Gold-Blue Postgame Quotes
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University football coaches/players spoke with members of the media today following the Gold-Blue Spring Game.
WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen
Overall just a couple of quick comments. I thought we got done what we needed to get done today; I thought the tempo was good. First team defense played excellent, so I started to take a lot of those guys out and once we started taking those guys out, offensively, we moved the ball a little bit, which as a head coach is what you want to see.
I thought the guys played hard. It’s been a successful spring. We got somewhere around 850 snaps that we filmed, and we’ll be able to make those cut ups and all summer we’ll be able to make some corrections.
On the production of the offense
He (Mario Alford) probably didn’t make as many plays at receiver as I would have liked. We have to get Mario (Alford) the ball quite a bit more. I’ve been happy with the way the backs and the tight ends, as far as their production, it’s not necessarily the stats that make a difference with them, but those guys are tough and playing hard and we’re able to do a lot of things with them.
We need to get those guys the ball a little more. I was a little disappointed with that. Once we get settled on a quarterback; that will help. When you’re rotating quarterbacks and you’re playing a bunch of different people, it’s hard to get into a rhythm. So obviously that is going to have to be something that we focus on all summer and as quickly as we can in August to let them develop a relationship with all those guys.
On Charles Sims’ impact on this year's running backs corps
Versatile. The best thing that Charles Sims ever did by coming here is to teach those guys how to be versatile. How to practice hard, be unselfish and all those guys, it doesn’t matter what position they are playing, they all want the ball and they all want to be a featured running back, but they don’t mind getting in as receivers and catching passes down field. I told you Wendell (Smallwood) is probably our second best inside receiver or maybe even the best inside receiver, right now. Obviously we’ll put him in the backfield and get him the ball a bunch—very versatile and very productive.
On the production of the team
I thought it was fun. It was fun watching those guys get hit. They weren’t making the progress we wanted, and about six practices ago, we let them get hit and the sense of urgency picked up. It’s really been good for our defense to see a lot, I mean how many teams do we face that are going to run their quarterbacks a lot? It’s good for our defense to see it and their production picked up. I was pleased with their performances this last six practices.
We’ll study the cut ups carefully and see where they’re at. We’ll monitor their progress and come June and July, we’ll have to make a decision.
All of June, less vacation time for coaches—we don’t want to be around them so much that when August rolls around, they’re sick and tired of us. When August rolls around, we’ll have a lot of contact with them. For about four weeks in June we’ll be able to have team meetings, split into offense and defense and it will be easier to monitor where they’re at and what we’ll be doing.
I’ve been happy with the progress of the defensive line. Those guys are learning to be unselfish and hold their lines. We have so many guys with experience. We have guys on that second level who have played a bunch, but the biggest difference I see—with KJ Dillon and Karl Joseph—those guys are extremely disruptive off the edge. Daryl Worley has been phenomenal this spring.
Junior tight end/fullback Garrett Hope
On the atmosphere on the field
It was fun. Hopefully we can get better from it. It was definitely a lot of fun.
On development this spring
It’s difficult, because they have me doing a lot right now. (Redshirt junior tight end/fullback) Cody (Clay) and I take on the most priority in the offense right now, while learning three different positions. We learn from day to day and just try to get better.
The route combinations are tough. You have to think of who has which route and learn the entire scheme and have it in your head.
On working with offensive graduate assistant Tyler Urban
We do different drills and work on blocking schemes, our footwork and things like that. He is taking the role of a tight ends coach.
Redshirt sophomore kicker Josh Lambert
On distance of field goals
I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and I’ve been doing a lot of yoga in the offseason, which has helped a lot. It’s made me more flexible.
During pregame today, I hit a 60 yarder. On from that point it’s hit or miss, but given the right conditions, I can hit 60.
On summer workouts
We will do the same stuff that we always do. We will lift weights and do more yoga. I think that’s been key so far. Also staying healthy is a big thing.
On change from last year
Nothing has changed. Everyone is still the same. My job is still the same. I don’t get nervous anymore, so that’s different.
On doing yoga
(Director of strength and conditioning) Mike Joseph recommended yoga one day. They have a TV in the weight room that they put it on, and we all just go to town, all of the specialists. At first the other players asked what we were doing, but they can’t say anything now as long as we perform well.
Senior wide receiver Mario Alford
On sophomore quarterback Skyler Howard
He’s still learning the offense, but he’s going to be pretty good. He makes plays and keeps them alive. He just has to get more into the playbook. His communication is still a little staggered. Being a quarterback is a hard position on the field, because you have to know what everyone is doing. He’s going to be pretty good.
I could’ve been better. I was a little sluggish at times when the ball was high. I have to go up and get those.
On quarterback uncertainty
It’s not a big issue. You have to make plays when the ball comes to you and adjust to the quarterback, and then you’ll be pretty good.
Redshirt junior linebacker Isaiah Bruce
On the game
It was fun. We had a lot of good plays on both sides of the ball. Everybody had a good day for the most part.
I think we did some good things. I think we can use more improvement on other things. Overall, I think we had a pretty good day.
I would say the offense won overall because they scored a lot more than we expected them to. Defense didn’t get any turnovers at all today, and that’s a downfall for us.
On spring practice
I definitely improved over the spring. I got stronger, faster and more mentally prepared as far as knowing what to do in certain situations. Putting me in the middle instead of outside has really helped me learn a lot. It’s all about being stable at one spot.
Redshirt junior running back Dustin Garrison
On the game
Today was a success. The offense made a lot of plays. We’ve got a lot to work on, but overall I think everybody did a pretty good job. The quarterbacks competed like always, and I think the running backs also did a good job of competing. Overall, we have a lot of things to work on, but I think we were successful.
On redshirt junior running back Andrew Buie
I know Buie pretty well as a person, and I know he fights to get into those hard-nosed situations and get hits like he did today. Buie did a good job of not only running the ball, but catching the ball.
He’s in a better mental state. I have grown up with Buie. We learn from each other. Mentally, he’s right where he needs to be. We feed off of each other. Whenever he’s down and I see that something is up with him, I talk to him. I let him know that things will get better and that we have a room full of great running backs, and he just has to improve himself.
On offensive line
They’re doing pretty well. Like I said, offensively, we have a lot to work on. As a running back, you see certain gaps, and you hope that the line pulls a certain way. That’s what we have to work on when camp comes along.
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