West Virginia Preview

Discussion in 'Towson Tigers' started by mat1992, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. mat1992

    mat1992 Moderator

    Apr 10, 2003
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    I haven't done one of these previews on this board (CAAzone.com is back up by the way). I did it for three years on TowsonTigers.com, which was more of a scouting report of the other team.

    So I'm a bit rusty, but here it goes.

    Towson (0-1) face West Virginia (0-1) on Saturday night at 7:30pm from Milan Puskar Stadium (60,000) in Morgantown. The game will be broadcast on 1300am or on TowsonTigers.com. Also on ROOT Sports.


    Towson lost their first game at home, 31-27, to Central Connecticut State. The Tigers were up, 27-24 on a Connor Frazier 49-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. But the Blue Devils got the ball back and ended up winning the game, led by a 34-yard pass by Nick SanGiacomo on 4th and 13. They were also helped by a roughing the kicker penalty on Arione Scott.

    West Virginia opened against number two Alabama from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Mountaineers were down by just three at the half, 20-17 and then 27-17 to start the third quarter. Alabama held them to two field goals in the second half, but West Virginia ended up losing by just 10, 33-23.

    The Mountaineers were three touchdown underdogs in that game because they finished 3-9 last year and 2-7 in the Big 12.

    The Tigers struggled in allowing big plays against a lower-level FCS team. Now they face a team loaded with speed that scored on a 100-yard kickoff return from Mario Alford.

    West Virginia has never faced Towson and has also never lost to an FCS school in 14 matchups.

    Last year, they struggled at home to beat William & Mary, 24-17.

    This appears to be a much better West Virginia team and it starts at quaterback with senior Clint Trickett (6-2, 186). The Florida Sate transfer struggled with a shoulder last year, but was on target against Alabama. In his eighth start, he completed 29 of 45 for 365 yards and one TD.

    Last year, he completed 52.8% of his passes for 1,605 yards with seven TDs and seven picks.

    At running back, senior Dreamius Smith (6-0, 217) is listed as the starter, the Mountaineers used several different backs to mixed results. Smith did run for 494 yards last season and five TDs. Sophomores Wendell Smallwood (5-11, 200) and Rushel Shell (5-10, 215), provided some support. Shell is a Pitt transfer who had the most attempts with 10 and ran for 38 yards.

    Of course, that was one game and it was against one of the toughest run defenses in the nation. West Virginia averaged 149 rushing yards per game (7th in the Big 12) last year, so while it wasn't a big strength, they like to be more balanced.

    Trickett has plenty of options at wide receiver as the Mountaineers will usually line up four. Senior Kevin White (6-3, 210) is a junior college transfer from Lackawanna, who had a great game against Alabama. White caught nine passes for 143 yards including a 19-yard touchdown reception.

    Junior Jordan Thompson (5-7, 165) had 23 receptions last season for 178 yards. In the Alabama game, Thompson caught a career-high five passes for 62 yards. Sophomore Dakiel Shorts (6-1, 198) is another dangerous receiver, who didn't catch a pass in the opener, but grabbed 45 for 495 yards last season.

    Alford (5-8, 177) provides the speed on returns, but is also a strong receiver who had 27 catches for 552 yards (20.4ypc) and two scores in 2013.

    The offensive line is strong led by two senior guards in Quinton Spain (6-5, 332) and Mark Glowinski (6-5, 312).

    The biggest concern for West Virginia this season was their defense. Last year, they ranked 99th in scoring defense, 96th in pass efficiency defense and were 106th in passing yards allowed.

    New defensive coordinator Tony Gibson was supposed to install a 3-4 defense, but it's more of a 3-3-5 odd stack, which uses three defensive linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs.

    That defense helped the Mountaineers produce strong teams from 2002-11. Gibson was promoted from within and former West Virginia linebacker Anthony Leonard was hired as graduate assistant.
    Up front, senior Shaquille Riddick (6-6, 242) is a transfer from Gardner-Webb, who was listed as the starter but didn't produce a stat.

    Junior Kyle Rose (6-4, 294), had five tackles and recorded 49 with 8.5 tackles for loss last year. Senior Dontrill Hyman (6-4, 288) had eight tackles in the opener and is a solid player inside.

    But this defense highlights the linebacking corps. Junior Isaiah Bruce (6-3, 234) had 94 tackles and two interceptions last season, but was relegated to backup duties in the first game.

    Senior Brandon Golson (6-2, 228) had seven tackles in the opener and 41 last year with four sacks. Junior MLB Nick Kwiatkoski (6-2, 236) had a big game in the opener with 11 tackles. He had 86 stops last year and three picks with two forced fumbles.

    Sophomore Darly Worley (6-1, 199) will probably be playing cornerback at the next level. He started in five games last year and had 45 tackles with a pick. In the opener against Alabama, Worley had 11 tackles and a pick.

    Junior safety Karl Joseph (5-11, 196) is another key contributor to the defense. He had a huge opening game with 18 tackles against Alabama. He had 68 tackles, one pick, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

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