The Charleston Gazette | Syvertson used punting to get foot in the door with Mountaineers

There has come a point in every one of West Virginia’s spring football games over the years when a player does something and everyone in attendance is left wondering, “Who is that guy?’’

And yes, it happened a week ago when the Mountaineers finished their spring drills with the Gold-Blue game.

In the second half, in the middle of the defensive unit, there was a No. 42 making plays both good and bad, at least once on the same snap. He would finish the afternoon with three tackles, one of them an 8-yard sack of quarterback Skyler Howard and another a 3-yard loss pinned on transfer running back Rushel Shell.

But according to the roster distributed that day, the only No. 42 on the defensive team was punter Houstin Syvertson, the walk-on from Shady Spring. He was even listed as a punter on that roster. It couldn’t have been him, right?

Wrong.

via The Charleston Gazette | Syvertson used punting to get foot in the door with Mountaineers.

The Charleston Gazette | Luck encouraging fans to join amateurism debate

If you’re fascinated over the debate sparked by Northwestern athletes’ attempt to unionize, you’re not alone.

You should talk to West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck.

In fact, he’s encouraging it.

Recently, Luck sent an email to all Mountaineer Athletic Club Directors (those who donate at least $3,500 annually) asking their opinion on the topic.

“What prompted that,” Luck said, “is in the next six months, there will be a lot of discussions among athletic directors, commissioners and university presidents. And it hit me we really don’t know what our fan base is thinking, so we sent that out.”

via The Charleston Gazette | Luck encouraging fans to join amateurism debate.

Comeback Leads to Series Win at Oklahoma – WVU Athletics

The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

Junior center fielder Bobby Boyd and junior right fielder Brad Johnson each had four hits, and senior left fielder Jacob Rice finished with three hits. Junior catcher Cam O’Brien drove in five runs and Johnson scored twice.

Oklahoma jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two innings, highlighted by back-to-back home runs off the bats of Mac James and Hunter Haley in the bottom of the first.

After the West Virginia offense produced eight two-out hits in the first five innings, they scored three runs apiece in the sixth and seventh innings to take a 6-4 lead.

via Comeback Leads to Series Win at Oklahoma – WVU Athletics.

Track Earns Several Top Finishes – WVU Athletics

The West Virginia University track and field team claimed several top-10 finishes at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, N.J., this weekend.

Senior Chene Townsend led the Mountaineers with three top-10 finishes. In the women's 100 meter hurdles, Townsend took second with a season-best 13.54. She followed the performance in the hurdles with a second-place finish in the 100 meter dash, crossing the line in 11.9. The time was the fastest recorded this outdoor season by WVU, and Townsend's first appearance in the event this year. Her third top finish came in the 200 meter dash, running a 25.02 to earn 10th place.

Senior Stormy Nesbit earned second-place honors with a season-best triple jump of 12.66 meters. Her previous long of the season came on April 5 when she jumped 12.59 meters.

Competing in the 4×400 meter relay, the team of sophomore Christa D'Egidio, sophomore Alyssa Scherich, senior Arielle Gaither and freshman Bria Welker claimed fifth-place overall, and first in its heat, with a 3:52.66, setting a new season-best for the Mountaineers.

via Track Earns Several Top Finishes – WVU Athletics.

WATCH: The WVU Coaches Show

In case you missed it on television, be sure to catch this week's episode of The WVU Coaches Show in its entirety on WVi.

via WATCH: The WVU Coaches Show – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – O’Brien’s big day highlights series-clinching comeback at Oklahoma

Back in his home state, Cam O’Brien homered and drove in a career-high five runs, sparking West Virginia’s comeback for a series-clinching 9-5 win at Oklahoma on Saturday.

The Mountaineers (19-16, 4-7) matched their season-high with 18 hits and rallied from four runs down to take two of three in the series.

“That’s what you call a character win,” said West Virginia coach Randy Mazey. “A game like that shows the character of your team. That’s the grind-it-out, relentless mentality we’ve talked about from the first day of our program.”

via WV MetroNews – O’Brien’s big day highlights series-clinching comeback at Oklahoma.

Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: NCAA change could shift recruiting practices

On Tuesday, the NCAA didn’t merely budge. It relented. The governing body of college sports adopted a handful of shrewd rules that, it says, enhance the well-being of student-athletes. Chief among them is the one that will allow for all-you-can-eat conditions at your favorite athletic department.

It is long overdue, and it’s had the NCAA’s attention for months. Before UConn guard Shabazz Napier said at the Final Four he sometimes went to bed hungry because his scholarship didn’t cover enough food. Before WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen told me in July he had walk-ons and scholarship players who were starving at the end of a long day for the same reasons Napier claimed.

Now student-athletes and walk-ons are on track to have unlimited meals and snacks, provided the idea survives the override period (not guaranteed) and is approved later this month (more likely than not). Thank Napier for giving the topic attention. Thank Holgorsen for being bold enough to point out the problem. Thank their brethren who have said the same without the same spotlight.

But believe it or not, it’s wise to thank the NCAA.

via Charleston Daily Mail | Mike Casazza: NCAA change could shift recruiting practices.

Sloanhoffer’s Career Ends at NCAAs – WVU Athletics

West Virginia University senior Hope Sloanhoffer ended her Mountaineer career with a 38.725 showing at the 2014 NCAA National Championships, tonight, at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center.

Sloanhoffer, a Cornwall, N.Y., native, finished 19th in the all-around in tonight’s semifinal session. She just missed earning All-America honors, as she finished ninth on vault with a season-best 9.875 score. The top-eight places, including ties, earn All-America awards.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Hope,” says Mountaineer coach Jason Butts. “This was her first time at this event in this exciting environment, and for her to hit her first three routines was great. That fall on beam was so uncharacteristic, but she will not be defined by it. I’m very happy for the night she had.”

via Sloanhoffer's Career Ends at NCAAs – WVU Athletics.

Baseball Falls at Oklahoma in Eighth Inning – WVU Athletics

The WVU baseball team fell 5-3 in a back-and-forth game against Oklahoma on Friday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Oklahoma’s Mac James launched a two-run home run over the left field fence to give the Sooners the go-ahead lead.

The series is now tied after WVU won the first game, 7-0, on Thursday evening. West Virginia (18-16, 3-7 Big 12) finished with six hits and did not record an error for the third-straight game. The Sooners improved to 25-15 overall and 5-6 in Big 12 play.

Junior left-hander Harrison Musgrave (3-3) dropped his second-straight Big 12 contest, pitching eight innings and allowing five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

via Baseball Falls at Oklahoma in Eighth Inning – WVU Athletics.

Munden’s Improvement Paces Mountaineers – WVU Athletics

A pleasant surprise this season for the West Virginia University baseball team has been the play of junior shortstop Taylor Munden, who has shown the ability to jumpstart the offense and play sound defense.

“Last year was tough time for me. I took that as motivation to go into this year and taking my defense to heart,” Munden says. “I had a lot of errors last year and I have tried to fix that. The game has really slowed down for me this year and I think I’ve played my role and not tried to do to much.”

Last night, Munden led the Mountaineers off with a single in the first inning, triggering a five-run first inning that became a 7-0 victory. It marked the 11th time Munden has reached to lead off in 31 games this season.

via Munden's Improvement Paces Mountaineers – WVU Athletics.

WATCH: WVU Gold-Blue Game Replay

Dana Holgorsen and the West Virginia University football team wrapped up their spring practices with the annual Gold-Blue Game in front of an estimated 10,000 fans at Milan Puskar Stadium.

WVU debuted the 2014 edition of the Mountaineers squad in a scrimmage that ended with the Gold team beating the Blue by a final of 37-27.

via WATCH: WVU Gold-Blue Game Replay – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – WVU special teams: Aiming to be really special in 2014

Today continues a position-by-position examination of where the West Virginia football team stands after spring practice.

The eight-day video series scours the two-deep as the Mountaineers glimpse ahead to the 2014 season, Dana Holgorsen’s fourth at the helm.

via WV MetroNews – WVU special teams: Aiming to be really special in 2014.

Scoop and Score (4/17/2014) : With Guest Dave Bartoo

Mike Casazza has been covering WVU athletics for 11 years. It only feels like 111.

Born in Hamilton, Ohio, and the victim of an earthquake the day he was baptized, he more or less grew up in Manassas, Va., where he attended Osbourn High. It is the same school Brandon Hogan led to its first state championship in 2006 and later gave WVU soccer flashy midfielder Travis Pittman. Mike would like to take some credit — and he has tried — but to no avail.

via Scoop and Score (4/17/2014) : With Guest Dave Bartoo.

The Charleston Gazette | Full-contact practices a hit with Holgorsen, QBs

If Dana Holgorsen found out nothing else about the three quarterbacks he had available during spring practices, it was how they performed under live conditions.

Truth is, he probably didn’t find out a whole lot more.

He already knew what one of the three, senior Paul Millard, could do after watching him for three years.

Skyler Howard, the junior college transfer, spent most of the spring simply learning what to do more so than showing what he could do.

And the same is pretty much true for walk-on Logan Moore who, while he’s been in the program going on two years, has mainly run other teams’ offenses with the scout team or dabbled at receiver.

via The Charleston Gazette | Full-contact practices a hit with Holgorsen, QBs.

Means Throws Eight Shutout Innings in Win at OU – WVU Athletics

Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.

"There is no way to draw it up any better than that. Means went deep into the game, his pitch count was low and he got outs early in the count," coach Randy Mazey says. "Ross (Vance) gave us a spark on Tuesday. Now that they know Sean (Carley) is at the end of the bullpen, I told a lot of people that it is going to take some pressure off our offense to try so hard to perform. We played a lot looser tonight and offensively we made things happen."

The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

via Means Throws Eight Shutout Innings in Win at OU – WVU Athletics.

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Information

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will open the 2014 college football season with not one, but two marquee games in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

The first game will feature Ole Miss versus Boise State on Thursday, Aug. 28. The opening game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The second game will pit projected pre-season top-5-ranked Alabama against West Virginia on Saturday, Aug. 30. The Crimson Tide vs. the Mountaineers will kick off at 3:30 p.m. EST and will be televised nationally on ABC and ESPN2.

Both games represent the first-ever meeting between the teams.

via Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Information – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WVU Adds Tarik Phillip to 2014 Class

West Virginia has added one more piece to its basketball team with the signing of Tarik Phillip for the 2014-15 academic year.

Head coach Bob Huggins announced that Phillip, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Mountaineers starting this upcoming season.

Phillip currently attends Independence Community College and come to WVU with three years of eligibility remaining.

"We are excited to be able to land a guard as talented as Tarik in the late signing period," Huggins said in a release from the University. "Every coach we talked to labeled Tarik as a winner. He gives us much-needed versatility in the backcourt with the ability to play both guard positions. We look for him to be very instrumental in our quest to become a great defensive team again."

via WVU Adds Tarik Phillip to 2014 Class – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Linebackers: Will they be nasty or negligible?

Today continues a position-by-position examination of where the West Virginia football team stands after spring practice.

The eight-day video series runs through the two-deep as we look four months ahead to the Mountaineers’ 2014 opener against Alabama and Year 3 in the Big 12 Conference.

via WV MetroNews – Linebackers: Will they be nasty or negligible?.

Consistency crucial for WVU moving forward – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports

West Virginia’s 2013 season was a failure for many reasons. One of the biggest among those was the constant turnaround at the quarterback position.

With spring practice behind them, head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers are in a similar position to that of their 4-8 campaign in 2013.

The offense showed some signs of life during the Gold-Blue Spring game, albeit mostly against the second team defense, but for the unit to improve and stand a chance against Alabama in the season opener, someone has to step up and take the starting quarterback job.

via Consistency crucial for WVU moving forward – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports.

WVU defense improves significantly over two years – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports

In the 2012 season, the West Virginia Mountaineers allowed 131 more points than any other WVU football team in a single season in school history.

The majority of the problems seemed to stem from within the defensive secondary. On three separate occasions during the 2012 season, an opposing team threw for more than  500 yards. The only three times in West Virginia history that has ever happened. Two of those opposing quarterbacks threw six touchdowns each – another Mountaineers’ opponent record.

Collectively, WVU’s opponents threw for 4,078 yards and 38 touchdowns compared to just 10 interceptions in 2012. For a little perspective, Heisman winner Jameis Winston threw for 4,057 yards, 40 touchdowns and 10 picks in the 2013 season.

via WVU defense improves significantly over two years – The Daily Athenaeum Online: Sports.