MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Members of the WVU football team spoke with the media on Tuesday evening in anticipation of Saturday's Gold-Blue Spring Game.Andrew Buie
- On his goals for the team this season
From a team aspect, I want to win the Big 12, and I want to compete for a national championship or be in a BCS bowl game. I want to be one of the most dominant offenses in the country. As an individual, I want to lead the Big 12 in rushing. I want to be in the top three in the country in rushing. I just want to be able to help my team be in the best position to win at the end of the day.
- On what he needs to do to ensure the offense will be successful this year
We just have to make sure that we are able to run the ball this year and take some of the pressure off of our quarterbacks, so they don’t have to sit back there and rely on their gun slinging. We need to be consistent with our running game and not have one week with a great running game, and then the next week have the running game be absent. Darwin Cook
- On the differences in the defense from this season to last
The big difference in our defense is that our safeties and the defensive line have gotten better in applying force and pressure. They gave us a break today. We didn’t really make that many tackles. There were just a lot of tackles for loss. There is a lot of emphasis on tackles for loss from Coach (Erik) Slaughter, so you can give him credit for that.
- On if there is a better chance of getting pressure
As far as us in the back end, we play on our corners to give them more protection up top – more than we ever did last year. The big difference is that we give them that protection and they are comfortable, so they can be more aggressive.Shaq Rowell
- On how he feels he is doing so far
Every day we go out there, I’m improving. I have stuff to work on. Every day we watch film, and I try to pick one thing that I need to work on. I try to master that at practice, and then, the next day I try to find something else. Every day I figure if I work hard, I’m going to get better, and that is what I feel like I’m doing. This year, I find myself going harder than I ever have before - just like I did in high school. When I was a senior in high school, I knew it wasn’t my last turn, but this is a little different. This is college, and I may never get another chance. I may never get another chance to play football. I figure I need to go hard.
Today, we wrapped up our last official team practice, and we have Thursday’s walk through and Saturday’s scrimmage. I just find myself not complaining about going hard. I want myself to go hard, and I feel like I give it 100 percent every day. I know there is a reason I’m out there every day. I take it more seriously, and that’s why I feel like I’m getting better at everything I’m doing.
- On how the defense is playing together
Coach Slaughter is trying to find out what combination works, and right now, it is Will (Clarke), Kyle (Rose) and me, but he can throw anybody in there. I feel that with this defensive line, we are a close-knit group. When we come out, we talk about how we are going to dominate. It starts up front. If we don’t come out ready to play, nobody else on the defense is going to be ready to dominate. Coach Slaughter always told us to attack and put the offensive linemen three yards in the backfield, and that’s why Isaiah (Bruce) and those other guys are making so many tackles. I could care less about a tackle as long as we get a win. As long as I do my job and we get the win, that’s what it’s all about. Will Clarke
- On how his spring season has gone so far
Everything has been good. I’ve been learning more, getting better and just trying to be perfect. I am looking forward to having a good game and a good scrimmage, along with teaching and learning more.
- On things Coach Slaughter, himself and the defense have set as goals
Being more explosive and playing more on the offensive line’s side of the ball. Our focus has really been just attacking and being dominant.Karl Joseph
- On what he’s worked on this spring
I’ve just been working on understanding the defense a lot more and being smarter about the little things like when I can break on the ball and all that. I’ve had a good offseason. I’ve gained some weight and have gotten faster. I feel more comfortable back there.
- On what the new scheme means to him
It is a good scheme. I think Coach (Keith) Patterson has a good plan for us, and it is all about buying in. If everybody buys in, I think we’re going to be fine.
- On how having the new scheme introduced before the Pinstripe Bowl has helped this spring
The process is definitely smoother now. Going into the Pinstripe Bowl, it was all about trying to get everything in for the game, and now we’ve had a couple months just to get everything in. It’s just been a much smoother process.