During his formative years growing up in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, La., West Virginia's Selvish Capers never experienced the wrath of a hurricane. As far as severe weather is concerned, Capers may have gotten out of town just in time.
"I had just gotten here (in 2005), and my parents were going back home, and they got the warning that (Hurricane Katrina) was going to hit," Capers recalled. "Hurricanes never hit us; they always missed. When Katrina hit, that was a big deal."
Three years later, just hours before kickoff for West Virginia's season opener against Villanova, Capers received a call from home with word that another unwelcomed guest would be making landfall near his hometown shortly.
"I talked to my mom; I think it was Saturday before the game," Capers said. "She told me that they were preparing to evacuate, that they would be leaving out on Sunday. They left on Sunday, and then sent me a voicemail once they got to Mississippi to let me know that they were alright. I talked to her yesterday, and they told me again that everything was fine.
"We don't know if there's any damage or how bad it is back home because they haven't gotten to go back yet, but their lives are fine."
With that in mind, Capers is doing his best to focus solely on football this week. Having seen the speed and athleticism of East Carolina's front on full display during Saturday's upset of Virginia Tech, concentrating on the Pirates should not be much of a problem.
"They're very fast," he observed. "They beat Virginia Tech, and I give them many props for that. We're going out there thinking that we're playing for a championship no matter who we're playing. We have to show them the respect that they've earned. We're both 1-0, but someone will be 1-1 after this game."
The Mountaineers worked a lot in the spring and fall camp on their pass blocking, which was on full display in the 48-21 win over the Wildcats. To the naked eye, the pass protection looked to be pretty good against Villanova, but Capers says there is still work to be done both in pass protection and in run blocking.
"We still made a lot of mistakes, but with Pat throwing the touchdowns nobody sees it," he said. "We'll work on it this week to get it corrected and hopefully everything comes out well this Saturday.
"Our run blocking, we have a couple of things we need to clean up on, some nicks and knacks. I think that for the most part we'll continue to be a very versatile offense, both running and throwing."