MORGANTOWN - The 2010 Gold-Blue spring football game went just as West Virginia coach Bill Stewart wanted.
On a summer-like evening in Touchdown City, in fact, the event couldn't have been more golden.
The first-team Blue was in the black. And the black and blue - as in injuries - were nowhere to be found.
Pretty much a perfect evening for the impressive 21,029 fans in attendance at Milan Puskar Stadium.
They saw exactly what they expected plus, perhaps, a little more.
They saw the blinding speed of Noel Devine, Tavon Austin and Jock Sanders. The old hands - Devine and Sanders - led the way in their respective categories. Devine had 73 rushing yards. Sanders had 70 receiving yards. Same as it ever was.
The fans saw the first-team defense dominate.
"We finally put it all together,'' said WVU nose tackle Chris Neild. "It was an OK spring game. But, all in all, we as a defense came together and got to the plateau we wanted.''
There were a couple of scares when a host of WVU players gang-tackled Devine, the team's unquestioned star, pushing him across the field. Eain Smith hit a leaping Sanders and could have really tattoed the slot man - but, thankfully for Stewart, did not.
There were a couple of somewhat surprisingly sweet downfield passes from backup quarterback Coley White, running both the Blue and Gold teams. He hit Stedman Bailey in stride for a score. He uncorked another to Sanders.
Big picture, though, the game followed the script, which is good news for WVU fans.
"I thought we ran the ball hard,'' Stewart said. "I thought we pass protected. Offensively, it was a pretty good show.
"Defensively, we wanted to see our guys fly around. We wanted them to knock the ball loose. I thought we did that well.''
West Virginia's spring drills didn't go without hitches. Projected starting quarterback Geno Smith only practiced in skeleton drills. On Friday, defensive tackle Scooter Berry and linebacker J.T. Thomas were dinged and out. Kicker Tyler Bitancurt was out.
And, you may remember, halfway through the Mountaineer sessions, we heard concerns.
Stewart said at that time improvement was needed on the right side of the offensive line. Punting was a sore spot. There have been calls for better communication, especially along the offensive line, and improved leadership.
None of those concerns are to be shrugged off, especially the latter. This team needs leadership. Can Smith, the sophomore, help Devine, Sanders, guard Josh Jenkins and Neild provide that?
We'll see. But what was on display Friday is what should carry West Virginia fans through to opening day.