Health Better, But Is Team Ready To Go?

Head coach Rich Rodriguez says his team's health is improving, but is concerned about his youthful squad's readiness to face the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday.

"We've had a pretty good camp, and our injury situation is getting a little better," Rodriguez said on Monday. "We've had some minor injuries, but at this stage everyone should be ready to play.

"Some guys have missed some practices, like Lance Frazier, Brian King, Grant Wiley and Leandre Washington, but we expect them to be on the field today.

"To be honest, though, I'm not sure if everyone is ready to play. We have a number of starters playing their first game, and they're going to get thrown into the fire. Even some of our upperclassmen don't have a whole lot of experience. We need to keep our focus, even if we have the typical first game mistakes. But, there's no substitute for experience."

Rodriguez does have a strong senior class to draw upon, even if the numbers are low. He realizes that those players will have to help steady WVU through any early season rough spots.

"We have a small senior class, that we think will be good leaders, but we have to see that on the field," Rodriguez noted.

As for the challenge of facing a highly ranked Wisconsin team, Rodriguez says he and the team are looking forward to it.

"We're excited have one of the better teams in the country coming in here. We have to try to play well to keep our crowd in the game."

Rodriguez enumerated the number of offensive weapons the Badgers have, and reiterated that it will be a tough job to keep that offense in check.


Rodriguez listed two areas that have been something of a pleasant surprise.

"The defensive line has been one. Some of the young guys have done well, and we need them for depth. Also, the kicking game, which we hope will improve a lot this year."

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The wide receiver rotation still doesn't have a top eight. Right now, six or seven receivers ar e in the top group, with a couple, including John Pennington, playing multiple positions to fill out the depth chart.

"We won't be at eight now, but we hope to be in a couple of games," Rodriguez added.

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