Quick Hits: WVU Holds Open Football Practice in Morgantown - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quick Hits: WVU Holds Open Football Practice in Morgantown


Dana Holgorsen spoke too soon on Saturday, calling the weather at Milan Puskar Center the best he has seen since West Virginia opened spring practice at the beginning of the month.

Then practice started and the skies open up as rain forced the fans who showed up to take cover in the box seats.

Those who did take the time out of their Saturday to watch the Mountaineers go through what Holgorsen calls "redundant" spring practices were treated to Oklahoma drills and some team work before the day was done. Here are some notes from WVU's second open practice of the spring:

-       Perhaps the highlight of the day for the players came early on when the pads were popping during the Oklahoma drill. Offensive linemen faced off with defensive linemen, linebackers and fullbacks squared off, but the most heated group was receiver versus defensive back.

Right toward the end of the video above, you can watch the most animated portion of practice as sophomore receiver Vernon Davis was matched up against junior safety K.J. Dillon. The entire group was energized prior to the drill, certainly adding to the adrenaline that each player had.

When the whistle blew, Davis went straight at Dillon, engaged him and did not give an inch. As the running back blew past his block, Davis took Dillon to the ground. All of those who witnessed the drill poured onto the field, shoving each other as Dillon and Davis came together to discuss what had just transpired.

Strangely enough, Davis entered the drill wearing a green no-contact jersey. He played the rest of the day in his normal white shirt.

-       Josh Lambert – or "Lambo" as his teammates called him – got a lot of field goal work in as the offense frequently stalled during team drills and failed to reach the end zone. It resulted in a perfect display from the sophomore kicker, who connected on each of his attempts, including a 40-yard try early on in team period.

-       None of the quarterbacks were particularly effective on the day, but much of that could be attributed to drops or the receivers' inability to get open downfield.

Paul Millard, who rotated with Skyler Howard as first-team quarterbacks, danced in the pocket even without a defensive line's presence before he found a target that he felt comfortable getting the ball to. Both Millard and Howard looked deep on a few occasions and the ball placement was on point more often than not, but the receivers could not adjust in time to reel them in.

-       Logan Moore, working with the second-team offense, was clearly favoring freshman receiver Ricky Rogers, whose size and athleticism got him open on a number of plays.

Moore did make it into the end zone on a bootleg late in team work, though the defense had a serious case for the quarterback being down around the 6-yard-line if it were a live scrimmage.

Speaking of the bootleg, the quarterbacks were doing a lot more in the way of rolling out than what this offense has shown in the past. Perhaps a big reason for that change is that the offensive line was struggling against the defensive line for the majority of the day.

On consecutive plays, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski got through the left side of the second-team o-line and made a play on the ball carrier. At one point, the aggressive nature of the defense may have worked against it as Millard faked an inside hand-off before pulling the ball back and getting it out on a rope to Mario Alford, who caught it easily behind the secondary for a touchdown.

-       Millard was also responsible for the first passing touchdown of the day, finding K.J. Myers streaking down the seam between Brandon Napoleon and Jeremy Tyler for a 30-yard score. The touchdown drew what was easily the biggest reaction from the fans all day.

-       Second place for biggest reaction would go to the scuffle that broke out between Brandon Golson and Mark Glowinski. The two squared off briefly and on the very next play, Golson seemed to take his frustration out on running back Rushel Shell. Of course, the Glowinski took exception to this and knocked Golson down.

Christian Brown came to the aid of his fellow defensive lineman before Quinton Spain showed up and shoved Brown to the ground from behind.

Ah, spring football. Isn't it great?

-       It was good to see Shaq Petteway back on the field in full action. It was bad to see Shaq Petteway hobble to the sideline after a play and have to be checked out by WVU trainer Dave Kerns. There was no word after practice about the severity of the injury, but Petteway was seen limping near the team bench for the remainder of the day.

-       Just to make sure anyone who crossed the goal line gets credit, here's a rundown of the rest of the scores in team period: Logan Moore found Devante Mathis in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Millard hit Cody Clay wide open behind the defense after the quarterback rolled out to his left. Millard also found Daikiel Shorts in the flats and the sophomore got up field and dove for the pylon. Wendell Smallwood took a hand-off right up the middle on fourth and less than a yard.

Ricky Rumph had an easy interception on an poorly placed pass from Skyler Howard in the back of the end zone.

-       Jacky Marcellus may have had the most difficult task of the day as the freshman receiver spent the vast majority of his practice doing bear crawls under the watchful eye of WVU's strength staff. No word on whether it was a disciplinary move or simply to build character, but it did not look like the most fun any of the Mountaineers had during the day. 

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