CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Icky Banks rambled 60 yards on a scoop-and-score. Christian Brown registered a touch-sack safety. Karl Joseph provided two punishing licks.
Those were some of the highlights on a sparkling day for West Virginia’s first-string defense.
“I thought the 1′s did really well,” said defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. “We didn’t give up a touchdown with the 1′s and had a couple turnovers.”
There were nearly two more turnovers: Safety Jeremy Tyler dropped what should have been an easy interception of Skyler Howard, and Daryl Worley saw a Paul Millard pass ricochet off his facemask.
“They’re starting to come together,” Gibson said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re a week better than we were after last Saturday’s scrimmage.”
The starting defense was on the verge of surrendering a touchdown when Tyler and Joseph converged on running back Dreamius Smith and jarred the ball free.
“As soon as I heard it, I knew Karl was involved,” said Gibson, who was Joseph’s position coach last season.
Joseph had opened the scrimmage by belting receiver Mario Alford on an underneath route.
“No. 8—he’s a missile,” Gibson said. “You know he has no neck, so he explodes from the toes through the top of his heard. He did it as a freshman and he did it a bunch last year.”