West Virginia is in the midst of winter workouts and strength and conditioning preparing for spring practice to open March 2, but this season there will be some minor adjustments to the schedule including four open practices with two coming outside Morgantown city limits.
The goal for the Mountaineers is to get in three non-padded football practices before students head off for spring break once the schedule begins March 2 before the meat of the schedule begins once players return from the week-long hiatus.
"It will be a lot of teaching and an extension of what we are currently doing," head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We'll be inside all three days and that will lead us into spring break."
The remaining 12 practices including the annual Gold-Blue game will be held after the conclusion of the spring break with the majority of the work being accomplished during that time period. However, the one major difference this season than in the previous ones since Holgorsen assumed head coaching responsibility is the fact that West Virginia will hold three open Saturday practice sessions in addition to the spring game in Morgantown.
The sessions will occur during the final four weeks of spring ball with the first set for March 22 in Wheeling then March 29 in Morgantown and finally April 5 in Charleston before holding the spring game April 12. The practices will be completely open to the media and public, with media being allowed on the field for the first 30-minutes of the sessions. Times for the sessions have yet to be determined.
"We want all of Mountaineer nation to be able to come and watch the Mountaineers and see what we're putting out there," Holgorsen said. "I think everyone is going to be pleasantly surprised with what the product is going to be."
Holgorsen said that he was the brainchild behind the idea; in fact, the head man actually came up with it and discussed the details over with director of football operations Alex Hammond.
"It wasn't like anybody was telling me to do it," he said.
West Virginia will open the season against Alabama in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic and Holgorsen said that he encourages everyone to attend the open sessions in order to get a look at the 2014 edition of the Mountaineers and to allow people to make their own judgments based off what they see.
"I do think we'll put out a product you can be proud of," he said.