Spring Practice Report - 4/16/08

West Virginia went with full pads, if not a full throttle, for the final tune up before the annual Blue and Gold game on Saturday.

The team began with warm-ups as the quarterbacks and receivers worked on pass patterns while the safeties and defensive backs practiced pass coverage drills, the offensive linemen practiced blocking and the defensive linemen worked on their pass rush. The receivers and quarterbacks then came together to run pas patterns while the linemen worked on their blocking and pass rushing together. Quarterbacks Pat White and Jarrett Brown took the majority of the snaps while Bradley Starks donned a white jersey as a full time wide receiver. Starks looked good running pass patterns today but still seems to be learning the finer points of wide receiver.

After warm-ups the quarterbacks and receivers worked on their screen game against the defensive backs. The receivers lined up in a bunch formation to one side of the field while the quarterback hit the slot receiver on a quick screen pass and the other two receivers blocked the defensive backs. On the opposite end of the field the linemen and running backs worked on the inside running game. With the quarterbacks changing between drills, the receivers and quarterbacks then transitioned into one on one pass pattern against the defensive backs. The patterns ranged from 10-25 yards and included goal line pass patterns. Slot receivers Brandon Hogan and Jock Sanders each looked elusive running their patterns and shed defenders with ease.

Coming off a short water break, the defensive backs and linebackers squared off against the backs and receivers in seven on seven drills. The offense moved the ball efficiently on the defense behind the arms of Brown and White who each threw the ball accurately in the drill. The drill was highlighted by two touchdown passes thrown by Brown, who showcased pinpoint control and the ability to both find wideouts when open and get rid of the ball when pressured.

The first score was a touchdown toss to Hogan in the back corner of the end zone while the other came on a juggling catch by tight end Evan Rodriguez from 20 yards out. The team ended practice with the first offense matched up against the staerting defense. While the story for much of spring has been the defense's domination, the offense moved the ball well through the air and at times left the secondary beaten, if not confused.

Will Johnson snared a short pass off an out route that he turned into a 60-yard touchdown. Johnson also made an impressive leaping grab down the sideline on a ball thrown by White. The tight end was a mismatch all afternoon long for Jeff Casteel's defense and they never had an answer for Johnson in the passing game.

The team even worked on what head coach Bill Stewart called the "NASCAR" drill. The team ran a play and then immediately hustled off the field to set up for a field goal as quickly as possible. The transitions were solid, and the drill will again be practiced during the Gold-Blue game. Practice concluded on a touchdown run by Pat White of a scramble during two-minute drills.

BlueGoldNews Top Stories