Practice Report - Day II

West Virginia's second day of practice, held on Mountaineer Field in saturating rain, was minus a key defensive lineman.

Chris Neild, a 6-3, 305-pound nose tackle that could see action with the first team, was held out of drills and walked around the field with a noticeable limp. Head coach Rich Rodriguez said the player's shoes were too tight and that it caused bruising on his feet on day one. Neild, a freshman, worked with the second team in the first practice, sliding in behind Thor Merrow, who was alongside tackle Keilen Dykes and end Johnny Dingle.

Receiver Wes Lyons and linebacker Ovid Goulbourne, both sophomores, wore green jerseys, signaling they were to receive limited contact. The jerseys are still worn despite the Mountaineers practicing only in shorts and helmets and avoiding all tackling. Lyons' knee had a wrap on it, though the injury is not expected to be serious. Goulbourne, a 6-1, 215-pounder who is trying to break into the two-deep after winning the 2007 Iron Mountaineer award for being the top performer in winter workouts at his position, has an injured hamstring.

All the other players appeared healthy, including quarterback Pat White, who ran and threw well despite the soaking rain and a back that bothered the junior during the first workouts Saturday. The wideouts and defensive backs dropped several passes through the initial parts of the drills, mainly due to the wet footballs. A massive rain front moved through Morgantown throughout the entire day. It was expected to clear by 3 p.m., according to AccuWeather, but the storm apparently stalled and dropped very large rain on an area from north of Pittsburgh to south of Buckhannon. All drills through the first 90 minutes of practice went on as scheduled, however. The players seemed to embrace the cooler temperatures – 72 degrees during practice, according to The Weather Channel – after the heat index rose as high as 95 for Monday's drills.

Place kicker Pat McAfee said he was worried about the snaps in such weather, but Adam Hughes's snaps were accurate and the holds of both Jeremy Kash and Carmen Connolly were well executed, allowing McAfee and Chris Glenn, a walk-on from Newton, Pa. that emerged as McAfee's backup out of spring drills. Glenn, a senior, played just one year of high school football, but has extensive soccer experience. During the kicking session, associate head coach and special teams coordinator Bill Stewart attempted to put the hook up on his raincoat. The hood had caught much of the rain, and when Stewart put it on, it poured much of the water out on him.

The early practice followed the same script it has in past years, with the players working on everything from pass patterns and routes to ball security, handoffs, body and hand placement for blocking and a myriad of other techniques that always precludes the full-pads workout. New receiver Alic Arntee worked in with the second team, with Nate Sowers, Tito Gonzales, Darius Reynaud and Dorrell Jalloh on the first unit. Jalloh took the place of Lyons, who was on the second team during his limited reps. WVU worked out of multiple sets and looks on offense, while the defense practiced reading coverages and base movements upon the snap. The lines, as they typically do, worked on their own for the majority of the first 90 minutes.

RIFLE REPORTS

Parkersburg High lineman Josh Jenkins watched the first practice, but did not attend today.

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Left tackle Ryan Stanchek appears noticeably bigger through the chest and arms than he did last season.

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McAfee and Scott Kozlowski hit solid punts with both the traditional and rollout approaches. Kozlowski's rugby punts came off his foot well.

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Noel Devine, who took snaps at tailback, fielded punts, as did Vaughn Rivers, Antonio Lewis and Jock Sanders.


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