No. 1 Unit Dominates Annual Spring Game

The West Virginia football team's No. 1 offense scored quickly and frequently in the first half to lead the Gold squad to a 35-7 victory over the Blue in the team's annual spring game Saturday afternoon in Morgantown.

The Gold unit, which featured the members of the Mountaineer roster nearest to the top of the depth chart, was led by quarterback Jarrett Brown.

Brown, the senior who inherits the starting job from the departed Pat White, shined in the first half. He didn't throw a single incomplete pass until less than two minutes remained in the opening half, hitting on his first 15 attempts.

The West Palm Beach, Fla., native finished 21-of-28 passing for 273 yards and four touchdowns.

"Jarrett Brown, I thought, played extremely well," said West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart. "He was 21-of-28 and threw some nice balls."

Brown's favorite target was wide receiver Wes Lyons, who put the finishing touches on a highly successful spring by catching six passes for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Lyons, a senior, had two grabs on the game's opening drive, including a 14-yard scoring catch.

He followed that up later with a highlight-reel play, snaring a pass from Brown about 15 yards from the line of scrimmage before absorbing a big hit, keeping his feet and stretching the ball over the goal line to make the score 28-7 in favor of the Gold.

"Wes is stronger, more confident and playing very consistent," Stewart said. "He caught a ball out there today he never would have caught until this year. He got thumped pretty well and made a big catch."

Brown would later run the two-minute drill just before the half, getting big chunks of yards on completions of 25 and 22 yards to Lyons and receiver Bradley Starks, respectively.

Starks hauled in a 10-yard scoring pass just before the half to make the score 35-7.

Neither offense managed to drive into its opponent's red zone in the second half.

That perhaps balanced things out after an explosive first half that featured 28 points in the first 12 minutes of the game.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the day belonged to running back Noel Devine, who ran left before cutting across the field to his right and out-running the Blue defense for a 74-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0 early.

Satisfied with what they had seen, the WVU coaching staff sat Devine for the rest of the game. The junior finished with 85 yards on only three carries.

RIFLE REPORTS:

  • While there was plenty of reason for the Mountaineer coaching staff to be happy after the game, there was at least one significant reason for pessimism.

    Offensive lineman Don Barclay went down in the first quarter with an injury to what Stewart termed a "non-weight bearing bone" in his leg. The sophomore had to be carted off the field and went straight to the locker room.

    "Donny is still under review and evaluation," Stewart said. "The great thing is he had knee braces on. It could have been big trouble had he not had braces on."

    The only other injury issue was that of linebacker J.T. Thomas, who did not see action after being hobbled by an ankle injury.

  • The lone score of the day for the Blue squad came from a West Virginia native that may become a more integral part of the WVU team this fall.

    Jordan Roberts, a walk-on running back out of Scott High School, found a seam to the right side of the offensive line and showed impressive speed in outrunning the first-team defense for a 65-yard touchdown.

    Stewart said Roberts is almost assuredly going to see the field on special teams in the fall and also said the Madison, W.Va., native could be a factor for playing time as a short-yardage runner.

  • The Mountaineer coaching staff opted to sit many of its starters in the fourth quarter, giving some backups a bit more playing time.

    Brown was replaced on the Gold squad by Coley White in the fourth quarter. White had been quarterbacking the Blue team until that point. The redshirt freshman finished 4-of-5 passing for 22 yards with the No. 1 offense and was 5-of-8 for 43 yards with the backups.

    "I liked the way Coley White moved the offense," Stewart said. "He knew where to go with the ball. He matured out there today and it was nice to see that."

    White's longest pass of the day came on a 24-yard hookup with freshman receiver Logan Heastie, who suited up with the Blue squad.


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