The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

September 15, 2013

Kwiatkowski leads defense for third straight week

MORGANTOWN — For the third consecutive game, linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski from Bethel Park, Pa., led West Virginia University in tackles with nine as the Mountaineers defeated Georgia State, 41-7, Saturday afternoon.

Kwiatkowski is a converted safety who grew into linebacker size and who has developed into a special player.

“He is only a redshirt sophomore and is as healthy as he has ever been,” said coach Dana Holgorsen. “He is a smart guy and is allowing himself to be coached. There is a mental aspect to the game of football that you have to be able to understand, and right now he understands it.”

But it is more than just that.

“He has worked his body into phenomenal shape,” Holgorsen added.

There are almost no complaints coming from anywhere about him.

Ask defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Keith Patterson.

“He is one of those guys who does everything you ask him to do, and he doesn’t deviate from it,” Patterson said. “I’ve been very pleased with his approach every single day. What you see from him on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is what you are going to see on Saturday.”

Because of that, he is fully prepared each game and plays maybe just a step faster than those around him.

“It’s his confidence. He understands the system. When you play with confidence, you play fast. Last year he didn’t have the reps to go out there and feel 100 percent confident. This year he does.”

• Three players were not dressed for the Georgia State game. Backup cornerback KJ Dillon was out with a knee. Linebacker Doug Rigg was kept out as precaution after suffering a concussion the previous week, and tight end Garrett Hope was out with an unannounced injury.

To fill in for Hope as a backup tight end, Russell Haughton-James was moved from backup right guard to tight end.

• The 23rd induction ceremonies were held for the WVU Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday. Inducted were Dale Blaney (men’s basketball), Olivia Bradley (women’s basketball), Linda Burdette-Good (gymnastics), Dr. Ed Etzel (rifle), Dean Morrison (wrestling), Paul Popovich (men’s basketball/baseball) and Tom Woodeshick (football).

• Five players started for the first time for WVU – Mario Alford, Ronald Carswell, Ford Childress, Daryl Worley and Kevin White. … Childress’ 359 passing yards were a record for a freshman quarterback at WVU, breaking the mark of 257 set on Nov. 24, 2000, by Scott McBrien in a loss to Pitt.

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Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

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    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

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    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

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    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

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