MORGANTOWN - Were this the middle of the season, Dana Holgorsen might have reason to be concerned.
It's not, though. It's 41/2 months before the season even begins, so the fact that West Virginia's defense seems to be ahead of the offense might actually be a good thing.
Holgorsen and the Mountaineers wrapped up the 13th of 15 spring practices Tuesday and afterward the coach raved about his rebuilding defense and lamented the progress of his offense. But given that the offense seems to have things pretty well in place, that's not a bad thing at all.
"The one thing that I like about this team more than anything is the back-and-forth nature that happens,'' Holgorsen said. "I've been on some teams where it is completely one-sided and you don't win a whole bunch of games with it being like that. Defense is probably making a whole lot more improvement than the offense is.
"The offense is starting to get a little complacent. I don't know if they are reading too much about how good they are or what, but they are getting a little complacent and the defense is flying around and making some plays. I'm excited about what's happening.''
The Mountaineers had their second full-scale scrimmage of the spring on Sunday and will have the final one Saturday night with the annual Gold-Blue game.
By that time, perhaps the offense will wake up a bit in Holgorsen's eyes. But for now the defense has the upper hand.
Considering how far the defense had to go at the beginning of spring, that can't be anything but a positive.
"The one thing that I remember toward the end of spring last year was that all the roles were reversed. Last year, we had more experience on defense, guys knew what they were doing, and we came in offensively and with change,'' Holgorsen said. "Towards the end of spring defensively, we knew we were going to be pretty good, but offensively we started getting things together and started understanding what to do and had some success in the spring game if you remember offensively. This year, it is kind of just the opposite.
"Offense knows what they are doing and defense, there is kind of a breath of fresh air over there and it seems like they are anxious and eager to get out there and get better every day. If I were to guess, I would fast forward to the spring game, and I would say the defense will probably play pretty good and offense will go out there and think they are good and go through the motions and not get any better. That would be my guess.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.