Different Day, Same Story

For the second time in less than a week, the Mountaineer football team scrimmaged. And for the second time in as many tries, the defense held the upper hand.

The offense looked OK at times, but for the most part looked like a group that still has a long way to go before the season begins in September. It wasn't all bad for the offense though, as running backs Arlen Dorsey and Erick Phillips broke off some nice runs with the first team. Owen Schmitt, the mammoth tailback in a fullback's body, ripped off a long touchdown run with the second team.

The first team offense did not score during live scrimmaging, and even had trouble punching the ball in during goalline drills.

"The execution on offense is not good, and I'm not happy with it," said a visibly upset Rich Rodriguez after practice. "We have no leadership, and nobody will step it up. So I'll either put another guy from defense over there to take charge, or I'll put a young guy in when they come in the fall."

Particularly upsetting for the head coach were repeated fumbles by the running backs, and a lack of effort by some of the players.

"Dropping the ball on the ground...there's no excuse. Guys dropping their heads when they make mistakes, I don't like that. There's no excuse for that. So we'll get it corrected, or we'll move somebody else into their spot," said the coach vert matter-of-factly.

The defense had some good plays on the day. Marc Magro filled a gap and put a good lick on Schmitt during the scrimmage. Jahmille Addae made a nice hit during goalline drills and kept Erick Phillips from breaking the plane.

"I was happy with the play of the defense. I thought there was some good hitting. The players were more physical and the intensity was better," said Rodriguez of his defense.

Linemen Andre Wright and Craig Wilson also played well from their defensive end positions.

With just three practices and the spring game remaining, the defense is still well ahead of the offense. With all the youth on offense, that shouldn't be a surprise. But there's no questioning that there's still plenty of work to be done before the Mountaineers are ready to play in September.

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