Mountaineer Defense Battling Itself

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - With an A for both effort and execution - and even one from notoriously difficult grader Bruce Tall - West Virginia enters its second game of the season with the major opponent being itself.

There's a certain sense of accomplishment that can morph itself into entitlement, even regarding the earliest of season returns. West Virginia's defense, after holding a vaunted Georgia Southern triple option to zero points, and looking at a base pro style without the talent of typical Big 12 schools, could be bordering on the latter entering this weekend's game.

But the Mountaineers seem less likely to fall prey to such, or get burned by a veteran Flames' squad, mainly because WVU itself starts so many fifth-year seniors. Combine that with a demanding coach like defensive line mentor Bruce Tall, and the ability to coax execution out of the charges like Joe DeForest, and West Virginia seems set-up well for the upcoming challenge of a pesky program hoping to prove itself the engine that could. Tall, below, speaks to those challenges, the Liberty offense and his grading style when evaluating tape.

DeForest, below, details the play of his safeties in Karl Joseph and K.J. Dillon, delves into getting them prepared for the complete erasure of the previous game plan and installation of a more traditional approach, as well as his take on special teams play and the performance of the punter, placekicker and others.

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