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In his press conference immediately following last week's 69-34 win over Marshall, WVU coach Dana Holgorsen raised a few eyebrows with his relative nonchalance over the fact the team's defense had yielded 34 points and 545 yards. But there were reasons the Mountaineers, like their coach, weren't panicking after the performance.

Other than the basics of alignment and the most general of principles, few observers came into last Saturday's game knowing what to expect from West Virginia's new 3-4 defense. A few questions were answered against MU -- but only a few, and that may have been by design.

The Mountaineers didn't use any exotic blitzes or tricky coverages, opting to stay relatively basic in their work. Cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts said 10 different coverage packages were employed, all of which were of a rather simple variety.

Further, WVU did not have it nickel defensive package (a fixture of obvious passing situations on third downs) installed in time for the game -- perhaps a significant reason the team yielded on almost 50 percent of Marshall's third down conversion attempts.

Roberts indicated that the players could probably handle the installation of that package in the time between the opener and next week's game against James Madison, but whether it gets added or not will be up to co-defensive coordinator Joe DeForest.

"I think we've got some guys who can learn on the go," said Roberts. "But a nickel package isn't going to blow anyone's mind. It's the same guys and same responsibilities for the most part. Once [DeForest] wants us to do that, we'll be ready to go."

While the Mountaineers kept things relatively basic in the season-opener, there were still issues with executing those fundamental packages. One issue several defensive assistants, including Roberts, seemed most troubled by was the team's inability to get off the field on third downs at times.

There were at least two basic problems Roberts saw with his players at cornerback. In both situations, he deflected blame to himself as the position coach responsible for the players' performance.

"I think we have to improve our jam technique, getting our hands on receivers," Roberts said. "That's going to be important to us. We have to make more plays on the outside. When we get the chance to get the ball in our hands when it goes to the outside, we have to get to it, either with a PBU or an interception.

"I think we were a little lazy with some of our technique, and we'll get that fixed. That's my job. Some of our assignments, we were too greedy when it came to our eyes. The big plays we gave up in the passing game was because we didn't have disciplined eyes. That comes back to me as well. We'll get that corrected. If you're in man-to-man coverage, your eyes need to be on the receiver and not in the backfield. If your eyes aren't on him, you're putting yourself in position to get a ball caught on you, because you're going to react too slowly. It's my job and something I take responsibility for."

While there were a few issues with starting cornerbacks Pat Miller and Brodrick Jenkins -- Holgorsen indicated both players should feel a bit nervous about their status as starters after subpar play in the opener -- freshman corner Nana Kyeremeh was a bright spot.

Kyeremeh impressed Roberts throughout preseason and led the team in interceptions during camp. If his performance in a reserve role against Marshall was any indication, he could be in line for more playing time next week against JMU.

"From what I've seen with him, especially on special teams, he's a guy who wants to play," Roberts said of Kyeremeh. "He has shown the intensity we need out of him. He's going to get more opportunities to play starting today. He's not a starter today, but he's working his way into the conversation. When you show up consistently on special teams and you show up as being explosive, I think you put yourself in a position to get to play more plays."

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