WVU Cornerback Keith Tandy Excited to Play Special Teams - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Cornerback Keith Tandy Excited to Play Special Teams


It is hard to find a lot of positives when you lose to a team by 26 points, but there were quite a few for the Mountaineers after their defeat against LSU.  The offense was able to move the ball against one of the best defenses in the nation and they played hard.  But there were clearly reasons why they ended up losing by almost four touchdowns.


The WVU special teams struggled throughout the entire game against the Tigers.  Punter Corey Smith shanked two kicks of 14 and 27 yards respectively, while LSU punter Brad Wing consistently put the ball within WVU's own 10-yard line.


"Everytime our offense seemed to started at the five-yard line and everytime their offense started around the 50-yard line," Tandy said.  "So what were trying to do on defense was create a turnover to change the field position but it just didn't work out for us."


Quite possibly the biggest play of the game occurred on the kickoff after West Virginia pulled within six of LSU in the 3rd quarter.  Mountaineer Field was rocking, the towels were flailing and momentum was completely on WVU's side until LSU's Morris Clairborne returned the kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.


Several WVU players had Clairborne wrapped up down the sideline, but poor tackling let him break free all the way to the endzone.  This gave LSU a 13 point lead and let all of the air out of the stadium.


Many of the players on the Mountaineer kickoff team are very young an inexperienced so it was decided to put a few starters on the coverage unit to help what has been a sore spot for West Virginia all season.


Senior cornerback Keith Tandy finds himself back on special teams after starting there early in his career.


"Now I'm on kickoff team," Tandy said.  "We had a lot of younger guys that weren't used to playing so they're trying to get more starters on the field for special teams because it obviously had an affect [against LSU]."


Most players begin their careers on special teams before making the jump to a contributor on defense, so this will be nothing new to Tandy, who has been on the unit before.


"That's how we all start our careers, on the kickoff and the punt team," Tandy said.  "Now we're going back to it and it's just more time we can be on the field which is always exciting."


The specials teams effort was clearly one-sided throughout the entire game.  LSU dominated that aspect and it was obvious a change needed to be made.


"They pretty much had their way with us on special teams," Tandy said.  "[The coaches] always told us that the kickoff and punt are the two biggest plays in football.  People giggle and laugh at that but now we see how big of a play they really are."


Since Tandy has gone though this before, he has no concerns of fatigue or losing a step on the defensive side of the ball.


"It's something that I've done before," Tandy said.  "I did it the first three years I was here and my conditioning is where it needs to be.  I don't really get tired during the games so I'm not worried about that."


There is more to playing kickoff coverage than staying in your lane and making a sure tackle, according to Tandy.


"You go out there and do it so much, you just start going through the motions and you don't realize how big of a deal it really is until it actually costs you a game like it did us," Tandy said.


Tandy and the Mountaineers take on the Bowling Green Falcons today at 3:30 p.m.

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