Containing WVU Weapons A Focus For RU

The hype around West Virginia is its explosive spread offense led by quarterback Pat White and running back Noel Devine. After Wednesday's practice, head coach Greg Schiano talked about the challenges his defense faces.

In the coach's opinion, the Mountaineers are effective in stopping the run and the pass.

"They've been pretty darn good with both," Schiano said. "They've had top flight defenses, and this one is coming together the same."

They feature a 3-3-5 package, and Schiano said it's similar to a 3-4 in some respects.

"It's similar to a 3-4 if it's a 3-4 playing an eight man front," he said. "They just live in that on first and second down. Now they'll pop out to a two deep sometimes, but it's similar."


Schiano said the McCourty's have progressed nicely since the first game. He feels they've matured and are preparing like seniors should.

"They're getting better," he said. "They've gotten better since they day they got here. Those guys are incredible workers. They have good study habits and they prepare like NFL corners. I expect them to have a big year here.

"Jay got beat on a double move (against UNC's Brandon Tate). Maybe in year's past that would have lingered with him; he moved on immediately. I think he's learning that when you make a mistake back there the whole stadium knows there's nothing to hide. If you dwell on it, you apt to make another, so I think he's learned."


Last week the offense broke out of its slump scoring 38 points - doing it without star wide out Kenny Britt.

The difference between Britt this year and last year in Schiano's opinion is the lack of the big play. Britt has come close to converting on some big gains, but Schiano said he's just inches off.

"That's how the production happens," he said. "It takes a lot of 12-yard curls and 18-yard outs to make a big year. You need to catch some of those deep balls.

Britt has been used differently this year according to Schiano, but only in the sense that he's been moved around so defenses can't completely gauge where he is.

"I'm moving him around a little bit," he said. "But more so people don't always know where he is. But that would be the biggest thing."

The big point the coach stressed this week against WVU was no turnovers. The Knights are 0-15 at Morgantown, and he doesn't want to give the home fans there anything to get excited about.

"We can't turn the ball over," Schiano said. "That's not different than any other week, [but] the better the competition, the bigger possession is. You get 60,000 people more geared up, not to mention the 100 on the sideline."

Heading into the game, there may be some changes on the offensive line.

"We're tinkering around with a few things," Schiano said. "I don't know what we'll do, but I'm looking at it."

What those moves will be won't be known for sure until the end of the week.

"I'm going to evaluate all the things this week and see what gives us the best chance to win," he said.

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