The defense made up for their lack of big plays yesterday by snatching up four turnovers on the soggy Morgantown afternoon, when a thunderstorm forced practice to move from the floor of the stadium to the Indoor Practice Facility.
"[The defense] forced four turnovers so they didn't have to run any extra," said Stewart. "One [of the turnovers] was a blocked field goal. That's a no-no in Mountaineer football. It was blocked by Joshua Taylor right up the middle. It was a great learning situation for our defense. If the ball gets blocked, and you're on defense, the ball is on your side and you ‘get away, get away, get away.' But if the ball gets blocked and the ball is on their side then you scoop and score."
After waiting in vain for the rain to stop, Stewart moved his team into the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility.
"I think toughness is what we saw today when we went out of the room and moved to the practice facility," said Stewart. "They're like trained mules. If you go from one building to the next, ask any coach in the business, it throws off their moxie. That was the tough mental part we did today."
Toughness has been an early theme for the Mountaineers during fall camp. Stewart hopes to see his team walking tough, talking tough and most importantly practicing tough.
"I wanted to get pads on," admitted Stewart. "I wanted to put the helmets and shoulder pads on and see someone knock them back. They did that on both sides of the ball. Scooter Berry stepped up next to me towards the end of practice and said ‘What do you think, Boss? Pretty good on both sides, wasn't it?' That's toughness. You practice it. You live it. You have to play it."
Stewart was not pleased about practice being moved indoors due to lightning. Had that been absent, the move would not have occurred.
"I wanted to stay out in the rain today," said Stewart. "I wanted to see how we played in the rain today with the humidity. I wanted to work on some wet ball stuff because we will have that happen in the mid-Atlantic states in which we play but the lightning came and foiled our plan."
Before being moved inside, Stewart showed an obvious focus on special teams. The three competing placekickers, Cameron Starke, Tyler Bitancurt, and Josh Lider, all had their time to kick some balls at the uprights. Kickoff return was not practiced due to the rain.
"It was a good day overall," said Stewart. "They practiced hard."
Fall camp continues tomorrow with another single afternoon session.