Category Archives: WVU Sports

Guess The Score of the West Virginia v. Kansas Men’s Basketball Game!

Mountaineer World is excited to announce the West Virginia Men’s Basketball “Guess the Score” contest! All you have to do is guess the score, then watch the game!

After a Mountaineer victory, Mountaineer World will award the person with the correct guess a $50 gift card to Mountaineer World! And because we love celebrating a WVU victory, if no one guesses the score correctly, we’ll give the closest answer 25% off a single purchase!

Guess the Score of the WVU v. Kansas Men’s Basketball Game Now!

WVU Football Win Streak Ends with Loss to Oklahoma State

Mountaineers make too many mistakes, lose to Sooners 24 – 44

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 0 7 17 0 24
OU 7 17 10 10 44

Game Recap

The WVU football 3 game winning streak was shut down on Saturday after the Mountaineers took a hard loss from Oklahoma University. What exactly led to the loss? The Mountaineers made too many mistakes on offense throughout most of the game – including five turnovers all from fumbles and interceptions by WVU QB Skyler Howard who, until the game against the Terrapins, had completed over 170 passes without an interception. Howard and the Mountaineers had a hard time with passing – Howard only completing 17 of his 32 passes throughout the game.

West Virginia was able to briefly tie the game during the second quarter after a series of plays for 86 yards. Since the passing game was obviously not effective against the impassable Sooner defense, WVU relied on running the ball as well as penalties by Oklahoma. Rushel Shell contributed 26 yards to the 86 yard push and ultimately carried the ball for 5 yards into the Oklahoma end-zone for a touchdown. Unfortunately the tied game was short lived, with the Sooners able to get back in the lead immediately after the Shell touchdown.

Howard gave WVU fans another gleam of hope late in the third quarter after a 50-yard run for a touchdown, bringing the score to 27 -24, with the Mountaineers only down by 3. Howard’s zone-read fake couldn’t have been executed more perfectly – but it wasn’t enough to win the game for the Mountaineers. The Sooners were able to dominate the last quarter of the game, ending the West Virginia winning streak by a score of 44 – 24

Who Stood Out

Shell and Wendell Smallwood were able to generate success from the running game against Oklahoma when the passing game was failing. Shell’s 26 yard contribution to the 86 yard push during the second quarter and the 5 yard touchdown gave West Virginia hope of a comeback now that the score was tied. Smallwood was able to surpass 100 rushing yards in his 22 attempts against Oklahoma University, averaging about 5 yards a play. He was also able to contribute something to the little bit of passing game the Mountaineers could generate – totaling only 8 yards in 3 plays.

Karl Joseph was a force to be reckoned with on the WVU defense. Joseph’s massive hit during the first quarter on The Sooner’s Westbrook was described on ESPN as a “heat seeking missile” and as one of the “hardest hitters in the Nation.” Joseph became the nation leader in interceptions with his 5th of the season after he was able to easily pick a pass thrown by the Sooner QB out of the air.

At one point, Jovon Durante was able to make a nice catch after having to jump to reach a ball from Howard in the end-zone early in the second half. After the ball was stripped from he Sooner defense, WVU gained possession again in the third quarter and Howard and Durante paired up again for a 34-yard pass that landed the WVU offense just 5 yards away from another TD. Unfortunately, Durante was unable to keep his feet under him and the Mountaineers settled for a 23-yard field goal from Josh Lambert.

Preparing for the Cowboys

So the question is, what do the Mountaineers need to do to prevent another shattering loss from happening against the Cowboys in WVUs Homecoming game this Saturday? After the game, some Mountaineer players and assistant coaches discussed what went wrong and what needs worked on. Karl Joseph had maybe the most important comment about the loss to the Sooners, saying that the season isn’t over and the team needs to “move on.” The downfall with the Mountaineers will come if the players begin getting inside their own heads. Shell commented that when Oklahoma made a play, WVU made the mistake of putting their heads down. Shell said “Oklahoma is a good team, they’re going to make plays.

It was made apparent through the many mistakes on offense that West Virginia’s biggest opponent is West Virginia. If the team can recover and strive to improve for the next game, rather than beating themselves up over a loss to a good college football team – they can recover next week against the Cowboys.

Game Highlights

wvu football

WVU Football Breezes Past Liberty University

West Virginia collects their 2nd W over Liberty University, 41-17

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 6 14 14 7 41
 LU 0 0 7 10 17

Game Recap

The West Virginia Mountaineers came out to capitalize on the momentum from their win over Georgia Southern last weekend and collected another early season win against Liberty University. The offensive push began early in the game with an 11-play push down field that resulted in a 28-yard field goal completed by Josh Lambert and shortly after, Lambert scored another 3 points for the Mountaineers after a 34-yard scramble from Skylar Howard put the ball on the Liberty 13-yard line.

When the Mountaineers gained their next possession of the game, Howard wasted no time putting the ball in red-shirt sophomore Wide Receiver Shelton Gibson’s hands for a 52-yard run resulting in a touchdown. Less than 10 minutes later, WVU’s Wendell Smallwood carried the ball a short 4 yards into the Liberty Endzone and fumbled, but was able to recover the ball at the bottom of the pile for a 0-yard fumble recovery. True freshman receiver Jovon Durante impressed his teammates with a team-best 7-catches resulting in a total of 60-yards, including a 10-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter.

Liberty was able to finally breach the Mountaineer defense that was on a 6 1/2 quarter scoreless streak when Todd Macon was able to carry the ball in from the 7-yard line. Halfway through the final quarter, Liberty scored their final touchdown with a 60-yard push by Liberty’s John Woodrum and Zac Parker.

William Crest Jr. played for a hefty amount of time in place of Howard in the fourth quarter and was able to complete 6-of-6 passes for a total of 50-yards. Smallwood capitalized off of one of those passes and marked his second touchdown of the game with 3:36 remaining in the fourth.

Individual MVP

 Player Completions / Attempts Yards TDs INTs
 Skyler Howard, QB 21/26 263 3 0

Skylar Howard has clearly been working hard to prove he is cutout to serve as the Mountaineer’s No.1 QB this season. Howard was patient against the Liberty Flames for most of the game as he faced a defense that specializes in forcing teams to really work for the big plays. Howard combined with Smallwood and Rushel Shell in a nostalgic running game that WVU has been lacking for a long time. That, combined with Howard’s shorter passes, led to WVUs second win of the season at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Howard completed one of his most productive games since wearing the WVU jersey with 14 consecutive pass completions during the third quarter. Howard has yet to throw an interception in his Mountaineer career. Head Coach Dana Holgorsen remarked to the media after the game that Howard is “a good football player [and] a good quarterback.”

Unsung Hero

The Mountaineer offense made major strides this game after the win last weekend over Georgia Southern. There were several key players who teamed up with Howard to get the win against the Flames, but Wendell Smallwood gave an outstanding performance, collecting two touchdowns for the WVU victory.

The first Smallwood touchdown was a result of a 7-yard carry into the Liberty Endzone, but as Smallwood was coming down with the ball, it was stripped from his hands. Smallwood battled at the bottom of the pile up to regain possession and record a 0-yard fumble recovery. Late in the 4th quarter, Smallwood tallied his second touchdown after a 75-yard offensive drive led by backup QB William Crest Jr. His 5-yard carry into the Endzone gave WVU the resulting 41-17 win over Liberty.

Game Highlights

The Mountaineers will be taking the next two weeks to prepare for their border-rival Maryland, who they play Saturday Sept. 26th at home. In the meantime, submit your photos of your Mountaineer tailgate to our “Best Mountaineer Tailgate” contest for a chance to win a FREE Mountaineer World tailgating tent and don’t forget to shop at Mountaineer World for all of your WVU football jerseys, tailgating equipment, and more!

West Virginia Crushes Georgia Southern in Opening Season Game

The Mountaineers Dominate Georgia Southern with Shut Out

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
 WVU 10 6 14 14 44
 GSU 0 0 0 0 0

Milan Puskar Stadium was awash with cheers as Mountaineer Nation watched their favorite team achieve an unexpectedly easy victory over Georgia Southern on Saturday night. The West Virginia Mountaineers were able to shut out the Eagles and achieve a 44 – 0 victory for their opening season game. The WVU defense went above and beyond expectations against GSUs spread option attack that was the concern during summer workouts and preseason camp.

In addition to the great start to the season, the West Virginia defense is well on their way to producing improved results from last season. With the 5 turnovers attained – including a fumble recovery – they have almost hit last years total of two fumble recoveries. The Mountaineer Offense, on the other hand, struggled throughout the beginning of the game, but were able to pick-up in the third-quarter after a couple drives, led by junior quarterback Skylar Howard, were able to find their way to the GSU end zone.

Karl Joseph, Safety 8 7 1 3

Individual MVP

Karl Joseph, senior safety, was the sole fabricator of four of the five turnovers and was the one to recover Favian Upshaw’s fumble during the first quarter of the game. Holgorsen said to the media after the game “I’ve never given anyone a game ball, but I gave him one.” After the defeat of GSU, Joseph was named AutoNation Player of the Week and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week

Last season, Joseph was named a WVU team captain and second-leading tackler with 92 tackles, 62 solo stops, 4.5 tackles that resulted in a loss of yards, 3 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles, and one interception.

Unsung Heroes

Though West Virginia’s offense had a rocky start, Howard, Jovon Durante, and Shelton Gibson out-performed themselves after getting their bearing against the Georgia Southern defense. Howard’s first home start was a success with 16 of his 25 passes completing for 359 yards. The biggest – and most exciting – offensive accomplishments came from freshman Durante and sophomore Shelton Gibson who both received their first starts in college football and were able to record over 100-yards against the Eagles. Durante completed a 41-yard toss to score and Gibson followed with a 26-yard touchdown catch. “Those two guys can run,” said Holgorsen in a post-game media conference after commenting on his excitement with the performance of two of his first-time starters.

Game Highlights

West Virginia football is back in action Saturday, September 12th at Milan Puskar Stadium against Liberty. Kickoff is at 3:00 PM. Don’t forget to stop in at Mountaineer World for all of your WVU football gear and tailgating equipment. Visit our contest page for details on winning a FREE Mountaineer World Tailgating tent in the Best Mountaineer Tailgate photo contest!

How-To Throw the Best Tailgate Party

Similar to football, there’s different levels for tailgate planners – whether you’re a rookie, a starting player, or a seasoned veteran, throwing the best tailgating party in Mountaineer Country is a daunting task. For most Mountaineer fans, tailgating before the game is just as important to the West Virginia football experience as being in the stadium, watching your favorite team win. So how can you compete with the hundreds of other tailgaters for the best tailgate award? Check out these tips, best-practices, and unique ideas that can make your typical tailgate become the tailgate to be at.

Pre-Game Prep Time

  1. Know what role everyone is playing

tailgate partyThough throwing a tailgate without help is possible, you can be guaranteed it won’t go off without a hitch. Assign roles – or jobs – to your friends and family. You’ll need a chef, chef assistant, an Entertainer, and a Cleaner. Assigning the roles first will help you organize and coordinate the items you are bringing to the tailgate. For example, the chef and chef’s assistant will obviously be in charge of bringing the food, cooking utensils, eating utensils, etc.

Everyone has that one crazy friend who is without a doubt the biggest WVU fan you know – that’s your entertainer. Have that person be in charge of guaranteeing everyone has a great time. They’re responsible for music, games, and fun, school spirit items like facial tattoos, pom-poms, and foam fingers. Your cleaner will bring all of the items you’ll need to leave a spotless parking lot at the conclusion of your tailgate

* After the first game of the season, these roles can stay assigned if everyone on your “team” is a regular tailgater.

  1. Pack up the night before

There’s nothing that puts a damper on a tailgate like waiting for someone to show up because they procrastinated packing, or had to run out and get some last minute items. Pack as much as you can the night before the game to make sure you’re not the one that ruins a good time.

tailgate organization ideas

* If you’re the Chef or Chef’s Assistant, purchasing a separate toolbox for your tailgate necessities is a handy, time-saving trick. Purchase a toolbox with multiple drawers and keep items such as spatulas, tongs, grill cleaners, sauces & spices etc. organized. This cuts down on your preparation time and helps you stay organized throughout the tailgate season.

  1. Over packing is better than under-packing

You’ll never hear anyone complain about being over-prepared – unless grandma is upset she’s taking home 30 cupcakes no one ate – but not having enough food or drinks for everyone can turn your “Best Tailgate Ever” into a nightmare. Nothing is worse than hungry friends who have had a few beers.

Make sure your tailgate menu has more that the tailgate staples (i.e. burgers, hot dogs, and potato salad). Find great, easy recipes that gives everyone something they want – like steak/chicken kabobs, taco salad, pre-baked mac & cheese, shrimp cocktails, etc. If you plan on tailgating early in the day for a night game, make sure you’re prepared with breakfast foods too (i.e. omlettes, sausage, and bacon).

This is important for all roles, but most important in regards to food and cleaning products.

* For cleaners, bring extra trash bags, napkins, silverware and plates. These are the items you will go through the most. Trash bags can be used in multiple different ways – like creating a “throw-away cooler” using the box from a case of beer. Add two trash bags to the box to act as liners, put beer back in the box, add ice, and throw it away when you’re finished!

Game Time – The Day of Your Tailgate

  1. Get there early

If you sat down and really thought about it, you could probably come up with a long list of reasons you should make sure you’re early for your tailgate. The biggest reason is probably so that you can get the best spot possible for your party. In Mountaineer Country, good tailgating spots go quick – so if you aren’t planning on arriving early for breakfast, make sure you’re there between 4 and 5 hours before the Mountaineers take the field.

tailgate party locationThis means leaving the house in time to get ice and any other last-minute items.

* Tying a unique balloon on a long string to your vehicle will help your tailgate attendees know where they can find you. (Tying the same unique balloon to your car every tailgate will help other fellow tailgaters remember who had the best tailgate at the previous game and encourage them to join.)

  1. Food prep, entertainment, and decorations come first

tailgate foodSet-up everything you need for your tailgate according to your roles. Chef’s and chef’s assistant should set-up the grill, the food, and the food table first so they can begin cooking right away. Cleaners should make sure there are an appropriate amount of “trash cans” around your tailgating area – a good rule is one trash bag per vehicle. The entertainer should set-up the games, decorate the tailgate, and get the music started as soon as they arrive.

* To keep food hot, use a cooler to create a temporary “hot box.” Place hot bricks wrapped in aluminum foil in the bottom of a cooler also lined in foil. Put pre-cooked food on top of the bricks to keep it warm and fresh.

** Keep cheap, plastic drawer sets filled with paper plates, cups, throw-away utensils, etc. so everything has a place out of the way. Label drawers and coolers appropriately so no one has to search for anything.

  1. Have fun, but don’t be that guy

While it’s important that everyone has a great time, no one likes a tailgate party that is completely out of control. Don’t be that guy.

Dont Be That Guy

As the entertainer of the tailgate, make sure everyone is having a great time – but don’t let your tailgate become the tailgate no one want’s to be near.

* Don’t abandon friends who have maybe had too much to drink. If their safety is a concern, or if you’re worried they may get in trouble with the law, it’s your responsibility to get them home safely. There are plenty of options for friends who can’t get themselves home. There is no excuse for yourself or your loved ones to drive under the influence of alcohol.

Post-Game – Clean Up

It’s time to get your tailgate cleaned up and get to the game. Ask yourself – would I rather have an hour to two hours to leisurely clean-up the area of and around our tailgate? Or, would I rather stop all entertainment 20 minutes before heading to the game and risk the chance of forgetting something? Chances are, you’ll want to give yourself the time to do a proper clean-up and pack-up of your tailgate.

clean up tailgate* Cleaner: purchase a cheap storage container to pack all of the dirty dishes and utensils in after everyone is done eating. Taking plates and silverware rather than disposable utensils and paper plates can help out during cleanup – leaving less garbage laying around.

If you take the time before hand to prepare and organize, cleaning up can be done in a fraction of the time it would take if you didn’t prepare and organize. Make sure you throw away everything that isn’t reusable.

No matter how you clean-up just make sure you do your part to keep Mountaineer Country as beautiful as it has always been. No true Mountaineer fan leaves trash to litter their home.

Think You’re Ready to Claim the Title of Best WVU Tailgate Party this season?

Mountaineer World presents the “Best Mountaineer Tailgate” photo contest. The winner will receive a FREE Mountaineer tailgating tent from Mountaineer World!

mountaineer world tent

Log on to Facebook and enter the photo contest located on the Mountaineer World Facebook page in the “Tabs.” The contest will run from September 5th until October 1st 

Enter the best picture of your tailgate party from any of the Mountaineer football games leading up to the first Big12 conference game against Oklahoma State on October 3rd. Share the contest on your Facebook page to increase your chances of taking home the big prize!

Do you have what it takes to throw the best WVU tailgate party?

Mountaineer Football

Mountaineer Football Prepares for Georgia Southern

It’s almost here! Mountaineer football will be underway on September 5th when WVU takes on Georgia Southern. There have been a lot of questions surrounding the West Virginia football team since the loss of several key players from last year’s impressive season. However, after rigorous training and some players stepping into the vacant leadership roles, this year is looking to be a good season for our West Virginia Mountaineers.

Nothing lifts Mountaineer spirits more than seeing a confident Dana Holgorsen on media day. This past Tuesday, Holgorsen opened by explaining that he, his coaching staff, and his team are focused for the upcoming game against Georgia Southern – stating that the next week of practice will be a “mock game week” in order to get an idea of what they need to do against Georgia Southern. Though there is no chance of exactly replicating Georgia Southern’s explosive triple-option offense, Holgorsen is confident his scout team has studied the tapes enough to give his starting line-up an idea of what they’ll be facing on opening game day.

A bit of good news for the WVU football team – Georgia Southern’s starting QB will be out for the September 5th game. The bad news?  Holgorsen was quick to point out on media day that Southern’s second QB, Favian Upshaw, is more than capable of leading his team as he did last year. Holgorsen said Upshaw would surely “run that offense as good as he did last year, more than likely better than last year.” As for our starting QB, Skylar Howard, there have been doubts that he will be an effective quarterback for the Mountaineers – based on his size, speed, and skill. However, Holgorsen and the rest of the Mountaineers back Howard, saying that he is ready to prove everyone wrong.

Defensively, West Virginia has a lot to work on despite their reported outstanding defense. The game on September 5th will give everyone an idea of exactly how solid the Mountaineer defense is, and will help players understand where they still need some extra work for the rest of the season. Sophomore Safety Dravon Askew-Henry said it best, “I’m kind of glad we get to open up with them, because it will make everybody play better […] I think we will be alright.” Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator, Tony Gibson, hopes his players can be patient enough to properly defend the Georgia Southern offense, which contradicts the Mountaineer “quick attack” style usually practiced.

Overall, the Mountaineers have a lot of things that work in their favor now compared to what was available to them in the past offensively. On the ability and leadership of Howard, redshirt senior tight end/full back Cody Clay explained that Howards “mobility opens up a lot of stuff for us in terms of misdirection” – which makes blocking a little easier when the opposing team isn’t sure if Howard is going to run or throw. Typically in college football, a team with so many younger guys is questionable as far as performance because of the leap between high school and college football – longer practices, tougher opponents, and new teammates. Though when junior wide receiver Daikiel Shorts Jr. was asked about freshman WRs Jovon Durante and Gary Jennings, Shorts was happy to sing their praises.

The rest of Mountaineer Nation thinks their favorite college team will be alright as well. What are your thoughts on the upcoming game? Do the Mountaineers have what it takes to get the win and start the season with a loud bang? Let us know in the comments…

Make sure you order online or stop in to Mountaineer World for all your WVU Merchandise for the 2015 season.

Mountaineer Football: Fall Camp Progress

With their first game right around the corner – September 5th against Georgia Southern – the West Virginia football team is training hard in their preseason camp. It’s easy to see why Dana Holgorsen is excited to see what his team can do this season and it’s clear why Mountaineer Nation is eagerly anticipating the first game. It’s been said that this year’s defense is one of the best in the nation, with 16 returning starters in addition to new talent being molded, the upcoming season should give West Virginia a huge leap in the Big 12.

Mountaineer footballJunior quarterback Skylar Howard says that the installation phase has passed and now the team is trying to figure out its strongest points. Last season, Howard took a huge role after starting QB Clint Trickett suffered multiple concussions, ultimately leading to his retirement from football. Howard was impressive last season in the win against Iowa State, and the Mountaineers’ showing in the Liberty Bowl against Texas A&M, but this year he proves to be a bigger threat to opposing teams. Howard has dissected his performances from last year and has made some mechanical corrections in order to improve his ability to play with wide outs Shelton Gibson, Daikiel Shorts, and Jordan Thompson. Dana Holgorson is excited about the chemistry Howard has with his wide outs, and with running back Wendell Smallwood, but at the end of June mentioned he would like about three more guys to get in the mix.

In Holgorsen’s most recent camp update, Holgorsen commented on his first year receivers saying that “They are not redshirting, but whether they end up being the go to guys or not, there is still a lot of days ahead to figure all that out.” It’s not common that freshman receivers are able to contribute in a big way their first year playing college football, but Holgorsen is hopeful that they will develop throughout the rest of camp and – hopefully – provide greater depth on the offensive chart.

The Mountaineers are in a really good spot right now, with a solid starting defense and an offense that’s working hard every day to be the best in every situation. However, the depth chart is puzzling Holgorsen. Fortunately, Holgorsen and his team of coaches are struggling to pin point the second line on defense because of the amount of talent they have acquired this spring and summer, and the talent they retained from last year’s team. However, on offense Holgorsen points out that a receiver and guard starting position is rotating daily between different players. Behind the offense’s starting lineup, it’s also a struggle to pin point who the next guys will be to back up the first line of 11 guys.

The Mountaineers will have a solid defense going into the first games of the season. The offense is still coming together, but Holgorsen, Howard, and the rest of the Mountaineers are confident that everything will come together by the end of camp and the first couple of opening games. West Virginia’s first game of the season happens on September 5th against Georgia Southern and we’re all excited to see what the Mountaineers can do this season.

wvu womens soccer

WVU Women’s Soccer Sits High on NSCAA Pre-Season Poll

Previously ranked No. 15 by the end of the 2014 season, the WVU Women’s Soccer team bests their previous score at No. 12 on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll. Of the Big 12, the West Virginia Women’s team is the highest ranked going into the 2015 season. As the team reports for camp at 7 AM on August 5th, we’re excited to see where the Mountaineers end up in the ranks by the end of the season.

Three time and reigning Big 12 champions, the Mountaineer Women’s Soccer team is excited and ready to begin a new season coming off of an exciting Women’s World Cup. With 15 returning, lettered players, Coach Nikki Izzo-Brown is excited to have the experience on the field, on the bench, and in the coaching staff that she needs to be sure that her team comes out on top this 2015 season. Among those returning are Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-American defender Kadeisha Buchanan, 2014 NSCAA All-Central Region Second team choice Michaela Aba, and senior keeper Hannah Steadman who can boast the 2014 conference-best 11 shutouts – among many others.

During the Spring season, the team showed they were ready to win in the 2015 Fall season when they bested rival Pitt in a 1 – 0 game. Sophomore Heather Kaleiohi from San Diego, California scored during the first-half of the spring opening game to lead the Mountaineers to a shutout victory. WVU outshot Pitt the entire game 15-3 and got the caches and the fans excited to see the outcome of the upcoming 2015 season. After a disappointing loss to Maryland on April 12th, WVU picked themselves back up and blew Saint Francis away with a 6 – 0 shutout.

West Virginia Women’s Soccer begins camp Wednesday August 5th and will see their first scrimmage the following Sunday, August 9th at home against Wright State. The team’s first conference match-up isn’t until September 25th at home against Texas. Be there to cheer on your Lady Mountaineers as they work hard this preseason and all season long to best their 2014 record of 16-2-4 and a 19-game winning streak at the end of 2014.

NFL Draft: How Soon Will White Go?

As every dedicated football fan will know, the NFL draft begins tonight, and Mountaineer Nation is on the edge of its seat. Kevin White, West Virginia football’s star wide receiver that graduated last year, is being predicted as an early, Round 1 draft pick. What people can’t seem to agree on is where he’ll go!

Kevin White Draft 3White’s Mountaineer Career

White, son of Kevin and Tammy White, transferred to WVU as a Junior in 2013 from Lackawanna College. White saw action in his first season at WVU – 2013 season – where he played in eleven games, with a starting position in nine of those. White topped off his first year in a Mountaineer jersey with 35 receptions totaling 507 yards. White added five touchdowns to the 2013 season, including a long catch of 43 yards.

In the following year, White came back much improved, and more knowledgeable on WVU football. He recorded an additional 109 receptions – adding up to 1,447 yard to become another of Head Coach Dana Holgorsen’s 1,000 yard receiver club. White capped his year’s performance with 10 Mountaineer receiving touchdowns on the season.

Kevin White DraftWhite’s NFL Combine Stats

White’s Mountaineer career, though impressive, was not the only factor that contributed to his high expectations in the draft. White gave an impressive performance at the NFL Combine this year, with a grade of 6.95 going into tonight’s draft. What exactly does that mean? A quick break down of any player who has a chance of making it onto an NFL team is:

  • 00 – 50-50 chance of making an NFL team
  • 01-5.19 – better-than-average
  • 20-5.49 – Drafted as a backup, or as a special teams potential
  • 50-5.99 – Chance to be an NFL starter
  • 00-6.49 – instant starter
  • 50-6.99 – Chance to be a Pro-Bowl caliber player
  • 00-7.49 – Pro-Bowl caliber
  • 50-7.99 – Future All-Pro
  • 00-8.99 – Perennial All-Pro
  • 00-10 – Once in a lifetime

White is one of four Wide Receivers in this year’s draft to rank above a 6.0 grade. Overall, White is ranked 3rd – just behind rival Amari Cooper from Alabama – in the overall Best Available Prospects list. What exactly does White have to say about his play compared to Cooper’s?

White claims he’s a little behind Cooper as far as developmentally – due to his start at the junior-college level. Despite the slight disadvantage, White was confident when he said, “Amari Cooper is a great receiver, a great competitor, but I think I bring more to the table.”

2015 NFL Scouting CombineWho’s looking in the Draft?

Looking at the Round line-up in the draft, there are some teams looking to capitalize in the Wide Receiver position, but who needs it more?

The Buccaneers have the first pick in round one of the 2015 draft, and are looking for a wide receiver to add to their line-up. However, the Quarterback position seems to be a little more pressing, along with Head Coach Lovie Smith’s need to build-up their defense.

The Oakland Raiders are in desperate need of anything, and obtaining a wide receiver that can help motivate the team and fill some holes in the offense is of top priority. As of now, the Raiders seem to be the team that’s going for a quality Wide Receiver right out of the gate. Will they pick Cooper? An athlete that is extremely talented, but may not have the potential to reach any higher? Or will the Raiders select White, an athlete who had a late start, and still could use development, but is a superb athlete all-around?

The Jets are also in the market for a wide receiver, and an overall upgrade to the offensive line. However, the team could be examining quarterback’s closely in the first round.

The Bears are looking for a replacement at wide receiver for Brandon Marshall. The Rams – again – are looking for a wide receiver. The Browns, though not feeling too much pressure on the matter, are looking for a wide receiver at the 12th pick of the first round.

Most predict that White will be drafted early, within the first 12 picks of the first round. Regardless of where he goes, it’s sure that West Virginia will be cheering him on next season as he makes his NFL debut.

Where do you think White will end up?

Share your thoughts with us!

WVU Blue-Gold Spring Game: Players to Watch

The annual end to spring training, the West Virginia Blue-Gold game is tomorrow, April 25th, at 1 p.m. Tickets will be $10 at the gate, and WVU student will be admitted for free with their student ID. All proceeds from the game will be donated to the WVU Children’s Hospital. There will be specific parking instructions, and certain guidelines for entrance to the stadium.

As is tradition, the Blue team will include the members of the WVU football team defense, and in white – for the gold team – will be the offense. Fans are reminded that there won’t be any autographs, meet-and-greets etc. following the game, and that a Fan Day will be held in August.

Players to Watch

WVU SPring Training - Mountainer WorldThough the incoming players still need to be evaluated later this year, there are plenty of players that have impressed Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and you will more than likely be seeing regularly during the 2015-16 season for the Mountaineers.

Skyler HowardHoward has recently received Holgorsen’s approval as the number one quarterback. Last year, Howard stepped in for retired quarterback Clint Trickett after Trickett was injured with several concussions throughout the year – some of which, he admits, went unreported. During that time, Howard stepped in to the starting position for the first time in the Iowa State game to conclude WVUs regular season. In that game, Howard completed 21 passes and made 3 touchdowns to overcome a point deficit and lead the Mountaineers to victory. During that game, Howard gained 69 yards in only 7 rushing attempts – the most from a WVU quarterback since Jarrett Brown in 2009. Howard went on to lead the Mountaineers in the Liberty Bowl as he threw for 346 yards and completed 3 touchdowns.

This year, Howard has been focusing on improving his knowledge of the offense, and getting as many reps as possible with potential starting wide receivers Shelton Gibson and Daikiel Shorts. Holgorsen recently said about Howard, “His teammates believe in him. The coaches believe in him. He is doing well.” What’s Howard’s task on Saturday? Getting all of WVU to believe in him. That is – if they don’t already.

Shelton GibsonLast year, as a red-shirt freshman, Gibson finished with a season best 47 yard reception against the Aggies in the Liberty Bowl. Gibson played in 12 games for the Mountaineers – 242 plays (203 on special teams).

This year, Gibson was named as the #1 wide receiver by Dana Holgorsen, alongside Daikiel Shorts. Gibson, recently, has been taking reps with clear-cut quarterback, Howard. Similar to the chemistry between Trickett, White, and Alford) last season, Shelton Gibson and Skyler Howard seem to have a good off-field, out-of-practice chemistry. Gibson says of his relationship with Howard, “He’s my boy. I go home with him sometimes and we get to work on (timing) there, or when I’m down (on the practice field).” Are Gibson and Howard the new WVU Football dream team?

Daikiel ShortsLast year, Shorts – now a Junior – played in 13 games, with a start in four. He totaled 24 catches for 346 yards, and completed two touchdowns. His season high plays took place during the game against Maryland at 85 plays. During the game against Iowa State, in which Howard led the Mountaineers during his first start of the season, Shorts completed his 2nd touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Howard. As a freshman, Shorts played in 12 games for West Virginia, seeing a start as wide receiver in 9 of them.

WVU Spring Training Greenbriar - Mountaineer WorldThis year, Holgorsen has name Shorts as the #1 wide receiver alongside red-shirt sophomore, Shelton Gibson. Holgorsen announced in a press conference on the 11th of April that he had moved Shorts from the inside to the outside as Wendell Smallwood began to establish himself as the top inside receiver. Shorts is adjusting to the position, and making great gains quickly. Will Shorts live up to Holgorsen’s expectations during the Blue-Gold game?

Wendell SmallwoodLast year, Smallwood played in 13 games for the Mountaineers, with a start in 9 of them. He established himself as West Virginia’s #2 rusher with 148 carries for 722 yards and the completion of 2 touchdowns. Smallwood continued to impress as he became the Mountaineer’s fourth-leading receiver (31 catches for 326 yards).

This year, it’s not question why Holgorsen turned to Smallwood to solve the inside receiver problem. Smallwood is a good possibility to fill Holgorsen’s #1 inside receiver position, giving Holgorsen the ability to push Shorts to the wide receiver position and increase West Virginia’s offensive ability.

Rushel ShellLast year, Shell competed in 12 games, starting in 8, after having his red shirt lifted after the 2013 season to fulfill NCAA transfer requirements. Shell became WVUs leading rusher with 176 carries of 788 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 21 catches for 140 yards.

This year, Shell is getting in a lot of reps, however, Holgorsen says he has yeat to see Shell take anything over from all he accomplished and learned last year. Shell is still performing well, and Holgorsen commented that he is happy to have four or five addition players to develop – since the position takes a beating – to step in when another needs to come out.

Are you ready to see your Mountaineers’ progress through the spring training season? Check them out as they compete in the Blue-Gold game Saturday at 1 p.m.

In the meantime, stop into Mountaineer World and get geared up early for Football season!