The Mountaineers went through a 100 play scrimmage after a series of individual and unit drills in their third open practice session, and the last before the Gold-Blue spring game at the Greenbrier on April 23. Above, a look at Rasul Douglas' interception of Skyler Howard, and the resulting return for a touchdown that was among the brightest of segments for a defense that struggled with pass coverage in the session. Both the first and second team offenses got the best of the defense in the passing game, with Shelton Gibson scoring multiple times, and Gary Jennings and Michael Ferns, among others, also adding scores.
West Virginia also utilized portions of the practice time to kickoff coverage, and the blocking on the return. Check out the clip below as one coverage player challenges a pair of blockers before attempting to make the tackle on the return man. The set-up mirrors some of the blocking aspects coverage players will see in the return game, and gives four players a chance to work within one drill, maximizing efficiency. It also rolls into one the varying principles of hand placement, ability to get off blocks and wrap tackle and other imperatives for both the return team and coverage unit.
Next, we've selected a pair of quarterback drills that hone both the short and long passing game. The signal callers were paired with a series of receivers to work on quick hitches, slants, and deeper go routes, again trying to get as many snaps and reps for as many players as possible. Check out the footwork of Howard, the tight spin of Chris Chugunov's passes and the release of David Sills, which has a pause at the top of it in the arm motion. Sills continues to work with the quarterbacks during some drills, but has played mostly wide receiver in the time media have been permitted to view practice. Head coach Dana Holgorsen says Sills still wants to further develop as a QB, but that he's never going to get really good at either until he decides to commit to one full time. Of now, his best shot for playing time is clearly at wideout.