep each other pushing.”
The West Virginia defense forced five turnovers against the Longhorns, a team that had previously turned the ball over just seven times through nine games during the 2015-16 season.
Worley played a part in those turnovers, snagging his fourth interception of the season. Though an interception is usually highly praised, Worley took some heat for catching a fourth down pass that head coach Dana Holgorsen felt should have been batted away instead. Worley was called down on the two-yard line leaving the Mountaineers with unpleasant field position.
“Well, what everyone else saw is that I should’ve batted it down,” Worley laughed. “It was fourth down. I just wanted to make a play for my team.”
Senior cornerback Terrell Chestnut returned to the field against Texas after being sidelined the previous week with a lingering shoulder injury he had sustained at Baylor and re-injured at TCU.
“He (Chestnut) told me all week that because he wasn’t out there last week that he definitely wanted to make this one,” said Worley. “I always tell him, “I want you out there with me.”
Worley, who happens to be Chestnut’s roommate, says that the two of them, along with cornerback Ricky Rumph, are as close as it gets. Rumph has also experienced hardship this season with the death of a close family member.
“Me, him (Chestnut) and Rick (Rumph), we’re as close as it gets,” said Worley. “So no matter who may go down, God forbid, we just keep working and whoever the two is out there they wanna do their best.”
With two consecutive wins after four-straight losses, Worley seems satisfied that the effort put in by the entire Mountaineer defense is finally starting to pay off.
“These are definitely games that it feels a little different, I mean at the end of the day you don’t wanna fall asleep,” he said, regarding the run-first style play of the Texas Longhorns. “One thing we kept saying all week is you gotta put your big boy pants on today.”
West Virginia now holds a 5-4 (2-4 in Big 12) record with three games remaining against the Kansas Jayhawks, the Iowa State Cyclones and the Kansas State Wildcats.
Cover image credit: Dale Sparks/wvusports.com