Football Staff Asks Mountaineers to 'EAT' in 2012 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Football Staff Asks Mountaineers to 'EAT' in 2012

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MORGANTOWN -

The Mountaineers are hungry and this fall, they intend to eat.

Or, to put it more accurately – they intend to E.A.T.

A new acronym, popular around these parts in the spring, whether showing up on shirts or in post-practice speeches, spells out the theme for the coming season in Morgantown.

The WVU football team will E.A.T. its way to success, assuming everyone can get on the same page as to what exactly that means.

"Effort, Intensity and Turnovers," junior cornerback Brodrick Jenkins said.

So eat is spelled with an "I?"

"What did I say? Effort, Aggressiveness and Turnovers," Jenkins said, changing the definition.

But wait, even that isn't correct, apparently.

"Effort, Attitude and – what is it? I forgot the last one," freshman safety Karl Joseph began before adding "Turnovers" to the list.

Multiple other players backed up Joseph's interpretation of the new mantra and said there is a reason it begins with effort.

According to freshman safety Sean Walters, defensive coordinator Joe DeForest preaches these words over and over and will go out of his way to call out anyone he sees – whether in the weight room or on the practice field – giving anything less than full effort.

"As far as DeForest, he instills effort, effort, effort – always eat, eat, eat," says Walters.

The team meeting room is where you'll wish you had given good effort if you had not done so. DeForest, and any other coach on the staff these days, will make the entire team well aware of your laziness and Walters for one would rather not be the focus of that sort of detailed analysis.

The second word, attitude, is self-explanatory. Come to work each day ready to get better – not only individually, but for the whole. A positive and tough attitude will go a long way toward developing yourself as well as those around you.

Then there are the turnovers.

"It's a whole team thing, actually. The offense doesn't want to give up turnovers, they want to keep the ball and avoid turnovers, but it's a whole team standpoint," says junior defensive end Will Clarke. "Coach DeForest, he's really emphasizing it on defense for us to give a lot of effort, that's first, have a good attitude and a tough attitude and get turnovers. That's one of the most important stats in college football."

Clarke is right about that and it is something that if the Mountaineers were not aware of coming into last season, they learned firsthand.

WVU's turnover margin was just a plus-one in 2011 as the team gave the ball away 22 times and took it away 23. In three losses, the Mountaineers lost the turnover battle, 8-2.

Against Louisville, West Virginia was able to outgain the Cardinals by nearly 200 yards, yet still lost  due, in large part, to turnovers.

In a game against South Florida, the Mountaineers could hardly get anything going offensively and actually had more turnovers than the Bulls, but the turnovers they forced were more important. A Pat Miller pick-six and a Najee Goode forced fumble to set up the game-winning field goal completely turned the game in WVU's favor and without those two, there never would have been an Orange Bowl.

Speaking of that game against Clemson, there is no better example of turnovers setting the tone. West Virginia got the trend started with a 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown and continued it with an interception and a fumble recovery before half

WVU committed just one turnover of its own in the game, and that came at the hands of backup quarterback Paul Millard, who was then yanked from action.

"That's the main thing they've said from day one, that turnovers are going to help," says Jenkins. "We really found that out after Darwin Cook made that one, how it turns around momentum. If we just buy into that phrase ‘E.A.T.' … As long as we do that, we can do a lot."

And don't be concerned that the three letters have not yet engrained themselves into the mind of each and every Mountaineer. Remember, this is a team full of players – and some coaches – who will tell you they still don't understand why they walk around wearing shirts that read, "Insanity."

At least this one has a clear cut meaning that, should the players really buy in, could pay off when they suit up in the fall.

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