Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at West Virginia.
Spring practice begins: Sunday, March 11
Spring game: Saturday, April 21
Returning starters: Eight on offense, six on defense, both specialists.
Three Things To Watch For:
1. Holgo's offense hitting second gear.The West Virginia offense sputtered a bit at the beginning of Dana Holgorsen's offense in his first year as head coach, but as we all saw in the 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Now with Geno Smith returning for his second year in Holgorsen's system, the playbook will start being expanded this spring.
2. Can Shawne Alston take the starting running back job? Alston was West Virginia's goal line threat in 2011, but he was not the featured back in the Mountaineers offense, carrying the ball only 97 times for 416 yards. Still, with Dustin Garrison missing spring practice with the same knee injury that kept him out of the Orange Bowl, Alston will have plenty of chances to show whether or not he can carry the load if needed.
3. Changes on defense. For the first time since 2002 Jeff Casteel won't be running the defense in Morgantown, as he left for Arizona with Rich Rodriguez and was replaced by Joe DeForest. DeForest inherits a defense that wasn't terrible last season, but one that did lose a lot of talent in Najee Goode, Bruce Irvin, Julian Miller and