The West Virginia Mountaineers struggled in 2013 as they finished the year 4-8, stuck near the bottom of the Big 12 standings. For the Mountaineers to turn things around and start to compete in their new conference surroundings, they’ll need a whole lot more from their defense. If WVU wants to start getting it done on defense, they’ll need a big year from defensive lineman Kyle Rose.
During his sophomore season, Rose stepped up and became a force on the line for the Mountaineers. He finished sixth on the team with 49 tackles including 8.5 tackles for loss and a sack in 2013. He is the team’s leading returning tackler on the defensive line for 2014 and will be asked to be an anchor in the middle as he moves inside to defensive tackle this fall.
He will have his work cut out for him, however, as the West Virginia defense is thin on experience at defensive line for next season. Dontrill Hyman and Christian Brown finished the spring atop the depth chart next to Rose but have a combined two starts to their names. There are some others on the roster that could make a serious impact but haven’t proven themselves on the field up to this point.
Since joining the Big 12 in 2012, West Virginia has finished No. 8 and No. 9 in total defense. Their inability to stop opposing offenses has made things difficult for head coach Dana Holgorsen to get the program onto the winning track. Rose represents the best and most experienced option that the Mountaineers have on their defensive front in 2014 and will ask him to step up in a major way to lead the team this fall.