by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.com
April 30, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University coach Bill Stewart and selected player quotes from Friday’s Gold-Blue Game.
Coach Bill Stewart
I appreciate everything you all have done for this program this Spring. It’s been great coverage, and it should be. Our players are doing right and living right. They are acting like a class outfit and we’re proud of that.
We did something tonight that we haven’t done all Spring and that’s that we put the 1’s, both offense and defense, together as a team. The reason that we didn’t do that all Spring is because I wanted to see them compete good on good, best on best.
That’s what spring is about – fundamental football, getting better at your position and competing against superior competition. Tonight, we wanted to start the 2010 season in as fine of fashion as we could.
We now have to jell as a football team, family and program. That’s where we started tonight. That was good to see.
They stayed in the huddle for the most part. We started substituting the 1’s out toward the end. We thought we had seen enough of certain players. I was real pleased with that. That’s what today was about.
It was nice to see some interchanging of the line and it was good to see our stable of backs get into the game. I wish we could have gotten the ball more to Brad Starks, but he’s nursing that ankle. It didn’t seem like there were any injuries, and that’s always good.
I liked the way Coley White stepped up and made plays with our offense. He’s been written off and talked off, and he’s probably been told that he’s not going to be the guy. A lot of people said that, but I told him this week that we would move him to slot if he still wishes, but I want to keep your hand in the quarterback position. I don’t know what these two freshmen coming in can do. I hope Geno (Smith) is healthy, but if not, we’ll go with White and Starks.
Until we know the hand we’re dealt in the fall, it will be Smith and the two freshmen. White will stay at quarterback, but he will play slot like Starks. I was really pleased with what Coley did. I like the way he moved the offense and I liked the way he handled himself in the pocket. I liked the way he moved and shifted; he did not run around like he was in a panic.
I thought the guys ran the ball hard and I thought the pass protection was good. It was a pretty good show.
Defensively, we didn’t just play base. We didn’t go out there and do a three-man front or a base four-man rush. We did a lot of stuff on both sides of the ball. That was good. I wanted to see our defense fly around, knock the ball and create some turnovers. Our defense jelled well.
I thought it was fun tonight. Any time you can have a Spring game without getting too many injuries, it’s neat.
Defensive lineman Chris Neild
I think overall, this being our last practice for the Spring session, I think we finally put it all together. The defense had an overall OK Spring game. We obviously have a lot of things to work on this summer, but I think overall we did a good job this Spring of coming together and working toward getting where we want to be.
(on the game’s atmosphere)
Being a night game was different. We had a big turnout, and I wasn’t expecting that. I think we put on a decent show. I think our offense made a couple plays out there and it was a good atmosphere.
(on what the defense got out of the game)
It means a lot to all of us to put everything we got out of these 14 practices into this game. We need to work real hard. I think we worked pretty hard this past winter, but when summer comes around and the sun is shining out on the field as we run, it’s a little bit different. We found out then who really wants to work and who doesn’t.
Slot receiver Jock Sanders
(on tonight’s game)
I wish they would have done it a little bit different. I wanted them to split me and Noel (Devine) up and let us pick the teams. I think if we were competing against each other we would have played harder. I’m happy with the outcome. We had a great Spring, and now we’re looking forward to the Summer and the Fall.
(on where the team goes from here)
We go to the top. There isn’t any stepping backward; there’s only stepping forward. Hopefully we can improve each day and just keep going with the flow.
(on the amount of touches he and Devine received)
Coach Stewart said he was going to play us a lot, and I thought ‘why not?’ We gave the fans some excitement and that’s what they came for.
(on play of Coley White)
I knew Coley was going to be a great passer and do things that people thought he couldn’t do. He worked hard on the intangibles and the things that he needs to be successful. He’s a White – look at his brother! He gets better every day, and he will keep working on it.