Offense out to make a point at WVU's annual Gold-Blue Game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia's new offense has just one goal heading into the spring game today: score.

Seems simple enough, considering the goal of every offense is to put points on the scoreboard. But it carries more meaning in the annual Gold-Blue Game today at Mountaineer Field because the offense has been the focus of the spring.

"I think that since this offense has so much hype, we should go out and run the score up and show the fans what we can do once the fall starts," receiver Stedman Bailey said. "For me, I want to go out and score a lot of points."

Fans will get their first look at West Virginia's retooled offense, which promises a high-octane spread style, featuring receivers and running backs lining up in unorthodox positions.

Quarterback Geno Smith said his focus is on running the offense smoothly.

"We're not worried about putting on a show," he said. "We're worried about executing. As an offense, you always want to put up points, so, of course, we want to put up points. Everyone's going to come out and want to see points, so we're going to do our best."

Offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is less concerned with putting on a show for the West Virginia faithful.

"It needs to be another day when we run plays and film it and be able to learn from it more than anything," Holgorsen said. "I don't know how you keep score or any of that. I really don't care. That's for people in the stands to determine. Who wins, the blue or the gold? Who cares? We're a whole team here."

He said he will approach the game the same way he has the Mountaineers' two previous scrimmages this spring. Smith is not so sure.

"It's probably a little more intense," he said. "Coaches will probably be calling more plays schematically instead of scrimmages where we just run plays in situations. We actually have to handle down and distance and be able to handle the situations of an actual game because it's pretty much similar."

And with a few thousand fans in the stadium, players might perform a bit differently than they do during sparsely attended practices. Smith hopes that's not the case.

"I think you should perform the same way every time -- go hard every time," he said. "Then you won't have that problem. But if fans motivate you, then so be it."

So, do fans motivate him?

"No, I just want to win," Smith said. "That's what motivates me."

At a glance

What: West Virginia Gold-Blue spring game

When: 7:45 p.m. today; gates open at 6 p.m.

Where: Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, W.Va.

Admission: $10, benefitting WVU's Children's Hospital

Players to watch: QB Geno Smith makes his spring-game debut after a full season starting and will run the new offensive system. DE Bruce Irvin is making a transition to a lineman who plays every down. Norwin graduate Tyler Urban has excelled this spring, making a transition from TE to WR.


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