MORGANTOWN - Almost immediately after West Virginia's first football practice of the spring was opened to the media Wednesday morning, Brantwon Bowser intercepted his second pass of the day.
The next pass thrown wasn't caught by a defender, but it was also closer to the seats at Mountaineer Field than to any offensive player.
Apparently, this is what new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen was warning all along when he said West Virginia's new offense would look very bad at times before it begins to look very good. Or even remotely good.
Still, Bill Stewart had no trouble proclaiming the first of WVU's 15 spring workouts a success. It is, after all, a process, and this was only the first step.
"It was a good first day and a good start. They were glad to get out here,'' the head coach said. "It's been a long winter.''
It could be a long spring, too, although that should come as no surprise given that the Mountaineers are not only installing a completely new offense, but trying to replace most of the players from one of the nation's best defenses.
"I thought our effort was good, our enthusiasm was good,'' Stewart said. "They had a lot of bounce in their step.''
If nothing else, it became apparent that West Virginia's new offense will put the ball in the air. A lot. While running backs Ryan Clark, Shawne Alston and Trey Johnson took their share of handoffs, quarterbacks Geno Smith, Brian Athey and Paul Millard threw the ball a ton. Quite often the timing wasn't great - in addition to Browser's two picks, Najee Goode had one, too - but almost never were there fewer than four receivers in a formation and all were targets.
Tavon Austin, Brad Starks, Stedman Bailey and Ivan McCartney were generally the first four receivers, but Tyler Urban - making the adjustment from tight end to a slot receiver - and others all got considerable time with the offense.
Naturally, with that many balls flying the secondary and the pass rush also got workouts - even without pads and hitting - as did the offensive line.
Stewart singled out a handful of players he saw during a workout that began before 8 a.m. and lasted about two hours and 45 minutes.
"Individual efforts that stood out to me? Bradley Starks caught the ball very well, Ivan McCartney caught the ball very well. I thought Tyler Urban had a big day. Brantwon Bowser on defense had two picks at corner, Najee Goode had a pick,'' Stewart said. "I don't think we blocked Bruce Irvin all day and I liked the way we ran the ball a little bit.''