MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's defense wants to be known as a positive just like its proven offense as the Mountaineers enter their first season in the Big 12.
While the defense lost some key starters from last season, there were several standout plays in the annual Gold-Blue spring football game on Saturday.
Defensive backs Matt Moro and Brodrick Jenkins and lineman Will Clarke had interceptions as the Blue defense defeated the Gold offense 43-34.
With a modified scoring system, the defense earned its points for three-and-outs (five points), drive stops (three), fumble recoveries and interceptions (three apiece).
"I feel we're not done yet, and if we can keep this up we're going to show a lot of people something this year," Jenkins said. "Last year we tried to be real physical as a whole, but this year we just come at it as a young, energetic team that makes plays and forces turnovers."
West Virginia's defense will be the team's biggest question mark entering the fall. The unit ranked next-to-last in the Big East in points allowed and last in rushing yards allowed last season.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said the defense's play Saturday was a continuation of some solid showings over the past few weeks.
"The trend lately has been the defense getting after the offense for about the last five practices," Holgorsen said. "The first 10, offensively we did some good things, but probably in particular, the last five or six practices, the defense has been doing a lot better."
The defense is breaking in several new assistants along with a 3-4 scheme after using a 3-3-5 system. Holgorsen hired defensive coordinator and safeties assistant Joe DeForest, co-coordinator and linebackers coach Keith Patterson and defensive line coach Erik Slaughter in the offseason following the departures of three assistants to Rich Rodriguez at Arizona in January.