It’s been an ugly start of the 2022 football season for West Virginia’s football team. Over the past four seasons, the strength of the team has been the defense. That hasn’t been the case this season as the unit has been struggling to make stops and give the offense opportunities. Frustration has been evident from players and fans, and if they want to turn the season around, adjustments will need to be made quickly.
What Has Changed?
The changes on the defensive side of the ball are evident from the 2021 season. Players have graduated, some have transferred, but the scheme has remained the same. Looking back at the 2021 season, West Virginia finished 45th in the nation in total defense. During that year, they allowed 350.6 yards per game. For comparison, the standings after two games this season show WVU allowing 401.5 yards per game. That drops them all the way to 126th out of 131 teams. When you look at this 2022 defense, one thing in particular stands out – new players in the second and third levels. Lee Kpogba , Rashad Ajayi , and Marcis Floyd are all new starters from different schools. Not only is the team facing challenges with new blood from varying levels of college football, but they are learning how to work together on the field.
Will an Adjustment Period Help the Defense?
In the 2021 season Mountaineer fans saw Charles Woods become one of the better coverage corners in the nation. However, it didn’t come during the first game of the year. Woods didn’t play many snaps until game seven of the season when he burst onto the scene at TCU. In that contest, he recorded five tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception to help seal the win. Maybe this year’s Mountaineer defense just needs a little bit more time to get acquainted? With only a few short weeks before the start of Big XII play, WVU fans will be waiting in the wings to see if this defense can step it up.
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