From The Coordinator: WVU, Holgorsen Is Next

I sat down next to defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer on Monday and I politely waited until he had answered several questions. Then I brought up the Big 12's leading receiver Kevin White. The West Virginia standout is leading the conference with 69 receptions for 1,020 yards and has seven touchdowns.

White burned Baylor big last Saturday in the 41-27 Mountaineers win in Morgantown. I said Spencer with the way Kevin Peterson covered TCU Horned Frogs receiver Kolby Listenbee and shut him down, would he consider just moving Peterson and having him line up wherever White lines up on Saturday?

Spencer paused and said, "I'm not going to tell you that. You know better than that."

Spencer is sharp and he won't give away any state secrets before it is time. Tune in on Saturday to see what Spencer has planned to stop the Big 12's top passing attack. Besides Spencer is quick to tell you that his defense has to stop the run first.

"They’re running the ball well. Coach (Dana) Holgorsen has evolved," Spencer explained. "It’s different than when he was here. I think he sees the advantages using two backs and his personnel. The league has talented guys in the skill positions. There is a wave of outstanding quarterbacks and receivers. We’ve got to isolate West Virginia and their balanced running attack."

Middle linebacker Ryan Simmons will get more of that same message from Spencer this week. But probably based on what happened last season when West Virginia upset Oklahoma State in Morgantown and Clint Trickett played a big role in that victory, Simmons wants to pay attention to the quarterback.

"He's a great quarterback who controls the game, knows a lot about the offense with his reads and certain things," Simmons said. "He just knows the game and what to do in certain situations, and executes very well."

It's the first step to the rest of the season and there doesn't seem to be a TCU hangover brewing on that side of the ball. Between Spencer and Simmons, one of his top defensive leaders and his "quarterback" on defense, there seems to be an eagerness to keep moving on down the schedule.

"It’s a challenge. It’s always difficult on our side," Spencer said of adjusting to each of the explosive Big 12 offenses. "There are times where everything isn’t perfect and you just get a foul ball, but then there are times where you do everything right, but they make a play."

"We can will all of them. That's what we’ve got to think," a confident Simmons added. "We can't think, ‘We may have a chance,’ because that's already putting doubt in our mind. We have to be confident in one another and what we can do with one another. We just have to approach every game like it's the Big 12 Championship game."

That is why players play and fans cheer. You would be hard pressed to find too many fans that would sing those lyrics right now.



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