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WVU football: Desperate Mountaineers defense turns to freshmen

After losing back-to-back games in blowout fashion, the No. 25-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers' football program is patching together its sieve-like defense with a handful of true freshmen. According to a report by Charleston Daily Mail's Mike Casazza, the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2 Big 12 Conference) are playing six true freshman and three redshirt freshman to fill voids caused by poor play and injuries.

WVU defensive coordinator Joe DeForest says it's a matter of the Mountaineers trying to figure out the best grouping for their defense.

"We were just trying to find guys that can play," DeForest said. "We had six true freshmen playing together - and that's not an excuse by any stretch."

Currently, West Virginia is dealing with issues surrounding senior defensive end Will Clarke, who was replaced Saturday by freshman Kyle Rose, and an injury to junior cornerback Brodrick Jenkins (knee injury), who was replaced by the freshmen duo of Nana Kyeremeh and Rick Rumph.

Those moves were one of a handful that DeForest had to make in Saturday's 55-14 loss to Kansas St. Wildcats.

"We have to reevaluate everything - who's on the field, the scheme, how much we can do and not do - and in the end we've got to do something and try to get better quick," co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said. "We've got to try to get someone out there who can make a play and challenge receivers."

The Mountaineers have a week off before they return to action Nov. 3 when they host the TCU Horned Frogs (5-2, 2-2). The hope is that will be enough time for WVU to figure out a better defensive strategy.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.