MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Coming into the season, lot of questions remained about West Virginia’s defensive unit. However, the Mountaineers are proving naysayers wrong so far.
In WVU’s 35-6 win over Kansas State, the Mountaineers’ defense allowed 108 yards of rushing and 356 passing yards while keeping the Wildcats out of the end zone.
WVU had four sacks and 10 tackles for a loss.
“(It was) pretty good,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “I thought we played pretty good against them last year defensively, and this was a better performance. We’ve done pretty good against these guys, defensively. This was the best performance yet. (On) third downs, (we held them to) 3-of-14. We played well, so I really like where we’re at defensively.”
Tony Gibson’s dawgs had some huge defensive stops. In the second half, the Mountaineers led 7-0 when WVU’s defense came up with stops on third-and-one and then fourth-and-inches.
“That was a key point,” Holgorsen said. “Was it 7-0 at that time? (It was) 7-0, we stopped them on fourth down, we scored, then we stopped them, then (we had) a two-minute drive down and scored again. I’m sure you all were questioning the time on the clock. (We) finished that half pretty good. Then we came out and continued playing well in the third quarter.”
While the defense gave up a few big plays, they were relatively sound.
“I thought our kids responded and came out and played really well,” defensive coordinator Gibson said. “A few missed tackles just because we weren’t wrapping up that we need to get fixed. But other than that I thought it was pretty clean.”
Linebacker David Long led the Mountaineers with nine tackles, including a pair of sacks, and forcing a fumble.
Toyous Avery was second with eight tackles, including one for a loss of three yards.
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS