Stew's Views

West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart is preternaturally positive, so it's no surprise to hear him dish out praise after the day's work. However, Stewart did note, in the kindest manner possible, a couple of shortcomings of West Virginia's practice over the past couple of days.

Of course, those couple of slight clouds were accompanied with lots of sunshine. Herewith are Stewart's talking points after Day Four of WVU's fall camp.

  • The defensive secondary continued to show some sparks. "Quentin Andrews had two big interceptions today. He, Eain Smith and Nate Sowers all had good days. And then in comes Courtney Stuart, Robert Sands and Sidney Glover. Our safety spots may be a pleasant surprise, even though we are replacing four starters. I think they will be a little better than we thought, than the coaches thought and than you thought. That's good. And Ellis Lankster continues to play very well. Kent Richardson, and I thought Brandon Hogan, did a nice job a few times today. He's showed up well so far."

    The one negative for the defense was a series of plays in third and four and third and seven situational testing. "They weren't quite as good there as they were in third and two," said Stewart. "The defense stopped the offense four out of five times there."

    Of course, the flip side of that performance is that the offense failed to gain a first down on four of five short yardage tries. For a team that is struggling to find an answer for third and short, that's not an auspicious start. However, Stewart had a couple of silver linings to look at.

    "It can be hard to get some of those when you are in shells," he noted, "and Zach Hulse banged it up in there a little bit, and made some nice plays. And Ryan Clarke comes in from class, and he needs to lose some weight, but when he runs it up in there he is smoking. He rolls his hips and bangs it up in there, and we're pleased with his enthusiasm."

  • The offense responded with a series of good plays on longer third down conversion attempts, and capped the day with two very efficient drives in hurry up mode.

    "It wasn't two-minute drill, just a fast-paced two series," Stewart reported. "The offense was clicking after that terrible beginning. I was very pleased with the way the offense responded there."

  • The line of the day from Stewart concerning Clarke's weight: "The airlines would probably charge him the extra $25." Listed at 235 pounds, Clarke is certainly north of the 250-pound mark.

  • Some do-overs in the special teams practice periods underscore Stewart's attention to the bomb squads.

    "The punt we had to do over from yesterday, because it wasn't good," he revealed. It improved a lot from yesterday. Kickoff was pretty nice too. We have to smooth some things out, but it's just the first week. And if we don't overkick Pat [McAfee] and stay smooth in practice, we have some nice schemes and dangerous return men."

    Stewart noted that he might return to some schemes in the return game with proven success at WVU.

  • West Virginia will hold full-scale scrimmages on this Saturday and then Wednesday and Saturday of next week. The following Sunday is Fan Day.

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