WVU defense cutline

West Virginia defenders Charles Pugh (from left), Quinton Andrew (8), Jay Henry and Larry Williams gang-tackle Eastern Washington’s Brynsen Brown for a short gain. WVU has only forced two turnovers in two games.

Coordinator Jeff Casteel is pleased with West Virginia University’s defensive unit, for the most part, after two games.

It gave up a total of just 13 points and an average of 253.5 yards in convincing victories over Marshall and Eastern Washington.

In the process, however, the Mountaineers managed to get just two turnovers — a pair of pass interceptions by Quinton Andrews.

He’s a redshirt freshman free safety who also was credited with 10 tackles for the two games.

“We need to get more turnovers, no question,” Casteel said. “We haven’t been able to get around the quarterback and getting the turnovers to which we’ve been accustomed in the past.”

Naturally, he hopes the stopper unit will be more productive in that respect Thursday night against Maryland at home.

“We pride ourselves on being able to do that the last three or four years,” Casteel said. “We’ve got to do a better job, get after the quarterback and force some turnovers.

“Sometimes they just happen and other times they’re forced. We’re not getting our hands on the ball, and we’re not really aggressive sometimes in our tackling and being crisp enough to work the ball loose.”

But WVU is playing with a lot of youngsters on defense, and he thinks they’re still trying to get a feel for each other.

Casteel said, “We do the same things up front that we always do. We’ve just got to do a better job of executing.

“We haven’t made as many plays as we had hoped to this point. Again, the guys have to step up and make some plays.

“And I feel sure that they will be tested Thursday night.”

WVU’s defense came up with 31 turnovers — 17 interceptions and 14 fumble recoveries — last season as it posted an 11-1 record for a No. 5 final ranking.

In contrast, the Mountaineers turned the ball over only 17 times — 10 lost fumbles and seven interceptions.

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