Mountaineers make most of bye week


Colin Tate

After a convincing win over Howard and a blowout loss to Clemson, the Mountaineers enter their first bye week of the season with a record of 1-1.

Even though it is an off week, the team has not let up in its level of practice or preparation.

“For a lot of teams they go into a bye week thinking they can just lay down,” sophomore linebacker Eric Boggs said. “Our team, we kind of focused on trying to get better each and every day. During the bye week you gotta take it as an advantage.”

Head coach Scott Satterfield and his coaching staff are making the most of the timing of this bye week.

“Sometimes we’ve had it in the beginning,” Satterfield said. “We’ve had them in the end. We’ve had them in the middle. You try to make it a positive. A lot of times it comes down to if you get any guys injured and the timing of that.”

In this case it does help the Mountaineers, as senior wide receiver Simms McElfresh was injured in the game against Clemson. This bye week gives him extra time to heal and lowers the chances of him missing a game.

Boggs also has found advantages to the early bye week.

“It just gets you some more preparation in the beginning of the year,” Boggs said.

The team has practiced per usual, but Satterfield does plan to let the players have a few days off at the end of the week.

“In the open weeks you gotta do that,” Satterfield said. “They gotta get time to get their bodies back, and then we’ll jump right back on normal schedule Sunday.”

Junior running back Marcus Cox, who will be turning 21 over the weekend, plans to take advantage of the off days.

“It’s basically a week to just let your body recuperate and prepare mentally,” Cox said.

While the players understand the importance of healing, most want to be out on the field on Saturday afternoon.

“Every Saturday when you watch football you wish you were out there,” Cox said. “This off week, it’s nice, but I wish we were playing this week.”

That feeling has been multiplied after the team suffered such a dominating loss to Clemson.

“You want to play right now to get this taste out of your mouth, so we’re looking forward to next week and playing Old Dominion,” Satterfield said.

No one understands that feeling more than sophomore quarterback Taylor Lamb.

“I want to play this weekend so bad,” Lamb said. “It just eats at you, because you want to get out there and show everybody that they can have confidence in you leading your team.”

Lamb had one of the worst games of his career against Clemson, going nine for 28 with only 95 passing yards and three interceptions. However, Satterfield expects that he will learn from the experience.

“He was a little bit frustrated, but he’ll get better from it,” Satterfield said. “That’s the thing he’s gotta do. He’s gotta work hard enough to get better the next week and go out and play a great game.”

Overall, this bye week allows the team to learn from the past and make adjustments for the future.

“It lets us know where we are,” Cox said. “After the Howard game, we looked good, and then, going against a good opponent like Clemson, it shows you where you really are. Now we just gotta work on the little things.”

The team knows that they need to make those necessary adjustments during this time off, because they are preparing to face some strong opponents, starting with Old Dominion.

“From this point forward, we’re playing teams like us, and it’s going to be very competitive,” Satterfield said. “It’s gonna be very even. There’s going to be a fine line of winning and losing these next nine games, so we gotta play our best ball.”

Story by: Colin Tate, Sports Reporter