Mountaineers cite depth at defensive line and growth at wide receiver ahead of Backyard Brawl

“Everyone understands how important this game is for West Virginia,” said Lee Kpogba.
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 6:58 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - As WVU football continues preparation for the beginning of the season, defensive line coach Andrew Jackson says that he has around 10 guys that he says are ready to suit up on the front lines. When considering how you get to be so deep, coach Jackson says that you have to focus on the individual.

“Some guys are walk through guys. Some guys are draw on the board guys. Some guys are watching it on tape. Some guys like to see our other guys go through drills,” said coach Jackson. “Which is the good thing about having Dante and Taijh around. They’re really good in the drill work and having technique. You have to cover all of your bases from a learning style standpoint.”

On the offensive side of the ball, WR coach Tony Washington enters his first year as an assistant for the Mountaineers. As a former NFL player, he cites that simplifying his knowledge was key to him becoming a successful wideout coach prior to his time in Morgantown.

“With any position in coaching the hardest part is, obviously as coaches, we know about the game,” said coach Washington. “We know this, we know that, but it’s being able to communicate it, get it and package it the way that players understand. I know what to do - but how can I tell you what I know? How can I translate that? It was finding a way to simplify what I know and give it to guys who are younger and don’t have as much experience.”

Of course, for the players, the elephant in the room is the Backyard Brawl.

“I heard a lot about it. All the guys on the team, you know, they’ve been here on the team,” said junior linebacker Lee Kpogba. “I mean, none of them have played Pitt, but I think everyone understands how important this game is for West Virginia fans and us as a football team. We’re gonna be ready.”

“We’ve had the countdown ever since 200 and some days, so we’ve definitely been looking forward to this one,” said sophomore offensive lineman Wyatt Milum.

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