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Mike Casazza

WVU Reporter
  • Phone 304-319-1142
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Casazza, Mike

WVU defense adjusting to life without Karl Joseph in secondary


MORGANTOWN — About all that’s clear for West Virginia’s defense right now is that a whole lot is unclear.

The Mountaineers play No. 21 Oklahoma State on Saturday, ...

Mountaineer Gameday: Oklahoma State will challenge WVU offensive line


MORGANTOWN — In the first three games of this season, West Virginia allowed seven quarterback sacks. In the fourth game, Oklahoma matched that on its own.

In the first three games, opponents tackled the Mou...

WVU’s Karl Joseph, who has season-ending knee injury, secured insurance policies


MORGANTOWN — A non-contact knee injury in practice Tuesday, a day when West Virginia’s football team doesn’t wear pads and tends to take things easy, has ended the season...

Holgorsen says players “thrive off” sold out Mountaineer Field

- MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s last home game was success, a 45-6 victory against Maryland at sold-out Mountaineer Field that saw the offense score touchdowns on its first three possessions in the first 10 minutes.

Run game could play large role for WVU, Oklahoma State


MORGANTOWN — When they were together for the 2010 season at Oklahoma State, the head coach and his hand-picked offensive coordinator put together a season that produced 4,496 yards and 36 touchdowns passing, 10 re...

Oklahoma exposed Mountaineers’ miscues on defense


MORGANTOWN — What Tony Gibson saw that bothered him the most in West Virginia’s fourth game were the things the defensive coordinator didn’t see in the first three.

Oklahoma pulls away from WVU, 44-24


NORMAN, Okla. — West Virginia spent all of halftime designing a way to get back into Saturday’s game against Oklahoma and then almost the entire third quarter putting that...

WVU notebook: Holgorsen shoulders blame for loss


NORMAN, Okla. — What Dana Holgorsen liked most about Skyler Howard, the trait that convinced the West Virginia football coach to deposit so much coaching capital into his startin...

Mountaineer Gameday: WVU, others, see opportunity on fourth down


MORGANTOWN — In his first 53 games as West Virginia’s football coach, Dana Holgorsen had been forced 331 times to make a decision. His offense, which is to say his treasure, was facing fourth down an...

Secondary key to WVU’s defensive game plan vs. Sooners


NORMAN, Okla. — There is no one way to coach or to play defense, and different teams across various conferences have options to pick from when they figure out how to line up, whi...

WVU notebook: Early kickoff, crowd noise don’t bother Holgorsen


NORMAN, Okla. — West Virginia and Oklahoma begin Big 12 play against each other for the third consecutive season, and they’ll start early today. It’s a noon kickoff...

WVU readies for Oklahoma’s ‘laundry cart’ running back


MORGANTOWN — K.J. Dillon played football growing up in central Florida, starting in the Pop Warner leagues and advancing through middle school and high school. There were a lot of game...

WVU notebook: Mayfield off to hot start at Oklahoma


MORGANTOWN — Oklahoma defeated Tulsa 52-38 the last time it played, and the team's website had fun with the headline atop the story about the game: “Baker's Half Dozen Fuels Soone...

WVU notebook: Sooners defense up and down


MORGANTOWN — No defense in the country has allowed fewer points than West Virginia’s this season, but Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen took time at his weekly news conference Tue...

WVU’s Dillon, OU’s Darlington have lasting bond from days as teammates


MORGANTOWN — If not for Ty Darlington, K.J. Dillon might not be on the field Saturday.

West Virginia’s defense, which leads the nation in points allowed, would be without...

Chestnut shows how WVU defense is trained to contain, recover


MORGANTOWN — Every time West Virginia practices, defensive coordinator Tony Gibson asks his defense to line up between the cones surrounding his 3-3-5. Six sets dot the backfield, the line of scrimmage and up the ...

Shell helped set tone for WVU against Terps


MORGANTOWN — Rushell Shell was West Virginia’s second-leading rusher in Saturday’s 45-6 win against Maryland, and his 77 yards were a little more than half of teammate We...

WVU rolls over Maryland 45-6


MORGANTOWN — Saturday was the last game between Maryland and West Virginia until 2020, and if this one was any indication, things might not cool off by then.

The Mountaineer...

WVU notebook: Mountaineers turn up pressure, record 3 sacks


MORGANTOWN — Before Saturday’s game there was one lineup change for Maryland. It didn’t take long for WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson to take note and apply pressur...

Mike Casazza: WVU focuses on itself, not others, when it comes to penalties


MORGANTOWN — Penalties are something of a taboo in college football. They’re not open to discussion, not in a game and apparently not outside of the games either.


Mountaineers hope to control pace vs. Maryland


MORGANTOWN — In beating Maryland last season, West Virginia snapped the ball 108 times, just enough for a game-winning 47-yard field goal as time expired, just enough to irk Terrapins ...

WVU notebook: Dillon adjusts to role as punt returner


MORGANTOWN — KJ Dillon’s first two games as West Virginia’s punt returner didn’t go quite as well as planned.

The senior safety figured he’d debut in...

WVU’s young receivers get ready for stiffest test yet


MORGANTOWN — The week for West Virginia’s wide receivers began with Dana Holgorsen giving them a warning about what to expect Saturday against Maryland.

“They have...

WVU notes: Defensive effort was focal point during off week


MORGANTOWN — West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson was as disappointed following the Sept. 12 win against Liberty as he is after losses, and he wasn’t about to let his...

Maryland’s Craddock takes unique road to college football’s top kicker


MORGANTOWN — Brad Craddock is one of the unlikeliest success stories in college football.

“He’s a very, very special, special person,” Maryland coach Randy ...

WVU notebook: Terps’ visit is final game before series break


MORGANTOWN — West Virginia plays host to Maryland at 3 p.m. Saturday in what’s not merely the final non-confernce game for both schools, but also the last game in the series bef...

Maryland in search of identity ahead of visit to WVU


MORGANTOWN — Now that Dana Holgorsen has taken a look at the Maryland Terrapins, the West Virginia coach might need a second glance at Saturday’s opponent.

The Moun...

Examining WVU’s red zone struggles


MORGANTOWN — The smoke from the mascot’s rifle had barely cleared two Saturdays ago, and West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen was moments away from clearing his docket an...

Cheating, spying and the game within the college game


MORGANTOWN — Perception, reality, the legitimacy of one and the difference between the two can be determined by something as fleeting as one look. Consider the situation West Virginia&...

WVU offense dips into past to keep defenses guessing


MORGANTOWN — As Dana Holgorsen grabbed his offense by the shoulder pads and shook it up to take it into the future, he also reached into West Virginia’s past. His fifth team of ...

New footballs make life easier for O’Toole, Mountaineers


MORGANTOWN — Two games of results isn’t enough to say things have changed for Nick O’Toole, especially when 13 games last season were what convinced West Virginia’...

WVU notebook: Holgorsen is no fan of early bye week


MORGANTOWN — West Virginia is one of only four teams in major conferences to have two open weeks this season, but that doesn’t necessarily please coach Dana Holgorsen.


WVU can use off week to polish pressure, pass rush


MORGANTOWN — The football season is still new enough that there isn’t much value in putting much worth into where West Virginia stands in national rankings.

True, the Mountaineers (2-0) are now just ...

WVU QB Howard made adjustments, remained productive


MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s first two offensive performances this season have a lot in common. The Mountaineers have sputtered at times in both first halves and scored 16 and 2...

West Virginia puts away Liberty 41-17


MORGANTOWN — Seasons change, and on a dreary, gray Saturday at Mountaineer Field, when summer seemed to open the door for autumn, there was a similarly certain feeling 2014 had stepped...

WVU notebook: Benton steps in for injured Barber at LB


MORGANTOWN — West Virginia senior linebacker Jared Barber, who missed all of last season after tearing his ACL late in the 2013 campaign, did not play in Saturday’s win against ...

WVU focused on ‘little things’ in passing game vs. Liberty


MORGANTOWN — In his first college game, freshman Jovon Durante caught three passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. In his first start for West Virginia, sophomore Shelton Gibson was a b...

Future WVU schedules will be shaped by Power 5, not FCS


MORGANTOWN — West Virginia has played a Football Championship Subdivision opponent in every season since 2008 and will extend that stretch for at least two more years.

The Mount...

Backyard Brawl football series between WVU, Pitt renewed


MORGANTOWN — If not for Twitter, there might be no Backyard Brawl.

West Virginia Athletic Director Shane Lyons fashioned a quizzical tweet at 2:47 p.m. Thursday promising an &#x...

WVU’s Tall has ‘perfect balance’ approach to coaching linemen


MORGANTOWN — Bruce Tall keeps track of everything the defensive linemen do at West Virginia. Everything. He’s the assistant coach in charge of that position, so that’s hi...

WVU notebook: Running game carried the load in opener


MORGANTOWN — Part of Dana Holgorsen’s problem evaluating his offense in last week’s season-opening win was that West Virginia only snapped the ball 66 times and gained a ...

Former Mountaineer Will Johnson makes it back with Liberty


MORGANTOWN — What Cody Clay remembers about his time spent with Will Johnson is that there wasn’t much to remember at all about their two years together as West Virginia t...

WVU notebook: Holgorsen sees room for improvement on special teams


MORGANTOWN — His defense shut down 2014’s top-ranked rushing offense on the way to shutting out Georgia State. His offense finally capitalized on turnovers and scoring opportuni...

Turnovers a point of emphasis for WVU


MORGANTOWN — Throughout the offseason that finally ends tonight, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen focused on turnovers and ways to prevent them on offense and create them on defense....

WVU notebook: Breida best of Georgia Southern RB stable


MORGANTOWN — Georgia Southern won’t have its ordinary starting quarterback for tonight’s season-opening football game against West Virginia, but that doesn’t seem ...

WVU’s Joseph evolves from big hitter to better tackler


MORGANTOWN — Throughout the two-plus years he’s been on West Virginia’s campus, running back Wendell Smallwood has had his run-ins with safety Karl Joseph.


WVU offensive line coach ‘comfortable’ ahead of opener


MORGANTOWN — Ron Crook has figured out more than just the five starters on his offensive line. The West Virginia assistant football coach has also picked the first substitute for Satur...

WVU, Georgia Southern want QBs with mobility


MORGANTOWN ­­— Skyler Howard will start at quarterback for West Virginia in its season opener Saturday night. There was a time not long ago when the 6-foot Howard wouldn ...

WVU notebook: Enough talk, Holgorsen’s ready for game time


MORGANTOWN — The best thing to happen to Dana Holgorsen Tuesday actually happened Monday. The West Virginia coach started the first game week of the season by publishing a depth chart ...

Shorts gives WVU versatile option at receiver


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Hand Daikiel Shorts a blank depth chart and a pen. Ask the junior receiver where he would place himself in the hierarchy of West Virginia’s offense.