Dent in the Line

West Virginia's position changes on the offense line are akin to the children's game where one bashes the pop-up animal, only to have another soon appear in its place.

Former guard Ryan Stanchek moved to tackle. Former tackle Damien Crissey was demoted to second team, and Greg Isdaner took Stanchek's spot at left guard before he sprained a knee. John Bradshaw flipped over to there, stabilizing the line for all of one practice before the next injury, which spurred backup center Mike Dent's move to right guard for the time being to replace Jeremy Sheffey, who has a concussion.

"I have to learn the position more," said Dent, who noted that offensive line coach Rick Trickett likes all his linemen to know all the positions, especially the centers because they make the blocking calls. "From making the calls, I pretty much know what to do. It is all small stuff now. I have played it before and gotten reps with it."

That came in the spring, when Dent was shuffled between tackle and guard before settling behind Remington candidate Dan Mozes. Dent, a 6-4, 275-pounder, is a converted defensive end. The sophomore did not play last year, but is noted for his technical prowess. He was the scout team champion for the East Carolina game last year.

"Yesterday was the first day I played left guard (in the fall)," Dent said. "Coming off the ball is different because you put your weight on your hand and come off. With the ball, there can't be as much weight there. The pass sets are also a little different. We will have to wait and see how everything works out as to where I stay. I'll probably go back to center soon."

Sheffey, an All-Big East selection, is out an indefinite amount of time. That leaves the spot behind Mozes open, and as of right now, the senior center is the only player on the offensive line who has held his position and played in each scrimmage and practice this fall.

"Every day when I go out there, it's not the same rotation," Mozes said. "Other guys have to step up. Bradshaw goes from the right guard to the left. The next day he is playing right tackle. I think I'm the only guy who has been sticking with the same position, been in the same spot the whole camp."

Mozes actually made the opposite change, moving from starting guard to center against Maryland in the third game last season after former WVU lineman Jeremy Hines quit when he was demoted to the second unit. Mozes' first two snaps at the spot sailed over the quarterback's head, but he settled and has started every game since at the spot.

"He is a young guy and kind of my protégé," Mozes said. "He is under my wing. He looks up to me and I take pride in showing him what to do. The nice thing about him playing next to me, even with the injuries, is that he has proven he can play there. He has proven that he will fight for a position and that he wants to start. He might actually be better, because he can just focus on that (right) side of the line now instead of the entire thing like you do when you're in the middle."

Said head coach Rich Rodriguez: "Mike is a tough guy. He has gotten a lot stronger and will play both center and guard for us. He'll do well."

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