Things Of That Nature - East Carolina

Head football coach Rich Rodriguez provides his "day after" thoughts on WVU's big road win over East Carolina.

Despite having only three more first downs and running eight fewer plays than the Pirates, West Virginia ran away to a 48-7 win due to one big factor: turnovers.

"We created five turnovers," Rodriguez analyzed on Sunday. "I was pleased that those were turnovers that were caused by us. Grant Wiley had a couple of nice strips, Lance Frazier made an interception, and Brian King deflected another pass for an interception. And then, we capitalized on them.

"Overall, I didn't think we played that great of a game. We had a lot of physical and mental errors, and a lot of things we need to address if we're going to be a good football team. ECU is struggling right now, and we were fortunate to get the turnovers."

Of the things that Rodriguez was displeased with, the play of the secondary was high on the list.

"We have to play more aggressively in the secondary. We didn't do a lot of things coverage wise, becuase we had the lead. But, we made it much too easy for them to pitch and catch. We face a good passer this week, and we have to tighten that up.


East Carolina changed their defensive fronts for this game, and although it took the Mountaineers a quarter to adjust, they quickly solved the Pirate system and began moving the ball well.

"They probably had the defensive changes planned, because I was familiar with what Coach Thompson does," Rodriguez said. "We told our guys that we might see it, so it didn't totally surprise us. We adjusted to it ok, but we didn't play as physical up front and on the perimeter as we need to in the future.

* * *

WVU's defense had its second straight week of good tackling.

"I thought we tackled pretty well. We had a few misses, but overall, especially in the open field, I though we tackled well.

* * *

All of the running backs on the trip got to play, and all of the superbacks carried the ball. "We played six running backs, and all six got the chance to run it. We have a lot of competition for the number two job," Rodriguez noted. "Right now, we probably have a 2A, 2B and 2C with Colson, Harris and Phillips. It should make for an interesting week of practice. We have different types of backs, so it gives us a nice mix."

* * *

Last week, it was the punt team that had problems. This week, it was the return squad that drew Rodriguez' ire.

"The punt return team is not executing well at all. We've done a terrible job on the perimeter with the bullets. We have a good guy back there on returns and we're not giving him a chance to return the ball."

Rodriguz was speaking of Adam Jones, who was often crowded by ECU's coverage team even before he had a chance to catch the ball.

* * *

Despite 4-1 record in night games, Rodriguez still prefers days. "It's too nerve racking to sit around all day," he noted. Still, the contest, without television, took only two hours and 44 minutes to complete.

* * * The injury situation appeared to be a bit improved. Jahmile Addae sat out the game, but "should be able to go if he has a good week of rehab". Defensive back Jules Montinar, a true freshman participating on special teams, is the only player who is doubtful for this week. Montinar left the game and had an ice bag taped to the back of his leg. Leandre Washington also left the game limping, but is expected to play this week.

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