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The Shotgun/Throwdown (8/8/18): West Virginia’s Defense Looks Challenge The Status Quo

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When people talk about West Virginia football, they scream offense and whisper defense. This year, the defense hopes to have their fans screaming, too.

NCAA Football: Delaware State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions.

Football

WVU defense looks to change the status quo | The Times WV
When people talk about West Virginia football, they scream offense and whisper defense. This year, the defense hopes to have their fans screaming, too.

WVU’s Bailey’s Sees Growth After Last Year’s Struggles | West Virginia Athletics
In a perfect world, Hakeem Bailey probably wouldn't have started last year's season opener against Virginia Tech. In fact, he probably would have spent the entire year inactive as a redshirt after playing just one season of junior college ball at Iowa Western Community College. But the world of college football is rarely perfect, and, consequently, Bailey's introduction to Power 5 Conference football was less than perfect when the Mountaineers faced 22nd-ranked Virginia Tech in Landover, Maryland.

WVU football: Coaches optimistic about cornerbacks | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Ask WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson what he’s seen in the Mountaineers’ summer camp thus far and you might just hear the whistle from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western.

Bigger, broader Dante Stills stays quick: ‘292 pounds and moves like he’s 240’ | WV MetroNews
Even before West Virginia underwent its first full-contact practice of the preseason Tuesday, Stills had reinforced all the anticipation that accompanied the four-star prospect from Fairmont.

How Dana Holgorsen plans to take advantage of the NCAA's new redshirt rule | WV Illustrated
During his first media session of fall camp, WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen explained that one of his goals is to continue evaluating newcomers and how they perform during practices in pads.

Versatile Quartet at Running Back Ready To Contribute | West Virginia Athletics
Two of the most impactful players in college football happen to reside on West Virginia's offense - quarterback Will Grier and wide receiver David Sills V. Everyone knows about them. The only real question concerning the offense this year is who is going to carry the football when Grier is not throwing it?

Transfers play role in keeping West Virginia competitive in Big 12 | The Times WV
The way Dana Holgorsen sees it, he didn’t really have much of a choice. Amid a transition from Big East football to Big 12 football, West Virginia’s head coach needed a philosophical shift in roster planning and management. That meant scrapping a traditional model of recruiting high school players and shifting to a plan that filled in gaps with transfers.

Camp notebook: Gary Jennings’ TD drought adds another chapter | WV MetroNews
Since hauling in a 60-yard touchdown against Virginia Tech during last season’s opener, Gary Jennings has made 86 subsequent catches yet no more scores. That statistical anomaly seems certain to end soon for a such a high-volume receiver. However, the drought continued during preseason camp,

Spavital’s relationships long linked to football | The Times WV
West Virginia offensive coordinator Jake Spavital recalls those long ago days he would spend with his grandfather, a man who is something of a football legend in Oklahoma and the patriarch of a football family.

West Virginia Athletics

WVU Sits No. 9 in United Soccer Coaches Poll | West Virginia Athletics
The West Virginia University women's soccer team is ranked No. 9 in the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Division I Women's Preseason Ranking, as released on Tuesday.

Mountaineers Begin Preseason Practice | West Virginia Athletics
The West Virginia University men's soccer team commenced preseason practice on Tuesday, 17 days ahead of the season opener.

The Tavon Austin hype train is picking up serious steam | Blogging The Boys
Who’s excited?

Daryl Worley, Karl Joseph look to find stride with Raiders | Las Vegas Review-Journal
They entered the NFL in 2016. Cornerback Daryl Worley was the Carolina Panthers’ third-round pick. Safety Karl Joseph was the Raiders’ first-round choice. Their arrivals marked the first time in West Virginia program history that two defensive backs were selected during the first three rounds of the same draft. They hoped to dominate apart. They’ll try now together.

Bears want Kevin White to stop being so hard on himself | Chicago Sun-Times
When Kevin White stresses about training-camp ups and downs, he doesn’t have a talk with himself. He knows how that will turn out.

ESPN: NFL Mountaineer a Top Trade Candidate | EerSports
One former Mountaineer is a leading candidate for a trade this preseason.

Around the Big 12

How the resurgent Oklahoma-Texas recruiting war changes the Big 12 | SBNation
After several years of declining recruiting results, the Sooners and Horns are headed in a different direction.

Around the NCAA

Who’ll lead college football’s biggest stat categories in 2018? You can bet on them | SBNation
You can put your money down on Bryce Love, Nick Fitzgerald, Khalil Tate, and more big star players.

If we’re gonna prevent some people in college athletics from selling their own stuff, why not everybody? | SBNation
Pay NCAA admins in tuition and Jordans.

Tribalism might explain why Urban Meyer kept Zach Smith on his staff for so long | Land-Grant Holy Land
This seems like one of the only viable theories for how we got to this crossroad in Buckeye history.

The one rebuild that might make Alabama games more interesting this year | SBNation
If anybody can turn an entirely new group into a strong secondary, it’s Nick Saban, but we’ll see how long it takes.

Why Ivy League football might finally be ready for the FCS playoffs | SBNation
The conference is fun, rapidly improving, and full of coaches raring to test themselves nationally. Let’s talk to each head coach.

TODAY’S FBS TEAM PREVIEW BY BILL C

As always, SB Nation’s Bill Connelly is working his way through every Division I FBS football team, from Georgia State to Alabama. Check out the teams Bill has already previewed by clicking HERE.

What happens now that Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks are no longer underdogs? | SBNation
Year two at South Carolina was an unexpected success. So was year two at Florida. His third year at Florida, on the other hand...

Exploring the (weird) story of the very first ‘John Madden Football’ game | SBNation
A game that John Madden himself influenced heavily has a more interesting story behind it than you’d think, from its debut on the Apple II to its more arcade-style Sega Genesis port.

This is a good year to actually WANT to watch the NFL preseason | SBNation
We all know preseason football can be a bit of an eyesore, but there are actually a few interesting storylines to follow this year! No, really.

Jarvis Landry’s Speech and What We Learned From ‘Hard Knocks,’ Ep. 1 | The Ringer
Baker Mayfield gets a lesson in RV sewage disposal, while Landry blesses his new teammates with a new mantra


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