Stew's Views - 8/7

West Virginia completed the first half of its first two-a-day practices on Thursday, and head coach Bill Stewart provided an update on the work and camp to date.

"We had a pretty spirited practice this morning," Stewart said. "We did some situational drills with the special teams, and we had some nice work there. Offense versus defense, again, I thought that the offense did a pretty good job. In the two-minute drill, the defense thumped us today, and they did an outstanding job."

While noting that the defense is often ahead early in fall, those looking for signs of life on the offensive side of the ball have to look to the trio of Patrick White, Noel Devine and Alric Arnett. Those are the players showing up most consistently in practice to date, but it's not enough to help the offense gain the upper hand. While White's release and passes do look a bit better, there's no doubt that it's his takeoff ability that is generating some of the offensive gains.

The offense is still working to get the timing and motion portions of its offense down, and that is likely a contributor to some of the problems there as well. The officiated scrimmages to come will provide a good marker as to how far West Virginia has progressed in those areas, and how far it has to go.

Technique work was a focus of the morning session, while the afternoon periods will feature full pads and more contact work of the sort that highlighted Thursday's practice.

"We worked very hard this morning on pass protection, and on assignments and footwork," Stewart noted. "This afternoon, we will go out, and we will work. We're going to bang, it's going to be an intense one, and it is going to be hot, which is great.

"We will do situational third downs, and we're going to work on the hurry up field goal, putting the ball on the near hash with a certain time on the clock, and then we'll put the ball on the far hash and do a couple reps of that. It's going to be a pretty intense day. "

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There is still no final decision as to the status of Pat Liebig, whose case is dragging out longer than that of Sam Sheppard. WVU is gathering more material documenting Liebig's situation and reasons for leaving school, which will hopefully be enough for a positive ruling.

Without naming names, Stewart expressed a bit of disappointment, albeit in his usual jovial manner, with the way in which freshmen are handling injuries and treatment.

"We have some freshmen that can't get with it so we will get them with it. It's funny, they come over here, and they find ways to get lost," he joked. "Right now, treatment is as important as playing, and they will learn that. We just have to give them a couple reminders."

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WVU will hold another practice session on Friday and wrap up the first week of camp with a situational scrimmage on Saturday.


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