West Virginia Football: New Offense Under Wraps at Spring Scrimmage

Frank AhrensSenior Writer IApril 19, 2008

I went over to Morgantown for the annual Gold-Blue Scrimmage today to see if I could discover what this new-fangled Mountaineer offense looks like.

But first, I must take care of some crucial business: There is a t-shirt popular at WVU that reads simply: “WVU GIRLS ROCK.” Today, it was sunny and 80 degrees and I couldn’t agree more. Two words: “halter” and “top.” From the bottom of my heart, please allow me say the following: Thank you.

Now, back to our programming.

Coach Bill Stewart played it close to the vest. I saw precious little of all the exotic offensive motion promised by Stewart and new offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, late of Wake Forest, which had so much motion before the snap, it looked like a NASCAR weave.

After the scrimmage, Stewart said: “We didn’t do a lot of motion and movement out there because there were a lot of films out there. We didn’t want the whole world seeing our new attack.”

Here's a link to some videos that I took (sorry for the shaky camera work; hope no one gets seasick) showing what little motion I saw.

The rest of the offense looked pretty much like...last year’s offense (think Fiesta Bowl, not Pitt game). There were a couple of new sets. You’ll see one in a video that looks like it has two slot backs on the same side (one could be the new H-back).

But I only saw one deep ball, a Jarrett Brown heave to the end zone that resulted in pass interference. Here were the chief things I noticed in the 80-play, two-hour controlled scrimmage:

Stewart said Patrick White’s interception (by Pat Lazear) was his “only mistake.” Well, then that must have been Brown I saw throwing left-handed, back against his body, rolling right, trying to hit Noel Devine in the end zone surrounded by about 28 defenders.

At another point, however, White threw a beautiful 20-yard fade off his back foot to Tito Gonzalez in the end zone.

Speaking of Devine, yep, he’s still fast. Running back Mike Potier got the most yardage of any running back.

But don’t worry about having to learn his name, not with the two hotshot backs coming in the fall (big, fast Terence Kearns and just plain fast Mark Rodgers). Potier showed nothing special.

Will Johnson, the wide receiver converted to tight end, ran a couple of times from the backfield. On the first, he got knocked into the backfield. On the other, he bulled his way forward for a few yards.

Jock Sanders ran a few very nice routes and seems ready to be Darius Reynaud’s successor.

The best receiver I saw was former quarterback Bradley Starks. And Brandon Hogan hauled in a few nice catches from the receiver and slot positions.

The first-team defense ate up the second- and third-team offenses. The defensive line surge overwhelmed the backup offensive line.

I just have this feeling that Mortty Ivy is going to be an even bigger beast that he was last year.

Converted running back, converted slot receiver, now defensive back Eddie Davis broke up a pass. Now solidly on the defense, former quarterback Nate Sowers was in on some action.

New linebacker Archie Sims’ name was called a couple of times. I don’t know how well he did, but I’m predisposed to like anyone named “Archie.”

So no great revelations yesterday, at least football-wise. The WVU Girls, however, provided many.