WVU football team excited for new season, conference
August 10, 2012 ·
College football season is now less than a month away. West Virginia University will be making its debut in the Big 12 conference this season. Excitement is abound amongst the players.
WVU’s first game is against in-state school, Marshall University.
The first conference game comes at the end of September, in Morgantown, against Baylor University from Waco, Texas.
Historically, the Big 12 is a stronger football conference than the Big East Conference, where WVU was a member for nearly 20 years.
Senior player Tavon Austin says he’s looking forward to playing against the new schools.
"The expectations are high now, everyone is looking for us to do big things, and for ourselves, we have to come in day in and day out, we can’t get big headed, and just hope we can finish out like we did last year," he said.
The other members of the Big 12 conference are primarily schools in the Midwest.
They are the University of Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech University, Texas Christian University, the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Iowa State University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Oklahoma.
Austin says despite all of the glamour that comes with moving to the Big 12, it’s important to him to achieve both team goals and personal ones.
"My personal goals are number one, to get through the season healthy, number two, to get to a national championship, and then hopefully get to my dream, which is to go to the NFL," Austin said.
Josh Jenkins is another senior on the team.
He plays on the offensive line, and says he is still learning about the new opponents.
"There is just a lot of great players, not that there wasn’t great players in the Big East, but there’s great players all around, all the time," he said.
"It’s going to be interesting to find out more when we step on the field against them and watch film on them."
Along with the new opponents, parts of the team are learning a new system.
Former WVU defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel left after last season to join former coach Rich Rodriguez at the University of Arizona.
The defense is now under a new coordinator, Joe DeForest, and a co-defensive coordinator, Keith Patterson.
They changed the scheme from a formation called a 3-3-5, to a more straightforward scheme called a 3-4 defense.
Isaiah Bruce is one of the defensive players and says it’s been a good transition for the defensive players.
"In high school I did both the 3-3 and the 3-4; I originally thought the 3-3 was better for me until I got here," he said.
Along with the conference games and the season opener, WVU will also take on James Madison University, and the University of Maryland.