POG: Gold-Blue Game

Pat Lazear

A picture-perfect spring day greeted the Mountaineers for the annual Gold-Blue game at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Using a modified scoring system, the Gold (offense) thrased the Blue (defense) by a final of 59-15. The game wrapped up the first 15 spring workouts of the Bill Stewart era.

Though the spring game format is not exactly one that is designed to produce big stars, there were a number of standout performers on the afternoon.

For the offense, wide receiver Bradley Starks wrapped up his impressive spring with three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Starks, a redshirt freshman, spent the final two practices leading up to the Gold-Blue game working exclusively at receiver after spending much of the spring as the team's third quarterback.

The continued progression of Starks could be huge for the Mountaineer passing game as offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen and company continue to look for a reliable downfield threat.

For the blue, linebacker Pat Lazear gets the player of the game nod for his outstanding performance. Like Starks, Lazear has moved to a new position late in the spring, though his move from Sam (strongside) linebacker to Mike (middle) was more subtle than Starks splitting out wide.

Lazear was credited with four tackles on the day, and had an impressive interception with the defense backed up in the red zone. Lazear lept in front of Pat White's throw, fell to the turf, and cradled the pigskin with his knees to retain possession for the blue.


GAME BALLS:

  • Linebacker Najee Goode has sewn up this year's "Who is that guy and where did he come from" award by virtue of his solid afternoon. Goode, a walk-on from Cleveland, recorded a game-high 10 tackles, including five solo stops.

    Afterward, Stewart raved about Goode's abilities, pointing out that the redshirt freshman turned down several MAC offers for a chance to walk-on at WVU.

  • Although it was just the spring game, kicker Pat McAfee was already in midseason form. The senior was a perfect four-of-four on field goal attempts with a long of 49 yards.

    The format of the contest did not allow for any punting, meaning McAfee's powerful right leg only had half as much work on Saturday as normal.

  • Finally, Saturday's Gold-Blue game was the best attended in years at Milan Puskar Stadium. The entire lower deck was filled behind the home sideline, as was much of the upper deck. Though no official attendance was released immediately after the game, at least 20,000 Mountaineer fans came out to enjoy the day.
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