Don’t be disappointed on Friday
Published: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2011 00:04
The West Virginia football team's spring season will officially end with the Gold-Blue Spring Game on Friday evening.
Anticipation for this year's game is unlike any other I can remember during my four years at WVU, and rightly so after all of the changes that were made during the offseason.
Mountaineer fans will get their first chance to take in offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen's offense and to see who will be the players to watch for in the upcoming season.
In addition, fans will have the opportunity to watch former WVU players and coaches take the field for the old timers game that is sure to be a hit for the second straight year.
Quite honestly, this may be the biggest Spring Game that the Mountaineers have ever had with all the events, buzz and media hype surrounding the game.
Unfortunately, I expect most fans will walk out of Milan Puskar Stadium on Friday evening a little bit disappointed with what they didn't see in the Spring Game.
Most are expecting to see Holgorsen's offense go up and down the field at a break-neck pace. They expect to see the offense rack up a slew of points.
But, that may not be the case on Friday night, because it's become apparent that the Mountaineers are still a good ways away from where it will be when it plays Marshall on Sept. 4.
The offensive line, which is missing starting tackles Don Barclay and Jeff Braun, is holding back the rest of the offense due to its inability to protect starting quarterback Geno Smith.
This isn't a knock on an offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, as he is doing the best he can with a patchwork group of starters.
Part of the line's troubles revolve around trying to block star defensive ends Bruce Irvin and Julian Miller. But, it's clear that the depth behind Barclay and Braun is not up to par.
Furthermore, the offense is still making some of the mental mistakes it did last year by committing costly penalties that are negating productive plays.
On the other side of the ball, fans will be expecting to see the WVU defense deliver like it did last season, but coordinator Jeff Casteel's unit is still attempting to reload after the loss of seven starters.
Again, fans may get a letdown as the defense, especially the secondary, is still trying to come together as one instead of a group of individuals.
Having said all of this, the Spring Game may be an exercise in patience for most Mountaineer fans, because the team may not yet pass the eye test as a high caliber top 25 team.
It's a long time before WVU takes the field against Marshall. In between lies a lot of workouts in the summer, practices at fall camp, players returning from injury and freshmen arriving on campus that may have an impact on the team this fall.
None of that has happened yet.
So, don't worry Mountaineer Nation, things will come together for this football team, but it must be noted that this is just another practice like the other 14 spring practices this season.