You can point out the problems at quarterback last season. You can remind viewers the defense was decimated by injuries. You can explain close games, wasted leads, overtime losses and toss-up plays that contribute to each. If you do it all properly, you can make the case WVU is due.
You can talk at length about the way the roster is tiered and arranged. You can say it hasn’t been this way in years and there’s been a price attached to that. You can recite the team has 55 players who have played in the Big 12 and that the program has visited every venue and been in the conference for two years and state confidently the surprises are over.
But you just can’t get past this: West Virginia University has to be a whole lot better on defense in 2014 … and maybe, based on the stuff from the first two paragraphs, ought to be a whole lot better on defense in 2014.
It’s not that easy, and the Mountaineers have ably proved that the past two season, but the variables are there to project some optimism moving forward, and that process begins today. Of course, it begins with another defensive coordinator, as well as a reimagined defensive staff, in what I think we can agree to call a notable season for Dana Holgorsen.
So, um, that’s a lot on Tony Gibson’s plate in his first year as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator. He and I went over all of that, plus Tom Bradley, big plays, sneaky additions and changes on his defense as we get ready to begin preseason camp shortly.