McCoy In Line To Start

With junior starting tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling shelved by sore ribs, freshman LeSean McCoy got the most first-team reps during practice for the Pitt football team Tuesday afternoon.

LeSean McCoy, who was the primary ball carrier against Grambling after LaRod Stephens-Howling was injured, ran for 107 yards and scored three quick touchdowns on 19 carries last Saturday. And he's ready to do it again against Michigan State this week.

"I'm excited,'' McCoy said. "I can't wait. It's going to be a big test for us, a different style of ball, but it's all new to me. So, I just can't wait. (But) LaRod's doing pretty good. I think he should be back, and he should be starting. So, it should be good. He'll be all right.

"(But) whatever they have planned for me. Hopefully, it's something good and something big for me, but I'll be ready for whatever they want me to do. I'll do whatever they tell me. I'm just looking forward to this game and seeing how well we can play after two games.''

Stephens-Howling was not wearing pads and did not practice Tuesday, but Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt said he was day-to-day. Redshirt sophomore tight end John Pelusi appeared to be better after missing last week with a bruised shoulder. Pelusi had pads on and was playing catch with a football prior to practice, so he appeared to be ready to go.

"LaRod will be a late decision,'' Wannstedt said. "He has sore ribs, but none are broken. He just needs some time. ... This will be the first test against a team where it's a roll up your sleeves and hit you in the mouth type of game. Traditionally, these are Pitt's type of games. That's what our great tradition is all about, being physical, and Michigan State is a very physical team.''

McCoy believed he would be able to handle that type of game after watching tape from last week where he just missed breaking a couple more runs.

"I think it's more of an experience thing,'' McCoy said. "From just trying to break it and run through the holes ... to exploding downfield. (Also), I think I have to accelerate faster. Once I see the hole, I have to hit it and accelerate through it faster. I think I did pretty good, as far as my reads, but I just have to stay consistent and work hard on the field and in the classroom.

"(But) it should be a good game. They're big and strong and do a lot of different things than Grambling and Eastern Michigan, but I think we'll be ready.''

But the more appropriate question is, will Michigan State be ready to face McCoy?

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