Scrimmage Notes

Fall football camp in Morgantown has reached its midway point, with Saturday's scrimmage offering at least a slight peak of what's to come when the regular season begins three weeks from now.

West Virginia completed a scrimmage of roughly 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon at Mountaineer Field with the first-string offense getting in a total of 35 plays under sunny, clear skies in the University City.

Among the offensive standouts were Pat White (the sun did come up today, after all), Alric Arnett and Tyler Urban. Urban, who will almost certainly avoid a redshirt at this point and could be in the mix for major playing time early, hauled in a long pass from Patrick White in situational work with the offense coming out from the shadow of its own goal line.

White, despite wearing a no-contact yellow jersey, managed to walk into the end zone from eight-yards away during the offense's first possession of the day, which began from its own 35. Tailback Noel Devine is also donning the gold jersey, traditionally saved for quarterbacks.

The offense later scored on a nice run by freshman running back Terence Kerns during red zone work, and a 10-yard pass from Bradley Starks to Ryan Nehlen.

Backup quarterback Jarrett Brown tweaked a hamstring today, but should not miss any practice time next week. In his absence, Starks worked a lot with the No. 2 offense at quarterback. Starks is also contending for a starting spot at one of the two outside receiver positions.

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A pair of positional battles on offense still do not look as though they will be resolved anytime soon.

At right tackle, propped senior Selvish Capers and bowl game standout Stephen Maw are locked in a titanic struggle. Capers received a bulk of the reps with the first string on Saturday, but neither he nor Maw look to have an advantage at this point. After practice, Capers noted he does not expect a decision to come down until the end of fall camp at the earliest.

While elevated play has made the battle at right tackle intriguing, the ongoing struggle to find a backup for Noel Devine continues to be plagued by mistakes. The first two plays with the second team offense resulted in a pair of fumbles by those battling for the position. Later, with the Mountaineers working on end-of-half scenarios, one of the candidates mistakenly held on to the ball for too long after the play, letting the clock run out in the process.

The aforementioned Kerns did have a handful of nice runs on the day, and looks to be separating himself ever-so-slightly for the rights to be No. 2. However if the season started today and something were to happen to starter Noel Devine, it would likely be starting slot receiver Jock Sanders taking the bulk of the reps in the backfield.

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Among those dressed in colors other than blue (defense), gold (QB's and Devine) and white (offense) on Saturday were linebackers Archie Sims and Reed Williams in green, wide receiver J.D. Woods in red (with his arm in a sling), and running back Zach Hulce in green.

Starting fullback Will Johnson continued to wear red, as did starting left tackle Ryan Stanchek. Bill Stewart noted afterwards that he expects both players back by the end of next week.

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Sunday will be a rare off day for the Mountaineers in fall camp, with no practice or media sessions scheduled.

BlueGoldNews.com will have plenty more from today's scrimmage including the comments of head coach Bill Stewart, reaction from players, and photo galleries.


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