Stew's Views -- Saturday Scrimmage

By and large, head coach Bill Stewart was pleased with what he witnessed during Saturday's scrimmage at Mountaineer Field.

At the conclusion of Saturday's 90-minute scrimmage – the first such matchup of fall camp – there were a handful of noticeable observations to take into account.

First and foremost, quarterback Patrick White is as good as ever. Still running, still throwing, still leading and still looking like every bit of the Heisman Trophy candidate that many expect him to be.

Second and similarly, sophomore running back Noel Devine looks more than poised to step in for departed star Steve Slaton.

And of course, West Virginia's linebackers – anchored by Mortty Ivy and J.T. Thomas with senior Reed Williams's status still up in the air – continue to look like one of the most talented groups of ‘backers to ever suit up in the blue and gold.

Despite these certainties, though, there are still plenty of questions left unanswered with the first week of fall camp in the books. Most prevalent among them is who will backup Devine at running back. And if anyone has an answer, it might not be a bad idea to phone head coach Bill Stewart and let him know.

"I don't know what we're going to do about one of our tailbacks, second team who is trying to get the position goes in and fumbles first play. The other guy, on a swing pass, he fumbled," Stewart said. "That can't happen. The day was over for the one guy, and the other guy came back and made a couple good plays. "But," he continued, "We will not hesitate to play Jock Sanders as our second tailback, I can tell you that right now."

That's certainly good news for Sanders…sort of. Problem is, the talented sophomore from St. Petersburg, Fla. has all but locked down a starting gig at one of the slot receiver positions. Thus, the sense of urgency for Stewart and his staff to find another body or two to tote the pigskin in the rare event that Devine is not in the game.

Save for the situation at running back, Stewart was very pleased with what he saw on Saturday afternoon. The head coach singled out a pair of freshmen for their efforts on the afternoon.

First, it was tight end Tyler Urban rumbling down the sideline on a 45-yard catch and run from Patrick White.

"What I saw, was a big play from Pat White to Tyler Urban, and I'll tell you what- he will press Will Johnson for playing time," Stewart said of the freshman from Norwin, Pa. "He's a tight end/full back and that was a big-time catch for an 18-year old man. He is going to be a good one so that was really nice to see."

Later, it was freshman Army All-American Josh Jenkins giving the business to an unidentified defensive lineman.

"I saw Josh Jenkins have a guy over there almost into the stadium blocking, and it was like a mad dog in the meat house; he was really going after it, and it was fun to see that," Stewart noted.

Having seen some good, some bad and certainly some ugly, perhaps the best news for Stewart and company is that a week of camp still remains, with three weeks to go until the season kickoff against Villanova. Between now and then, the New Martinsville native is hopeful that those questions which still linger will find answers.

"Next week, we're going to get up to where we can play the second half. After that, our scrimmage on the 16th and once school begins on the 18th, what we'll do then is start getting ready for Villanova. That is how we're going to do it. We have one more week until classes begin. Those who are injured will not leave this building. Those who need work will not leave this building. This is football 101, and we are going to spend all next week with football."


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