If I could remix West Virginia native and R&B icon Bill Withers timeless classic, “Lean on Me”, and make the new song focus on the West Virginia Mountaineers 2010 season, the new song would be titled “Lean on D”. The chorus would go something like this, Lean on D. Because the O may not be strong. In the beginning of the season. The fans will help gold and blue carry on(OK, that verse may not flow as well as the original but what do you expect I’m blogger not a song writer).
Mountaineer head coach Bill Stewart will have to break in new starting quarterback, sophomore Gino Smith and possibly 2 freshmen wide receivers(by the looks of things, we won’t know who will start at wide out until game day). Noel Devine (2010 Doak Walker Award candidate) and Jock Sanders (55 receptions away from becoming WVU’s all-time leading receiver) are back in Morgantown for their senior seasons, but defenses throughout the Big East are going to key in on the two speedy Floridians. Oh, and did I mention that WVU will also have a new starting right tackle this fall?
While the offense will be unveiling a new starting quarterback, wide receivers, and left tackle, the defense will only have 2 new starters this fall. Now, add 9 returning starters to the fact that a year ago the Mountaineer defense ranked 36th in the nation in total defense and 31st in scoring defense and its easy to see why fans in the Mountain State are excited about the WVU defense. Key defensive players to watch this fall are 2nd team All-Big East nose tackle Chris Neild, All-Big East linebacker J.T. Thomas, and hard-hitting All-Big East safety Robert Sands.
There’s an old coaching saying that goes, “offense wins games and defense wins championships”. Albeit not as experienced or proven as the defense, believe me when I write that this offense has enough talent to win 8 or 9 games on this season’s schedule. If the defense lives up to its hype and is able to win a game or two with its play, then the Mountaineers could win the 2010 Big East championship and find themselves in a BCS Bowl in January. First things first however, the Mountaineers have to play their season opener 1 week from today, September 4th, against Coastal Carolina. We’ll take a closer look at this week 1 matchup in a few days.
About the Author
Written by Jason Lee
Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, I've been a sports fan probably since I was about 9 years old! A 2002 graduate of Mount Union College (Alliance, OH), I've had the opportunity to cover some great high school football on the radio in both Ohio (working with WHBC in Canton) and in West Virginia (I currently work with Bristol Broadcasting in Charleston). I also keep an on-line journal/blogs on my own website.