By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
April 24, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Daquan Hargrett reminded everyone watching Saturday’s scrimmage not to forget about him when assembling names for the depth chart this fall.
Hargrett carried 10 times for 60 yards, including a nifty 37-yard run when he cut back against the grain and took the ball down to the five-yard line. Hargrett also showed surprising power running the ball during goal line drills. His work today caught the attention of Coach Bill Stewart.
“Daquan puts that foot on the ground and he goes north. He was nicked-up earlier with a high ankle sprain, but he never said a word,” Stewart said. “He just goes about his business. He looked like he had some good runs today.”
Hargrett got all of his work with the twos. No. 1 running back Noel Devine also had a productive afternoon during the 59-play scrimmage, ripping off runs of 29 and 58 yards to lead all ball carriers with 97 yards on just eight carries.
Devine’s 58-yard TD run was a slick play designed by Mullen where he motioned all of the receivers to the strong side of the field and then ran a backside trap with Devine, who was able to get by linebacker Anthony Leonard and safety Terence Garvin down the far sideline.
The other offensive touchdown came on a 1-yard plunge by Ryan Clarke that was set up by Hargrett’s long run. Corey Smith added a 26-yard field goal.
Stewart said regular place kicker Tyler Bitancurt is closer to being ready to go after recovering from off-season ankle surgery.
“Bitancurt is getting better every day,” the coach said. “He's kicking pain free, but we don't want him to kick just yet in a team situation. Tyler Bitancurt is our kicker until he is beaten out, and that has not happened.”
Coley White again took all 59 snaps under center with both units, finishing the afternoon completing 14 of 17 passes for 105 yards. White was 8 of 10 for 59 yards with the No. 1 offense, with a long pass of 14 yards to Stedman Bailey.
White also connected with Eddie Davis for a pretty 20-yard square-in with the twos.
“You can't keep calling the same play over and over in the scrimmage,” Stewart said. “We try to get the ball to other people. We could come in and throw to Jock (Sanders) all day, but we know we can do that. We tried to run the reverse with Eddie Davis to see what he can do. We're trying to spread the wealth and find more players.”
Geno Smith again took all of the reps during the pass skeleton portion of practice, moving the team down the field for one score when he hit running back Shawne Alston out in the flat for a 5-yard touchdown. Smith finished 20 of 30 passing during the skeleton portion of practice with a pair of pretty throws to Tavon Austin on deep outs.
Defensively, Casey Vance scooped up a fumbled exchange from White and backup center John Bassler, defensive end Will Clarke made a nice play diagnosing a reverse to Eddie Davis and throwing him for a six-yard loss, J.B. Lageman batted down a White pass out in the flat, and Chris Neild made a tremendous play on White when he blew up the center exchange from Joe Madsen.
The play of the afternoon actually took place before the scrimmage when Brandon Hogan nailed backup receiver Andrew Goldblaugh during victory drills, getting everyone in the stadium excited.
“That set the tone for the rest of the day,” said Neild.
The Mountaineers will resume work on Tuesday and will also practice Wednesday before wrapping up the spring next Friday night with the annual Gold-Blue scrimmage.
The scrimmage began at the minus-two, then went to the minus-35 and wrapped up at plus-35. The scrimmage wrapped up with goal line work with the Mountaineer Maniacs invited down on the field to watch from the 25-yard line.
There were also a handful of prospects at today’s workout and once again before the start of scrimmage highlights were displayed on the video board.
Offensive line coach Dave Johnson chose to keep his first group intact for the entire scrimmage. Working with the first group was Don Barclay, Josh Jenkins, Madsen, Eric Jobe and Jeff Braun. The second twos to begin the scrimmage included Bassler at center, Chad Snodgrass at left guard, Nick Kindler at left tackle, Ryan Spiker at right guard and Matt Timmerman at right tackle.
Stewart was again not happy with some of the quarterback-center exchanges, particularly with the second group.
Only three penalties were called on Saturday. The first offense was flagged for a motion and a holding penalty, while the second unit had one motion infraction. By my count, that’s only five penalties in two officiated scrimmage encompassing more than 110 plays, which is not too bad.
Among those wearing green (limited contact) and red (no contact) jerseys today included Smith, J.D. Woods, Shawne Alston, Brad Starks, J.T. Thomas, Branko Busick, Scooter Berry and Jamal Nelson.
With Starks and Woods being limited for most of the spring, that has provided an opportunity for Stedman Bailey to get more reps at wide receiver and he is responding. Bailey and Smith worked together in high school and you can see the carry over on the field. The two work well together.
Smith continues to look terrific throwing the deep out. He hit tight end Tyler Urban early in pass skeleton for a long gainer and he also connected twice with Austin. Smith also hit tight end Will Johnson down the seam for 28 yards in between Brantwon Bowser and Eain Smith.
Parkersburg’s Matt Lindamood did his best Owen Schmitt impression by running through an arm tackle for a 29-yard run on one play from scrimmage. During last weekend’s scrimmage, Lindamood ripped off a 52-yard run.
Hargrett’s 37-yard run caught everyone’s attention, but the play for me was near the end of the scrimmage during goal line when he nearly bulled his way into the end zone from the three-yard line, showing that he has plenty of power to run between the tackles.
“Hopefully I can prove to them that I can get better at my game and punch it in,” Hargrett said. “If we need a third and one they don’t have to bring Ryan Clarke and Shawne Alston in there. I can be that back to get that third and one. I just have to better my game – get stronger, more powerful and get healthier.”
Ryan Clarke is still by far the team’s best short yardage back. He almost always pushes the pile forward at the point of contact.
Offensive tackle Selvish Capers was taken in the seventh round by the Washington Redskins (231st overall pick). It's the seventh consecutive year the Mountaineers have had at least one player taken in the draft.
Rushing: Devine 8-97, Hargrett 10-60, Lindamood 2-23, Clarke 4-8, White 17-4, Davis 1-minus 6.
Passing: White 14-17-0-105-0.
Receiving: Davis 2-25, Sanders 2-16, Austin 2-15, Snook 2-12, Devine 2-10, Bailey 1-14, Rembert 1-7, Urban 1-4, Lindamood 1-2.