"You can never be satisfied,'' Braun said. "I'm glad that he's pleased, but we've worked hard to get to this point. It's been a rough few years sometimes.''
West Virginia will go into the season with as much experience as possible in the middle of that line. Braun, center Joe Madsen and left guard Josh Jenkins all are fifth-year seniors. Sophomore Quinton Spain and junior Pat Eger are in their third and fourth years in the program, respectively.
"As many games as we've played collectively, I think we know what's going on,'' Braun said of he and Madsen and Jenkins. "And then with the edge guys, they have starting experience. So it's not like we have to explain stuff to them.''
And the depth behind them is considerable.
"The greatest thing right now is we've got 15 [offensive linemen] on scholarship and 16 guys [at the position],'' Bedenbaugh said. "So now I've got the luxury of if a guy's not doing what I want him to do, I can put somebody else in there to motivate him if they're not self-motivated.''
The biggest difference, almost everyone agrees, is not a huge improvement in technique or an influx of talent, but in simply finishing what the linemen were always good at starting.
"It wasn't like it was terrible the last few years, but we're finishing blocks. That was the biggest thing Coach Bedenbaugh talked about was finishing,'' Braun said. "We just have a nastiness. We're on a guy and our technique is good, but now it's just trying to drive a guy out of the play, out of the film, down to the ground, whatever we can within the whistle to be a nasty group.
"It's really not that much difference. It just comes down to finishing blocks. You can be on a guy and the last few years, we were on those guys. We were blocking those guys. But now we have that extra drive to make sure we finish it. Finishing it can turn a 4- or 5-yard run into a breakout. That's what makes big plays.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.