The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
West Virginia University’s football team is set to take a lengthy break following their Gold-Blue game at Mylan Puskar Stadium.
The modified scrimmage pits the best on both sides of the ball that utilizes a modified scoring system in an attempt to crown a winner.
Mountaineer Head Coach Dana Holgorsen, as he does every year, stressed that the product on the field that Saturday afternoon will not be the same as what it will resemble on September 3rd when the Eers tangle with Virginia Tech. There were at least 20 players that were not available for this lock-up that will be looking to make plays versus the Hokies.
The Gold-Blue game serves a couple of purposes for all intents. It is a definitive end to this practice session and it provides an opportunity for Mountaineer Nation to get a glimpse, as skewed as it may be, of this upcoming year’s edition. One player that everyone came to catch a glimpse of was Florida transfer Will Grier. Grier comes to “Touchdown City” with a great deal of promise. The former Gator appeared to be on his way to great things until a mishap forced him into suspension. Holgorsen out dueled several big guns like Urban Myer for Grier’s services and he is counting on Grier to come out with his guns blazing. He did just that playing all of the first and second quarters. He came out for a curtain call leading the first possession of the third quarter before calling it a day. Grier was 12 of 18 for 202 yards. His top play was a 60 yard completion to Ricky Rodgers that led to a scoring run by Martell Pettaway.
Holgorsen has had some quality signal callers during his tenure at West Virginia and Grier could be the best one yet. The advantage for the transfer is that he is surrounded by talent on the offensive side of the pigskin. Holgorsen has to be smiling on the inside when he thinks about the potential that his offense owns. It could be his most fruitful season at the helm of the Mountaineer program and it all rides on the arm of his brand new signal caller.
Currently Holgorsen is playing with half a deck, but other coaches in the Big 12 Conference know that he is holding the ace and in four months when they start playing for real, Holgorsen will be playing for keeps and those players that were roaming the sidelines will be on the gridiron.
On this day it was the Mountaineer defense that dominated play. Holgorsen was “bored” with the play on the field, so in that third period he went old school. He inserted several padless alumni into the contest. Gino Smith, former Eer quarterback, trotted out onto the field and tossed an 85 yard scoring strike to one of the newest old timers, Shelton Gibson. It was a power play by the head man, showing off his stable of past players to hopeful Mountaineer recruits. It was also another way that Holgorsen could keep his players healthy and still give those in attendance a show. There would be only one other way to fully ensure the safety of his players and that would be to cut short the days play and that is exactly what the boss man did. With over four minutes remaining in the final frame, Holgorsen blew the whistle on the annual event, putting a work stoppage on the action.
Everyone was happy (fans, coaches, and players) with the outcome of the day’s events and with spring practice in the books, everyone can turn their attention to the fall and Virginia Tech.
That will do it for now. Until next week…take care and God Bless!