Taylor Made Replacement?

While WVU's veteran defensive line coach wasn't pleased to see one of his stalwarts go down with an injury last Saturday, it did give him an opportunity to give two younger players a bit of valuable game experience.

Mountaineer assistant coach Bill Kirelawich has been around college football for a long time, and even with a front three as solid as his combination of Scooter Berry, Julian Miller and Chris Neild, he said he's had plenty to work on this season.

"I've been here 30 years and I've been scrambling all 30 of ‘em," he said. "There's never a time when I can just sit back and relax and say, ‘They're good to go now.' They're never good to go."

"I'm never satisfied unless there's zeros in that column under whoever it is we're playing. That's the only time I'll ever be satisfied. That's because I'm old and crotchety, I guess."

The defensive line coach had a chance to utilize two players a bit behind his typical three starters during West Virginia's 35-20 victory over East Carolina in the season's second game.

When Berry went down with a shoulder injury, he utilized younger players Josh Taylor and Jorge Wright in tandem to play out the rest of the game.

While the coach better known as "Kirlav" said Wright was a bit further down the depth chart, Taylor, who was recently promoted from walk-on status and given a scholarship, was set to see the field regardless of the circumstances.

"He's worked himself to a point that, in my mind, he's earned the time he's getting," Kirelawich said of Taylor. "He would have gotten that regardless of whether Scooter had gone down or not."

Wright, who is only a redshirt freshman, isn't quite to that point yet. The Miami, Fla., native got a bit of game experience, subbing in and out with Taylor at the defensive end spot normally occupied by Berry.

"Jorge has yet to be in the rotation," the position coach said in his typical, straightforward style. "That's what he's working to get. Jorge is coming along. He's a freshman, and he plays like one."

While both players are still relatively young contributors to a defensive line that is anchored by three experienced players, the chance to compete against a real opponent outside of practice may prove to be a benefit to the duo down the line.

"Josh, I thought, did some good things (against ECU)," Kirelawich said. "Jorge, I thought, got better. I thought Josh's game improved all the way around."

"Josh is my kind of football player. Jorge will become my kind of football player. He's not there yet. He's just a little bit away. Hopefully, every day he gets closer to becoming my kind of football player."

Officially, Berry is listed as day-to-day as he attempts to rehabilitate his shoulder. As West Virginia players came off the field from their Tuesday afternoon practice, the veteran was seen in a red jersey (signaling no participation in practice) with his injured right arm down and not inside the sleeve.

"He's not out yet," Kirelawich said of the junior. "There's a chance of him playing right up until (the game). We can't talk about him being out until we know he's out for sure, and to me, it will be a game-time decision."

While the defensive line coach said he didn't want to talk about hypotheticals, in the case that Berry can not play against the Tigers, he kept his cards close to the vest as to what the defense might do differently.

Jeff Casteel could choose to utilize a speedy linebacker to rush off the edge a bit more. He could continue to rotate Taylor and Wright in at the end spot normally taken by Berry. Perhaps some unknown other plan is in the works.

Whatever the potential solution, Kirelawich said that the defensive staff is prepared to throw the kitchen sink at AU's potent rushing offense.

"Let me tell you something -- when you play a team like Auburn, anything is a possibility," he said. "You leave no stone unturned. We'll see what happens. I can't go over the plan, because then it won't be a plan -- everyone would know who's coming into the game on Saturday."


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