Lessons Learned

Film study and recognition were key factors in Nate Sowers' big third quarter interception against Syracuse.

Sowers, who has seen spot duty at spur this year, had his most extensive action, and certainly his best performance, against the Orange. Part of the credit for his showing goes to his ability to put film study into action, as he did with his third quarter interception that snuffed a likely Syracuse scoring drive.

The Orange started that foray on its own 20, and moved to West Virginia's 36 in seven effective plays. From there, on second and seven, they went to a play that had been successful for them in the past.

"They had been running a power [run] and then they had gotten us on the play-action pass off of it," Sowers said. "I was kind of expecting a pass in that situation and I just dropped back and made the play. They ran the fullback into the flat and the tight end behind me. I was expecting the pass to go one of the two of them, and when I saw the fullback go into the flat, I knew it had to be a pass.

Syracuse quarterback Cameron Dantley had a clear field of vision to the tight end on the deeper portion of the route, but probably didn't pick up Sowers, who was dropping on a diagonal route that took him into the path of the pass at the last moment. Leaping high out of his retreat, Sowers snared the pass and tumbled to the ground to reverse the momentum the Orange had worked so hard to regain.

When asked to describe his leap, Sowers issued a self-deprecating laugh.

"I don't know about that, I'll have to watch film first," he joked. "I don't really have the jumps like everyone else does."

Certainly he had them on this play, though. And that wasn't the only big plays for the West Virginia native.

"It was probably my best day on defense so far, but I still have improvement to make. It does feel good to make a play. But I need to get better. That's just what we try to do as a team. You just have to take that next step.

Sowers played well in his time at spur, cutting down fullback Tony Fiammetta on his favorite route in the flat and totalling four tackles overall. His emergence gives WVU two solid spurs (Sidney Glover) and quality depth at the spot.

Like any good competitor, Sowers eyes improvement as his primary goal. However, it's clear to see that he is becoming more and more efficient in his role on defense.

"We made some mistakes this game. We had a slow start, and I'm sure we could have played better, but we got the win."


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