Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Battle-tested Mountaineers reach soft spot in schedule

The questions will come at Dana Holgorsen this week, and West Virginia’s coach will be asked again and again about preparing to play a Kansas team that fired its head coach six days before their game at Mountaineer Field.

KU coach Charlie Weis was dismissed Sunday, a day after the Jayhawks lost their homecoming game to Texas, 23-0. He was 6-22 in his third season with a 1-18 mark in Big 12 games. The lone win came last season against WVU, which plays host to Kansas (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) at 4 p.m. Saturday on Root Sports.

The Jayhawks named defensive coordinator Clint Bowen the interim coach, and he and offensive coordinator John Reagan can be expected to coach more toward their preferences than they had under Weis. Kansas has been outscored 64-3 in losses to Duke and Texas, the only high visibility conference teams it has played this season.

The Mountaineers (2-2, 0-1) are in an unusual spot as they prepare for certain unknowns, but there isn’t much they can do about it, and there might not be much to come from it. There’s nothing on film to hint at adjustments that have not yet happened, but there isn’t enough time for Kansas to present many wholesale and effective changes.

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Battle-tested Mountaineers reach soft spot in schedule.

The Charleston Gazette | Worley has at least a chance of returning soon

Charlie Weis won’t be around when Kansas visits West Virginia Saturday, but Daryl Worley might not be out of the picture.

The wheels have been put in motion for Worley’s possible return to WVU’s football team, the Gazette has learned, and it could be as soon as this week.

Worley was suspended indefinitely by WVU coach Dana Holgorsen two weeks ago when it was learned he was involved in an altercation in a Morgantown nightclub. The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Lux Nightclub, after the team had returned from a game at Maryland.

Worley, a sophomore cornerback from Philadelphia, was then arrested two days after Holgorsen announced his suspension and charged with a misdemeanor count of battery for allegedly pushing a woman down in the nightclub. Worley turned himself in and was released on $10,000 bond.

Worley’s attempt at reinstatement to the team centers around extenuating circumstances first pointed out publicly by his attorneys in a press release they issued two days after his arrest. The arrest report cited video evidence that Worley pushed the victim to the ground, but his attorneys claim that immediately prior to that the video also shows the victim advancing on Worley’s girlfriend.

via The Charleston Gazette | Worley has at least a chance of returning soon.

No. 13 Mountaineers Topple Texas – WVU Athletics

A first-half goal from junior forward Kelsie Maloney delivered the No. 13-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team its first Big 12 Conference win of the season, as the Mountaineers trumped Texas, 2-0, this afternoon at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Stout defense and key second-half saves by junior Hannah Steadman proved to be the difference today. WVU (8-2-2, 1-0-1 Big 12) allowed only one shot in the first half, negating any semblance of an offensive attack by the Longhorns. UT got its looks in the second half, placing seven shots on-goal, but Steadman stood tall for her fifth shutout of the year.

Today’s shutout marks the third straight match, and sixth time in 2014, the Mountaineers have not allowed a goal. The Longhorns (6-4-2, 1-1 Big 12) entered today’s match averaging 1.82 goals per game.

via No. 13 Mountaineers Topple Texas – WVU Athletics.

Three Go Undefeated as Mountaineers Excel at Home – WVU Athletics

The West Virginia University women’s tennis team opened the 2014 fall season with a 20-5 combined overall record at the Pink Invitational. The three-day event took place on the Mountaineer Tennis Courts from Friday, September 26 through Sunday, September 28.

“This weekend was a step in the right direction for our program. We showed a good fight and resiliency in singles play,” coach Lisac said. “In doubles we will continue to work on aggressive play and execution.”

via Three Go Undefeated as Mountaineers Excel at Home – WVU Athletics.

Volleyball Halts Texas Tech’s Win Streak – WVU Athletics

With Jordan Anderson’s career-best 24 kills leading the way, the West Virginia University volleyball team downed the previously undefeated Texas Tech Red Raiders, 3-1, in its first Big 12 road match of the season on Saturday afternoon at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock. The Mountaineers took the match in set scores of 25-22, 25-13, 20-25 and 25-22.

WVU (11-4, 1-1 Big 12) became the first team to beat the Red Raiders (13-1, 1-1 Big 12), earning its first league win of the season in the process. The Mountaineers have now won three straight against TTU.

 

"It's always good to get a win in the Big 12," said coach Jill Kramer. "If you look back a couple years ago to when we first joined the Big 12, how much further both of these teams have come in that time period is just outstanding. The first, second and fourth sets were some really good volleyball. We like to get wins but it's so much better when it's good volleyball."

via Volleyball Halts Texas Tech’s Win Streak – WVU Athletics.

Depleted WVU Secondary Adopting ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality

On paper, the WVU secondary had the potential to be among the strongest units on the team heading into fall camp.

However, that's when the dominoes began to fall in the wrong direction.

Senior cornerback Ishmael Banks, by far the most experienced player on WVU's secondary, was suspended for the first three games due to an unspecified NCAA academic eligibility issue.

“Icky [Banks] was in a battle for playing time when we pulled him off the field,” Holgorsen said during his press conference in advance to preparing for the Alabama Crimson Tide. “Terrell Chestnut has been doing well. He's a guy who's been in the program for three years. He understands what to do now and is healthy for the first time since he's been here. We at least have some guys to choose from. If you remember, two years ago when we were in some of these battles with Baylor out here and we were putting three, if I'm not mistaken, true freshman out there at corner. So I think we're in a much better place and we will welcome back Icky when he's cleared here in three weeks.”

via Depleted WVU Secondary Adopting ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.

WV MetroNews – Jayhawks fire Weis after shutout loss to Texas; owe remaining $7 million

The Dana Holgorsen-Charlie Weis rubber match won’t be happening.

When the Kansas Jayhawks visit West Virginia in six days, they’ll do so without Weis, who was fired Sunday with two years remaining on his five-year contract. A 23-0 homecoming loss to Texas marked the end of the line for Weis

Kansas athletics director Sheahon Zenger appointed defensive coordinator Clint Bowen as interim head coach.

via WV MetroNews – Jayhawks fire Weis after shutout loss to Texas; owe remaining $7 million.

WV MetroNews – NAPA Auto Parts Gold & Blue Now: Monday, Sept. 29

In this edition of the NAPA Auto Parts Gold and Blue Now, Garrett Cullen and Brad Howe analyze WVU’s upcoming home game against Kansas this Saturday.

Also, Huntington Prep’s Ryan Arrowood speaks out on why Levi Brown decommitted from the Mountaineers’ basketball program.

via WV MetroNews – NAPA Auto Parts Gold & Blue Now: Monday, Sept. 29.

The Charleston Gazette | WVU’s secondary depth to be tested

The depth on West Virginia’s football team that Dana Holgorsen has lauded as one of its strengths could be in for a test when the Mountaineers resume play next Saturday against Kansas.

That’s particularly true in the secondary.

Daryl Worley remains indefinitely suspended. Travis Bell is no longer a member of the team. Terrell Chestnut and Dravon Henry both have been battered and bruised, forced to leave games at least for a play or more in recent weeks.

“There’s a lot of guys who are second-team guys who need this week to improve,’’ Holgorsen said of the secondary during the bye week. “And then there are the starters who need to improve, as well. We’re 2-2.’’

On the plus side, Icky Banks returned after a three-game academic suspension and started against Oklahoma last week in place of Worley.

“I thought Icky played well,’’ Holgorsen said. “He’s got a lot of game experience. He went out there and competed. I didn’t view that as an issue of anything that we had going on on defense. He’ll continue to get better, as well.’’

What is an issue is getting the backups up to speed. Front and center in that group are Jeremy Tyler and Jaylon Myers.

via The Charleston Gazette | WVU’s secondary depth to be tested.

Men’s Soccer Dominant In Victory – WVU Athletics

The WVU men’s soccer team defeated Niagara, 2-0, in dominant fashion on Friday evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

The Mountaineers (5-4) finished with a season-high 25 shots, while the defense held the Purple Eagles to just four shots, a season low for an opponent.

“We needed to speed it up and I thought in the second half we did that,” coach Marlon LeBlanc said. “It got a lot faster and they really had to chase a lot harder. In the first half they were able to sit in their shape and keep things in front of them. We went backwards and sideways too much; in the second half we went forward.”

via Men’s Soccer Dominant In Victory – WVU Athletics.

Brumage Introducing Mindfulness to WVU – WVU Athletics

Col. Michael R. Brumage, a two-time West Virginia University graduate, the term ‘mindfulness’ did not mean much when it was first introduced to him. Five years later, Brumage is now one of the military leaders in field and has used mindfulness to help the Mountaineers.

Mindfulness was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn took patients that no other doctors wanted because they didn’t know what to do with them anymore. Lo and behold, when he started teaching mindfulness to them, they began to feel better and were more functional in their lives.

“Jon’s definition is paying attention in a particular way; on purpose; in the present moment, and non-judgmentally,” Brumage explained. “What I like to say is mindfulness is about showing up and paying attention. It is about being fully present for practice, conditioning, classes and games and staying on track despite distractions.

via Brumage Introducing Mindfulness to WVU – WVU Athletics.

Tennis Opens Fall Season at the Pink Invitational – WVU Athletics

The West Virginia University women’s tennis team opened its fall season at the Mountaineer Tennis Courts today in the Pink Invitational. The Mountaineers sported pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness.

Six Mountaineer players saw doubles action during the course of the day, while five members of the team participated in singles competition.

“We had a good start to the tournament today. We came out aggressive in doubles and had a good day of competition in singles as well,” coach Lisac said. “It is good for the whole team, but especially for freshmen to get over the hump and get the first match under their belt.”

via Tennis Opens Fall Season at the Pink Invitational – WVU Athletics.

Rifle Earns No. 1 Preseason Ranking – WVU Athletics

The West Virginia University rifle team is ranked No. 1 in the College Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) preseason Top 20 poll.

The Mountaineers, two-time defending NCAA Champions, ended last season at No. 1 after winning their nation-best 16th title.

“We have very high expectations of ourselves,” coach Jon Hammond said. “The rankings don’t change that.  We will be focused on achieving our goals like every other year.”

Alaska-Fairbanks, the 2014 national runner up, is ranked No. 2. Kentucky, the third-place finisher at the championship last season, sits at No. 3. Nebraska is ranked No. 4, while TCU earned the No. 5 spot.

The bottom half of the poll’s Top 10 is: Ohio State, Air Force, Jacksonville State, Army and Murray State.

via Rifle Earns No. 1 Preseason Ranking – WVU Athletics.

WV MetroNews – Bye week questions, Part II: Evaluating run game and wondering about Worley

With one-third of the football season behind them, the West Virginia Mountaineers enter a bye week wearing the look of a dangerous team, yet sporting a 2-2 record that shows plenty of gaps remaining.

We complete our two-day question-and-answer segment about where the team is headed during the next eight games:

via WV MetroNews – Bye week questions, Part II: Evaluating run game and wondering about Worley.

Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Kansas looks for landmark win prior to game against Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Kansas hasn’t beaten a team in back-to-back seasons in five years, a frightful fate awaiting West Virginia if it is unfit next weekend. That figures to be a little easier for the Jayhawks if they reach another landmark Saturday.

The Jayhawks haven’t beaten Texas since 1938, though they enter the weekend’s game with the better record for the first time since 1997.

Kansas (2-1) plays its Big 12 opener at home against the Lonhgorns (1-2) and then travels to play the Mountaineers (2-2, 0-1) at 4 p.m. Oct. 4.

“First of all, beating anyone in the Big 12 is important us,” said coach Charlie Weis, who is 6-21 in his fourth season with Kansas and 1-17 in conference games. “They all mean the same because we haven’t had much success at home or on the road. We’ve had one big 12 in the last few years and that was last year against West Virginia. We have a lot of respect for Texas, obviously as a program and for its tradition and everything that goes with it.”

via Charleston Daily Mail | WVU FOOTBALL: Kansas looks for landmark win prior to game against Mountaineers.

The Charleston Gazette | More expected out of WVU ground game

Through the first four games of the season, West Virginia’s running game hasn’t been what most hoped it would be.

Then again, as is the case with almost every other aspect of play, it’s hard to evaluate just how good or bad that rushing attack has been because of the quality of the opposition.

The facts are these: West Virginia is averaging 149.8 rushing yards per game and 3.4 yards per carry. The Mountaineers have run the ball more (175 times) than any team in the Big 12 and more than all but 10 other power-conference teams in the country, yet rank only 86th in rushing yards per game. Then again, WVU has run more plays overall than any team in the FBS, so that skews the attempts numbers just a bit. (West Virginia also ranks fourth nationally in passes attempted).

In truth, those numbers aren’t very far off the average for a WVU team over the past five years. Bill Stewart’s final team in 2010 averaged 159.7 yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry. Dana Holgorsen’s first team in 2011 averaged just 122.7 and 3.8. Last year the averages were 148.7 and 4.2.

The thing is, more was expected given the presence of five quality backs and what was seen as an improved offensive line. But the Mountaineers have yet to produce a 100-yard individual rushing game and in three games against FBS opponents are averaging only 116 rushing yards.

So what gives?

via The Charleston Gazette | More expected out of WVU ground game.

Campus Connection: 5 Nauseating Games – WVU Athletics

I have always enjoyed Dana Holgorsen’s tell-it-like-it-is approach with the media, and we got an entertaining example of it earlier this week when the coach was asked about last year’s 31-19 loss at Kansas – West Virginia’s game-five foe coming up next weekend.

“I’ve been watching (that game) for two straight days, and it makes me want to puke,” he said to scattered laughter.

It certainly was a nauseating performance for West Virginia, from watching James Sims run at will against the Mountaineers’ depleted defense to the offense putting on a successful demonstration of how to run three unsuccessful plays in a row before punting the football back to the Jayhawks.

At the conclusion of the game, a small band of KU students even converged on one of the goal posts the same way the U.S. Marines once went into Grenada.

via Campus Connection: 5 Nauseating Games – WVU Athletics.

Men’s Soccer Faces Niagara at Home – WVU Athletics

The WVU men’s soccer team will return home to the friendly confines of Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium for a non-conference match against Niagara on Friday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m.

The match has been designated as WVU Faculty/Staff Night, and all faculty and staff will receive a coupon via email for free admission.

“Our guys love playing at home,” coach Marlon Leblanc said. “As a coaching staff, we love providing them an atmosphere that’s conducive to being able to have a home field advantage. When our crowd shows up, our guys are motivated to perform for them.”

West Virginia (4-4) has played its last three games on the road, most recently falling 4-3 in double-overtime at James Madison on Tuesday evening.

via Men’s Soccer Faces Niagara at Home – WVU Athletics.

No. 13 Women’s Soccer Opens Big 12 Play – WVU Athletics

The Mountaineers (7-2-1) kick off their conference season at TCU on Friday, Sept. 26, at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium in Fort Worth. The squad then travels to Austin for a meeting with the Longhorns (5-3-2) on Sunday, Sept. 28, at Mike A. Myers Stadium & Soccer Field. The match at Texas will be carried by the Longhorn Network.

“Every team is going to present different problems,” explained Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Going into the Big 12 portion of our season, we have a lot of experiences and a lot of lessons learned. We’re going to build on those lessons and get this team better.”

WVU is 14-1-1 all-time in Big 12 regular-season matches and 2-0 in Big 12 openers. The team has won three straight conference regular-season titles, dating back to the 2011 Big East American Division title. WVU also is the defending Big 12 Soccer Tournament champions.

via No. 13 Women's Soccer Opens Big 12 Play – WVU Athletics.

WVU Offensive Production Back to Holgorsen-Like Numbers in 2014

It was the very first question WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen was asked during the Big 12 Football Media Days in Dallas back in July.

‘Dana, how much pressure do you feel is on you this year?'

“Oh, probably as much as everybody else in college football,” Holgorsen answered with a smirk. “It's obviously a very, very high profile and exciting time when it comes to each and every head coach that exists. We try to improve. I try to improve as a head coach each and every year. I put it on our assistant coaches to improve each and every year. We're responsible for the offense, defense and special teams to try to improve each and every year. The roster we try to improve each and every year. With recruiting, we try to improve it each and every year. So that's my job and that's what we're going to continue to try to do.”

In the grand scheme of things, it was a fair question to ask on the heels of the worst WVU Football season in over a decade. When a program is used to winning, and that fails to happen, then questions will be raised, including the head coach's job security.

via WVU Offensive Production Back to Holgorsen-Like Numbers in 2014 – WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News – Mountaineer Sports.