WVU Defense Looks to Rebound - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Defense Looks to Rebound

Devin Jones, MORGANTOWN -

It was a cold November night when the Sooners and Mountaineers last met. The cold weather had no effect on the game however, as both teams combined for a total of 99 points.

Tavon Austin was quoted as being, "the best player I've ever seen play the game," by Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops. Austin ended the night with two touchdowns and 426 yards on offense. The Mountaineers finished with 778 total yards of offense. Despite the tremendous outing, West Virginia fell to the Sooners, 50-49. The defense for the Mountaineers surrendered 662 total yards.

The Mountaineer defense looks to rewrite the story this Saturday when the two teams meet up in Norman. For senior safety Darwin Cook, the game last November is history.

"I haven't thought about that game at all," said Cook. "This is a new year, and we have a chance to go in to Oklahoma and get a win."

He also says that if the game were similar to last year, the defense will write a different ending.

"We are prepared for any situation," he said. "We are confident that we'll get the job done."

Several faces will be new for both teams. One of those faces for the Sooners will be at quarterback. Gone is Landry Jones, and in comes Trevor Knight. The true freshman showed his ability to run the ball in the season opener, rushing for 103 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

For the Mountaineers to be stout on defense Saturday, they must account for the running game.

Senior Will Clarke says that the key is to bring the fight right to the Sooner offensive line.

"We have to attack them, and not let them attack us," said Clarke. "If we do that then that will help slow the running game."

Getting off blocks against a big and physical offensive line is also important. Clarke says that this can help the Mountaineer defense keep Knight contained.

"We have to get off our blocks," he said. "We can't just stand around, but we need to work hard and get off our blocks. If we do that, then we should have a good chance to contain Knight."

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Isaiah Bruce expects the Sooner offense to use tempo and send a multidimensional attack at the Mountaineers, using the run to set up the pass.

"We definitely expect them to use tempo to try and get us out of line," said Bruce. "We have to stop the run. Our goal is to contain and limit the running game."

The environment in Norman will be hostile. A loud, sellout crowd of 86,000 people is expected at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Will Clarke says that it will be crazy, but he expects his teammates to adapt.

"At first it's a little overwhelming, but I expect these guys to get used to it," said Clarke. "Luckily for us the fans won't be as loud when their offense is on the field."

A win over the Sooners in primetime could be a big confidence booster for the Mountaineers. According to Clarke, a win would be a building block.

"It would be another stepping stone for the goals we set from January until now," said the senior.

The defense looks to build on the success they had in the season opener when the Mountaineers travel to Oklahoma this weekend.

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