Defensive Coordinator Jeff Casteel
Georgia has NFL-sized linemen. Talk about getting around that challenge.
“They’re very, very big and well coached. That is going to be a big challenge for our kids. We’ve obviously seen big people before but they’re tackles are 6’7”, 6’8”, 6’9” – our basketball team’s not that big. Our guys are going play with leverage and do the things we need to do to be successful. We have to go be a physical football team Monday night to have a chance. Our guys know that and I know Georgia also prides themselves on being physical. Hopefully we can do what we need to do to control their running game and get after their quarterback a little bit. It’s a huge, huge challenge because they have talent throughout their lineup anywhere you look. They have NFL-type players - whether it’s out on the edge with their wide receivers, or if it’s up front, or even their tight ends are bulky. So we have a huge challenge to play well and keep us in the game.”
Please evaluate the recent play of the defensive line and how they setup against the Georgia offensive line?
“They (WVU line) have done a great job being consistent throughout the year, especially when we got Ernest back. They have been consistent week in and week out, and obviously that’s the key for us and any defense to be able to play well up front. We’ve been adding some new things for them as the season has gone on and they’ve done a good job of understanding what we need to do, and do it consistently well for the most part. The difference between this year and two years ago in the Gator Bowl is then we had four healthy defensive linemen – and that’s it … nobody else. Now we’re playing with really six or seven kids on a consistent basis and those guys are getting anywhere from 20-40 snaps, which is helping us in the long run to stay strong. Prior to this season, we’d start wearing down because we’d have the same 3-4 kids on the field. Now that there’s some depth up there, it’s been critical to our success this year. Matching up with Georgia, they are talented everywhere. Our guys will not back down from anybody and I’m sure they’re looking at this as a huge challenge. I know they’re excited to get an opportunity to test themselves against an outstanding offensive line and outstanding offense such as Georgia.”
Mike Lorello (6 -1, 205, Sr., Powell, Ohio)
“Watching Georgia on film, there are not a lot of weaknesses. They have great players at every position. We have to find a way to put pressure on them at every position. Georgia is a great team. We will have to play well.
LB Jay Henry (6-2, 225, Jr., Tulsa, Okla.)
“Their (Georgia) offensive line is huge. Their running backs run hard. You can see it on film. They keep their feet moving all the time. It’ll be a challenge for us. We’ve played tough and physical all season.
LB Jeff Noechel (6-3, 230, Sr., Fairmont, W.Va.)
“They (Georgia) have a lot of good athletes. They have a great team with great players. We’re going to have to play our best game to beat them.
”Pat (WVU QB Pat White) speed is good. He has been able to give us a good look at practice to compare with Shockley (Georgia QB D.J. Shockley).”
DB Jahmile Addae (6-0, 205, Sr., Valrico, Fla.)
“We have to play physical. Their tight end (UGA’s Leonard Pope) is good across the middle. Their wide receivers are good across the middle too. It’s a scheme that the coaches tell you that you have to be physical.”