MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Alabama’s running game has long been infamous for overpowering defenses, but Mark Glowinski envisions West Virginia’s offensive line pulling off that feat Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game.

“If we can get off the ball and do what we’ve been doing (in camp), I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ll tire them down.”

Glowinski and fellow guard Quinton Spain are seniors and the unquestioned pillars up front for West Virginia, a team forced to repeatedly evaluate and commiserate over last season’s 4-8 finish. All that reflection will give way to new results once the Mountaineers finally line up against No. 2 Alabama.

Ben Queen/WVMetroNews

Guard Mark Glowinski says West Virginia can set up its season “if we put on a great show against Alabama.”

The Tide defense is in replenishing mode, having lost seven starters to graduation or NFL draft early entry—an exodus that includes Butkus Award winner C.J. Mosley. Two top returning linebackers, Trey DePriest and Denzel Devall, were slowed by leg injuries during preseason camp, and defensive linemen Brandon Ivory and Jarran Reed missed more than a week of practice while serving suspensions.

Those gaps were offset by Nick Saban’s staff stocking up once more in the latest round of recruiting. The Crimson Tide signed seven of the top 38 defensive players in the nation, according to Rivals, and some of that talent likely will be forced into immediate action against West Virginia.

“The name on the back changes, but the same body type typically shows up every year,” said Mountaineers offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. “Their guys up front are hard to move.”

Yet Glowinski seems almost giddy over the challenge. His perma-grin has been a staple thoroughout camp, as though he senses a redemptive senior season about to unfold.

“That’s probably the biggest opportunity that we have,” he said. “If we can put on a great show against Alabama, it will really set us up for the rest of the season.”

He recognizes the consequences attached to this game—the highest-ranked opponent WVU has faced since losing 47-21 to LSU in 2011. And diverting from the it’s-just-another-game mantra, Glowinski suggested it’s impossible not to emphasize the matchup against Alabama, a tradition-thick program he grew up revering in Eastern Pennsylvania.

“You’ve always watched them as kids—it has always been a team you wanted to play against,” Glowinski said. “In the back yard and stuff, you’re always talking about these teams.”

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  • any major dude

    We score two TDs and two FGs.
    They score 4 TDs and two FGs.
    Wish score: WVU 35 Alabama 20
    Prediction: UA 35 WVU 20

    Go Mountaineers!!!!

  • Dave

    I remember when Coach Nehlen took a WVU team to Oaklahoma for the season opener and was a huge underdog. When the dust cleared the scoreboard showed a WVU victory. Go EEER'S!!!

    • Steve

      this was the start of a great era in Mountaineer football. Time to start another.

  • TB

    If the play book isn't opened this week it never will be. A good showing would be nice versus a butt kicking. Fast is the only speed !

  • Mike

    If Holgorsen has any magic left at all in his high scoring offense-minded coaching ability, now is the time.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    The closer I look at this game the more convinced I get that WVU has a legit shot at an upset . It has all the trappings of an upset . I keep looking for reasons why this is a 26 point spread - it's getting more difficult to find . We have the better offense . Yes we do . We could jump out early and hold on late . Yes I can see it happening .

    • dave

      It's always easy to see a possible win before the game starts. It is possible. Look what Seattle did in the super bowl. And our Orange bowl win. Is it likely #56 beats number #2?

      • StarCityEer

        It's ironic we're starting the season at #56. We also started at #56 in 2005 when Pat White and Steve Slaton were freshmen; I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone how that ended. Similar to that team, our preseason rating is often based on the previous year as opposed to our current talent. Likewise, I believe Alabama's ranking of #2 is based on their record from the previous couple of years. When you take a close look at this year's Tide, they are much different than they were last year with many unproven, yet talented players. I think the gap between WVU and UA this year is much closer than the rankings lead most to believe. We're in a very good spot, and if Alabama comes into this game thinking they're playing the #56 team in the country, they're going to take a beating like they've never had before.

  • Aaron

    "Alabama linebacker Trey DePriest has been suspended for Saturday's season opener against West Virginia for what coach Nick Saban said was a minor infraction of NCAA rules, according to reports.

    DePriest, who was voted first-team All-SEC in a preseason media poll, has started 26 games over the past two seasons. The senior has compiled 149 tackles and 13 tackles for loss in 40 career games."

    As reported by Sports Illustrated.

  • Spiralninja

    WVU by two touchdowns. It's official.

  • Protechcpa

    I cannot remember the last year we had a good offensive line. Had to be in the Rich Rod days. Not one year since Rich Rod left. I hope this year we turn the corner. O line has been an embarrassment.

    • StarCityEer

      Not since Rich Rod and coach Rick Tricket had a falling out and Tricket left for Florida State.

  • Country Roads

    11 players on each side of the ball, The score is zero zero, ..... Before the ball is snapped people already say West Virginia has lost the game......HOGWASH..... Just an opinion of a person does not make a lost...... That also goes for all the stars out from a person's name like three-star four star five star just an opinion all that is.... After the fourth quarter and there is no time left on the clock look at the scoreboard and that will tell you who the winner is not on somebodies sheet of paper..... My prediction is West Virginia will win this game...... Oh by the way the uniforms will be.... West Virginia Mountaineers-going all white-uniforms.....

  • bryan

    It's not can we win.WE WILL WIN !!Go WVU!!!!

  • Mountaineer Fanatic



  • The bookman

    I can't wait to see if we have improved. Talk is cheap. The facts are this is no longer the Big East. We play the "Bamas" frequently in league play so let's tee it up and take a measurement. How far have we come from last year?

    I think we will be pleasantly surprised!

  • husker

    I'd be surprised if wvu beats towson..

    • Aaron

      You say you would be surprised but I'd lay $10 to a doughnut that you cannot articulate a valid, reasonable argument as to why a WVU victory in game 7 would be a surprise.

      • Aaron

        I'm sorry, game 2

    • Capt. Obvious

      I see. Are you surprised when the sun comes up everyday as well?

  • Counter Trey

    It goes without saying we are going to have to play something close to flawless football to win. The talent gap is just too wide otherwise. Win the turnover battle, play smart, get a few breaks, and match them physically. Improbable but not impossible! Go Mountaineers!!!

  • Aaron

    If WVU is going to be competitive, the offensive line has to play the game of their lives. Win or lose, this game could very well set the course of WVU football for years to come.

    • TruthTeller

      That is what everybody says every time WVU plays against any team. WVU has one bad season and it like WVU will never ever have a good team again. Well some of you pea brains don't know this but Alabama has had bad 6-6 seasons before. It can happen to any team.
      They are not football Gods!!!!

      • Aaron

        Pea brains. That's funny coming from someone like you. I honestly don't know who's worse, you or the William's of the world.

        • GoEers

          Aaron I must admit that I enjoy reading your posts as you are a knowledgeable fan. However, comparing truth teller to the Williams of the world is definitely a little unfair. Truth teller is a passionate WVU. Every now and then I scratch my head at some of his posts, but I know where he is coming from. The Williams and Jay Zooms of the world are really the worst of the worst. Other than that, my last comment would be: Let's Go Mountaineers!