Ben Queen/WVMetroNews photo

Sacked twice but rarely pressured on 47 drop-backs against Alabama, quarterback Clint Trickett said West Virginia’s offensive linemen “played their asses off.”


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Outside of a soaring shotgun snap that appeared literally to come out of a shotgun, West Virginia center Tyler Orlosky performed well against Alabama.

In fact, he had the highest grade of the offensive linemen, according to position coach Ron Crook, and was 100-percent accurate on his line calls.

That’s a promising sign for the sophomore, who lost his starting job as a freshman after two games.

“They played their asses off,” said quarterback Clint Trickett. “Last year the pocket would just collapse or there would be free runners … but now the line has improved a lot. I barely got touched, and that’s phenomenal when you’re playing a team of Alabama’s caliber.”

As for the infamous snap from the Alabama 5 that wound up back at the Alabama 24? A flood of pressurized factors gave rise to Orlosky’s only significant mistake.

“It was third down, Clint is calling for the ball, the guards are yelling ‘Mug! Mug! Mug!’ because Alabama is showing blitz, and Tyler just flinched on the snap,” Crook said. “Other than that one play, he had a good game.”

Adam Pankey allowed a first-half sack, and All-Big 12 candidate Mark Glowinski surrendered another in the fourth quarter. Both were attributable to technique issues, said Crook, who was essentially satisfied with the way West Virginia picked up Alabama’s pass rushers.

“I felt like we blocked their blitzes pretty well,” he said, “We gave us a chance to stay in the game and to win it down the stretch.”

Concerns about Pankey and Marquis Lucas making their first starts at the tackles were alleviated from the outset, when Dana Holgorsen saw the line controlling the point of contact. Maintaining that surge became more difficult as Alabama rotated through a herd of defensive linemen.

“I thought we played well in the first half—we came out and played nasty,” Holgorsen said. “We had like seven knockdowns, and we were taking some of their guys and driving them into the ground. Second half, our guys got challenged a little bit. We did not have that production.”

The only backup lineman to see action, junior guard Stone Underwood briefly replaced Quinton Spain after a left arm injury. Against FCS foe Towson this Saturday, the second unit should play meaningful snaps.

Said Crook: “Hopefully we’ll get that opportunity.”

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  • nashville cat

    seeing how we rushed for a net 38 yds. and had only one offensive td, i don't know how anyone figures that our off.line was dominant, or even average.
    just sayin,,,,i see plenty of room for improvement in this group and i would play them enough sat. to get their mojo back .\

  • any major dude

    With the crowd behind them, the players will respond by playing well and with great intensity. A blowout and plenty of action by the 2s! See you at the game!

    @Lunatic Fringe I agree with you wholehartedly, but it's A-fib. De-fib is what you do when somebody is in A-fib (Atrial Fibrillation). Sorry to be such a smart-ass!

  • Jim

    "Concerns about Pankey and Marquis Lucas making their first starts at the tackles were alleviated from the outset, when Dana Holgorsen saw the line controlling the point of contact. Maintaining that surge became more difficult as Alabama rotated through a herd of defensive linemen"

    OK, more depth on the O-line is needed to give the 1's a breather. They played a great game!

  • Lunatic Fringe

    I think these kids are understanding that they need to focus on one game at a time. Yea, good opportunity to get the #2's some reps if they do. Am I the only one who heart went into de-fib when I saw Spain holding his arm? However, as a fan I do have the luxury of looking ahead. I really want us to but-stomp Maryland. Been looking forward to that one game all year.

    • Jim

      Yep! The team needs to look at Towson with the same sense of urgency and excitement as they did with Alabama. Every team they face should get the same treatment. Our 2-year record does not give us any right to be arrogant and thinking of a positive win, regardless of the opponent's conference. Play smart, but mean and nasty. Let some other team lose to a FBS team.

  • squad

    Lets not run presumptuous articles concerning when our 2nd team goes on. This is chalkboard material for a team that competes for championships each year. If we get the 2nd team in and we are expected to, fine. Just no need to run that headline to set yourself up for a fall. especially coming off 4-8. I know we looked good last week but keeping our head humble is the other part of the equation of great effort.


    What about the D-line that was out there twice as minutes as the O-line was?

    DANA needs to tell that offense to stay on the field as long as you can to protect the Defense....

    **REDZONE SCORING NEEDS TO IMPROVE LIKE A LOT!!!!** This is not a practice game, they need to get that offense rolling, they need to get as many plays in as level needs to be through the roof....4-8 seasons last year!!! (We scored one offensive Touchdowns against Alabama!!!! not good for a hurry up offense would you say)


  • WVU Fan

    Great game by the O-Line. Could not of asked for a better game. For those thinking WVU looks past Towson, I don't think so. WVU has had few wins lately and they need more. So look out Towson.

    Arizona did not look past UTSA. UTSA is really that good. Arizona had a cup cake team the week before. Personally I hope Arizona loses as many games as possible.

    • Lunatic Fringe

      Live in Tucson. Big Arizona fan. Just not as big as WV. Some people got to get over the whole Richrod thing. He's handled himself the way we all wish he had handled himself when he left WV and really putting something special together here. Bear down! LET'S GOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dave

    One of my biggest concerns about our team this year was could the O-Line protect Clint Trickett and keep him vertical. I think my question has been answered with a big YES. Our O-Line did great against probably the best defense we'll see this year. Hard work paying off. Congrats team and Coach Crook.

  • Mountaineer Fanatic

    I was watching the first half of Arizona and UTSA. Hope we do not take Towson as easy and end up losing. Don't think Arizona expected UTSA to play that good.
    We need to play every game as if we are playing Alabama. We really looked good last week.

    • Lunatic Fringe

      Yea we did. UTSA beat Houston by 20 the week before and Larry Coker is their coach. If anyone knows how to go against a Richrod team, it's Larry Coker.

  • any major dude

    Both Orlosky and the entire line play has just improved tremendously. Kudos to Coach Crook. Keep it up!

  • spike bishop

    I was IMPRESSED with the entire bunch at ALABAMA. A few mistakes and a couple of questionable calls provided the difference, in my eyes. Our OPENER was tougher than the rest of the BIG 12, outside of OKLA. ST. I look for GOOD THINGS this year!!! LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!

  • Aaron

    Despite the comments of some posters, the concern of coaches and predictions of defense linemen running free by sportswriters, the line played outstanding against Alabama. If they can build on that performance and build some depth, this unit will become a strong point for this team.

  • pat

    Let's put this one in the rear view mirror and not look past Towson. They'll be psyched to play a tough opponent at night on their home field. Hope WV has the mentality of stepping on their throats and putting up a hundred!

  • rock solid

    Wow! nobody impressed enougth to post? I think the line did a great job against very good and nunerous athletes that are "star" ranged well above WVU. Well done guys, just shows how slow most of the posters are who pretend to be coaches and know everything about everything in JR's world at metro news.

    • uncle phil

      Sorry Rock, some of us actually have jobs and can't reload the page all day waiting for the next article.

      So yeah... I thought the O-Line was outstanding!

      • Jay

        Classic post!!

        "Some of us actually have jobs..."

        Very true. Can't sit on Metro News and push refresh. My world doesn't spin that way.

        • hailey

          You guys need to find a better job !