MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s defensive front will have a different look against Georgia State.

Sophomore Eric Kinsey, after starting two games at defensive end and also playing nose tackle in passing situations, will rotate to the Buck outside linebacker behind starter Brandon Golson.

Along with playing upright and dropping into pass coverage, Kinsey’s most important adjustment to Buck involves setting the defense and taking charge of the pre-snap calls.

Joe Sadlek/All-Pro Photography

After starting two games at defensive end, 265-pound Eric Kinsey is shifting to the Buck outside linebacker spot.

“It takes a special person and Kinsey has got a few things going for him,” defensive line coach Erik Slaughter said. “He is big, smart and athletic, so he is able to play multiple positions and know what he is doing.”

With Kinsey on the move, sophomore Kyle Rose will make his second career start at defensive end.

Kinsey shifted to the Buck position against Oklahoma to give WVU a bigger presence on the perimeter to stop the run. He finished the game with three tackles, including one for a loss.

“It was shocking when my number got called,” Kinsey said. “But I felt comfortable out there, it felt natural and I’m going to continue to work on it.”

Encouraged to gain weight last year in order to play on the defensive line, Kinsey has grown to 265 pounds—42 heavier than Golson. He’ll instantly become one of the biggest outside linebackers in the Big 12.

“I feel like I’m still pretty athletic and I can move a lot,” said Kinsey. “Maybe not as fast as guys like Brandon, but I feel like I can move.”

Ever since the former backup at Buck, senior Dozie Ezemma, suffered a season-ending broken leg against William & Mary, Slaughter has been mulling the move.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about, because it’s nice to have a 6-3, 265-pound guy on the boundary to stop the run,” Slaughter said. “We will keep it in our pocket in case we run into a team who wants to pound the run on us.”

Rose turned a solid game against Oklahoma with four tackles, including two for loss. After playing tackle and nose, he’ll now focus more on the defensive end spot.

“Each position goes hand-in-hand, but being able to focus on one position helps, because you can learn the speed on the outside, compared to the inside,” Rose said.

The defense has been a bright spot for the Mountaineers through two weeks, allowing 16.5 points per game. That’s nearly 22 points better than last season, when WVU ranked 114th out of 120 FBS teams in scoring defense. But the players and coaches said they’re not satisfied.

“I’ve seen what I’ve been seeing since January, I saw a bunch of committed guys who are ready to fight,” Slaughter said. “We are making progress; but we are not trying to be good, we are trying to be great.”

— CJ Ricker contributed to this report

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  • steve

    Speaking as a black man from WV, living in the South(Atlanta), and ad avid WV fan, I see nothing racist about this title. The man plays the "BUCK" position on the team. People please!!!!! I tell everyone I meet about how WV is not as racist as people outside the state think (or is it thinks?) we are, and then someone comes up with this B.S. trying to make something racist out of nothing. Great article and let's focus on going 2-1 this weekend.

    • TC

      I totally agree my man.

  • lee arthur

    Now that's funny !

  • oWhViUo

    Those of us who know what he's talking about? big deal....but people just happen across the article with no clue, that LOVE playing the race card, will try and TURN it into a big deal. Hope not for his sake. And this guy and a few others HAVE been a pleasant surprise on this years defense. Hope they keep improving!

  • Duane

    That sack should have been a safety! He was in the end zone.

    • Jay

      I thought the same thing initially. I then ran the play back on my DVR. I think the reason it was not called a safety is that the ball was not in the end zone. We didn't get a great camera angle, but I do believe the refs got that one right. The ball appeared to never move behind the one-foot line. Of course, it was spotted at the one-YARD line, which, in my opinion, was two feet farther up the field than was correct.

  • TC

    Does everything have to be interpreted as racist??? Good grief....

  • Bob Mayhew

    It might help to know the terminology the defensive coaches use. He is big for a buck. Linebacker, that is.

  • wvajoker

    Some of the commenters here are nitpickers.
    Read anything into these words and see what you come up with or twist them anyway you want.

  • Dave

    Nothing wrong with the headline. Kinsey is big at 265 lbs. and plays the buck linebacker position. I love his play and he's a good addition to the new look defense.

  • Ridgerunner

    I agree with LA Mtneer, bad choice of words. Ruined an otherwise good report.

  • Bobby M

    RED FLAG! When you ARE so good they need to move YOU around this stage IN the game and then SAY how special YOU are - it is NEVER a good sign!

    I really dont like the sound OF this one! If it looks like a duck and quakes like a duck - its probably a DUCK!

    • Chet Ubetcha

      Have you not watched him play? He has made an impact on the field, Kyle Rose also has made alot of good plays. Why would you not want them both on the field? Besides there was a huge drop off from Golson to 2nd string buck, there will not be with Kinsey back there. The guy IS a stud, not just bring told he is

      • Brent

        I dont think Bobby M knows much about football.

        • Bobby M

          OH! THANKS! Whew! I'm so glad Mr. Coach showed up to teach us ALL about football! Thanks COACH!

        • EGD


      • Bobby M

        Hey Friend! If YOU are correct then your saying the coaches dont know WHAT their doing! Ask yourself a simple question Friend - if what you say is true then why didnt this change happen weeks ago? Why are they JUST NOW figuring this out? What does THAT really say? THINK about it!

  • Pat

    The first thing that popped into my head was linebacker followed by NFL size. You're thinking way too much!

  • LA Mtneer

    Dear Editor: Don't you realize how bad that headline is? Remove context and think about it. I foresee some comments regarding stereotypical racist WV rednecks in your future.

    • Larry

      I agree with you.

    • WVU MOM

      Not to mention that the editor didn't read the text under the photo...

    • Bobby M

      Hey Friend! In ALL fairness to you I tried your remove context suggestion and I STILL dont get it! I mean if you want to take away the context the only thing I can THINK about when I see BUCK is deer. So now I'm thinking someone went deer hunting AND got themselves a big buck. Just incase you are unaware with your context issues they use "buck" and "doe" to refer to male and female deer. BUT EVEN THEN its not an insult because buck is for the male deer and Knisley is a male so I'm not sure even how THAT would be offensive.

      Sorry Friend but I think your argument falls FLAT. Maybe it actually tells us more about how YOU see the world instead of how you think we see the world in YOUR context!

      Get some help Friend!