Kenny Bigelow: Nose Talk
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Kenny Bigelow makes no bones about his job in the middle of West Virginia’s defensive front. He knows that his first job is to eat up blockers and close the A gaps (the spaces between the center and the guards on either side of him). Do that job, and linebackers behind him can flow to the ball and make tackles.
Bigelow is even savvy enough to call out those who don’t understand that, as he did on his Twitter account when someone with the moniker “VeteranScout” incorrectly pointed out a play as a pancake block win for a center. Bigelow, with the two-word supportive statement of “NOSE TALK”, supported an NFL defensive lineman in his response.
NOSE TALK 😈 https://t.co/gsBF4WUDqo
— Kenny Bigelow (@_mcmxcv__) October 30, 2018
It’s not that Bigelow was looking for a confrontation. It’s just that in a game that has become far too stats-driven, plays that don’t result in a tackle or a sack are usually overlooked. He doesn’t mind the lack of notoriety, and takes pride in the job that he is assigned.
“It’s not tough at all,” he said of the assignment that typically keeps players at his position out of the limelight. “I’m excited to be here, and I’m excited to help this defense. If that means me taking on two or three guys at a time, I’m excited to do it.”
Inside the meeting rooms and on the practice field, notoriety is a different matter. The linemen have plenty of ways in which they are evaluated, and in which they earn the respect of their peers and mention from their coaches.
“I don’t have the most productive position, so a two-fer, where we take two guys at once, is something that [we take pride in]. We track those very heavily. I think me and Reese are at the top of that board,” the redshirt senior said with a smile.
“We track everything in there. [Tackles for loss], sacks, tackles. it’s all on the board. We talk about it and our grades after every game. Coach Tall has done a great job of making it a competitive atmosphere, but also an open atmosphere so no one feels like they are getting a favor.”
The depth of WVU’s defensive line has been a key for the unit’s outstanding play in 2018, but that is just the first link in the chain. Tall has done an excellent job in fostering competition among the players in his room while avoiding an negative emotions that could damage the synergy produced by the group. It’s one of the big reasons why the Mountaineers are yielding fewer than 20 points per game, and are still in the hunt for a Big 12 title.
“Everything is still in front of us. I think if we can take the way we played against Baylor and show up, we can be right where we want to be,” said Bigelow of his last collegiate go-round. “I am extremely, extremely excited to play at Texas. I have heard nothing but good things about it. I talked to some of my guys back at SC, and I am expecting a really good game.
“I like away games a little more anyway. There’s something about going to someone else’s house and punching them in the face, taking food off their plate,” he continued, clearly dropping into the metaphorical realm.
That, of course, is more Nose Talk, where the action and play is as real as it gets.