WVU players getting spring break kinks out
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 01:04
After a week off from practice, the West Virginia football team got back into the swing of things during its first full practice Monday.
However, some players weren’t able to join the rest of the team after spring break.
Junior cornerback Pat Miller was one of those guys. Miller broke a small bone in his foot in practice two days before spring break, and had successful surgery early Tuesday morning. The Birmingham, Ala., native will be held out of practice until about July 1 but will be ready to play once the season begins.
The injury to Miller currently leaves the Mountaineers with just three scholarship cornerbacks left on the roster, including junior Brodrick Jenkins, sophomore Avery Williams and redshirt freshman Terrell Chestnut.
The coaching staff will be looking at all of those players to step up and work hard to fill Miller’s spot throughout spring, because that’s the only option they have right now.
"We’re not very deep at corner," Holgorsen said during his weekly press conference. "I think we’re down to three scholarship corners now. We’d rather Pat get the reps, but that’s just the way football is."
The seventh practice overall was not the best, according to Holgorsen, as players were getting used to running and lifting weights again. But, Holgorsen knew that would be the case and has been happy with the progression of his new 3-4 defensive scheme and how they have been matching up with the offense.
"What I’m happy about is it seems like we’re battling back and forth," Holgorsen said. "I was real concerned about that … but that hasn’t been the case. I’m happy with the competitive nature of where we’re at with it."
The team knows it still has a long way to go. WVU has eight spring practices and a spring game left before summer to work on more technique and game situations.
"What we need to do to get better is find backups, get better at third downs, get better at the scoring percentage in the red zone, touchdown percentage in the score zone. (We need to get) better at short yardage and goal line situations, which we just started doing that stuff today," Holgorsen said.
Holgorsen admitted the rest of spring practice, especially on the offensive side of the ball, will be focused on getting the team better in different situations they would face during the season. He was happy with how the team handled itself in practice Monday.
Senior receiver Tavon Austin has looked even better this spring than he did in the Orange Bowl.
Holgorsen said the reason is because he’s playing at a high speed on every down now, instead of taking plays off at times.
"He’s got a great attitude and has been playing a lot faster than he did," Holgorsen said. "When the ball is in his hands he’s fast, when the ball is not in his hands, he’s not. (Now), he’s playing fast all the time. He looks like a totally different guy, which is obviously exciting."