Goal Line Stands Help WVU Defense Build Confidence - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Goal Line Stands Help WVU Defense Build Confidence

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MORGANTOWN -

It will not appear in any box score later in the season. It will not show up as any special statistic either. But West Virginia's pair of goal line stands will almost certainly play a huge factor towards possibly doing it again later this fall.

WVU stopped James Madison from getting in the endzone twice when the Dukes were near the goal line. That included a stop on fourth down as well as an interception by Tyler Anderson in the endzone.

"Being able to get put in those situations is not something you can emulate in practice," Linebackers Coach Keith Patterson said. "We have put an emphasis on red zone scoring defense and that is how you do it right there, you keep them out of the endzone and off the scoreboard."

WVU will face similar situations later in the year. It could be against Texas or Oklahoma or Kansas State. The Mountaineers will know they can stop the opponent and definitely gain confidence knowing they did it twice on Saturday.

"If we are in that position again, we know that we have done it and we can stop them again," Defensive Back Pat Miller said. "There is something about getting on that goal line with your backs are against the wall, who is going to make the play?"

"If you have never done something before, you can say something but it is not the same as actually doing it," Linebacker Doug Rigg stated. "Stopping them on those four plays on the goal line was a huge confidence booster for the defense. Saying we can stop them on the two yard line on four straight plays really taught us a lot about ourselves."

Not only did those two plays mean a lot to the defense, but they also motivated the offense. They occurred in the second half when the WVU offense sputtered out a bit. Offensive players like Jordan Thompson and J.D. Woods were among the first to run onto the field and high-five those defensive players following the goal line stands.

"That was big," Defensive Back Terence Garvin said. "We were really excited. The offense was excited. It was a big momentum swing so we were happy about that."

Having confidence is a big ingredient in the recipe for success. Stopping James Madison on a pair of second half goal line stands will certainly increase West Virginia's confidence. Will it lead to more success later this season?

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