Woods Fills Gap As WVU Stifles TCU

West Virginia defensive back Charles Woods shows the ball after recovering a TCU fumble

FORT WORTH, Texas – One of the many issues facing the 2021 West Virginia football team has been a lack of quality depth, and when starting stalwart cornerback Nicktroy Fortune went down with a leg injury in the second quarter against TCU, Neal Brown and the Mountaineer coaching staff had limited options to plug what was suddenly a very big hole. Fortunately, transfer Charles Woods, who came to the Mountaineer program from Illinois State this summer, has been working his way toward more playing time, and stepped into the breach while missing nary a beat.

“He played a lot against Baylor, and our intention was to play him a lot tonight. He came up big,” Brown observed of Woods’ extensive action. “He made a heck of a play on [his] interception. He gave up a big play in the second quarter, and I thought he did a nice job of handling adversity. We have a lot of trust in him. The game was fast for him early, but he got into a groove, he’s preparing better, and he played better today.”

From Woods’ perspective, it wasn’t so much the speed of the game at the highest level of Division I, but more of developing a comfort level with his new surroundings that has helped him work his way into the secondary rotation.

Get all of our print editions with your subscription today!

“At the end of the day, it’s just football,” the veteran of two seasons of play at FCS Illinois State said. “Everybody kind of runs the same schemes, they just call them different things. You go out there being comfortable, know the scheme, trust your coaches and trust your teammates. Around the facility, it’s like I’ve been here for four years. Since Day One, they brought me in as a brother. They’ve helped me out, the coaches have helped me out; it’s been a fun process.”

That comfort level, in turn, has morphed into motivation for Woods and the rest of the backfield, which had produced just two interceptions through the season’s first six games. They exceeded that total with three against the Horned Frogs.

“We knew coming into the game we had to produce more turnovers as a secondary,” Woods said. “We had to find a way to get the ball back to the offense and find a way to win. We preached it all week.”

“They were huge plays. We’re thin in that room,” Brown reinforced. “We’ve been on our guys about pulling the trigger, and that means ‘Go get the ball.'”

Woods’ pick, coming early in the fourth quarter, helped the Mountaineers solidify their second-half lead. His return of 32 yards set up Leddie Brown’s final touchdown of the evening, although he expressed regret that he didn’t take it all the way to paydirt.

“Next time,” he said with a rueful laugh.

On the play, Woods diagnosed the Frogs’ offensive action efficiently.

“I was in my zone, and I saw the tight end leak out late,” he shared. “It was kind of a trick play. So I saw the ball in the air and went to go make a play. Our coaches preach all the time you never know when your opportunity is going to come, so you just prepare like a pro, and when your name is called, make a play.”

Woods made more than one, as he pounced on a fumble on the back end of a Sean Mahone strip with 5:15 to play. That ended any hopes of a late TCU rally and also put a cap on the kinds of performances West Virginia needs up and down its lineup as it strives to reach bowl eligibility.

Home Page forums Woods Fills Gap As WVU Stifles TCU

  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated by Ccteam.
Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #160383

    FORT WORTH, Texas — One of the many issues facing the 2021 West Virginia football team has  been a lack of quality depth, and when starting stalwart
    [See the full post at: Woods Fills Gap As WVU Stifles TCU]

    #160386

    Nice to see the new guys step up and get rewarded.

    #160419

    Woods was an example of carpe diem – he seized the day.  🙂

    #160473

    When Fortune went down he stepped up!

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Home Page forums Woods Fills Gap As WVU Stifles TCU

Home Page forums Woods Fills Gap As WVU Stifles TCU