'Things of That Nature'

Every coach has a catchprhrase, and head football coach Rich Rodriguez' is "things of that nature". So, what better title for Coach Rod's Sunday analysis of the previous day's game?

First, as usual, was the injury topic, and for a change things appear to be looking better.

"The injury report was pretty positive today," Rodriguez said. "We had some bumps, but nothing too serious."

A couple of those bumps belonged to the hands of Brad Lewis and Richard Bryant, but both overcame them to turn in outstanding days. Bryant, who had the last two fingers on his right hand taped together, came up with an interception and a couple of pass defenses, while Brad Lewis turned in a very good day from an accuracy standpoint while tossing two touchdowns.

Lewis' performance wasn't appreciated by many, and even his coach was somewhat surprised upon seeing his numbers.

"I didn't realize Brad had played that well. At halftime I told him and some other players, that we just had to eliminate our mistakes, and we'd be fine. He played really well in the third quarter."

Linebacker Grant Wiley's status also continued to be a topic of conversation. Rodriguez hopes Wiley will be able to return to the practice field by Wednesday and play against the Terrapins on Saturday, but those plans aren't definite.

Other players drawing notice were WVU's slot receivers, A. J. Nastasi and Antonio Brown, who nabbed a comined sixteen balls for 182 yards.

"Antonio made some nice plays, and he gives us a threat on the perimeter," Rodriguez analyzed. He still has some things he can do better, but this was his best game to date.

"A. J. has the best hands on the team, and he gets upfield well. When he catches the ball on the sideline, he's good at turning it up and getting the first down. He's one of the best we have at that. He's having a good year, and he's getting better every game."

Often, fans tend to minimize the improtance of those little stop routes along the sideline, because they aren't 20-30 yard pass play. Nastasi had 8 catches for 66 yards, which doesn't jump out of the stat book, but think about this: that's eight yards per play.

If the catch happened on first down, that's second and two. And if it happened on second or third down, it's likely a first down. Nastasi's grabs and tough running after the catch kept the chains moving on several Mountaineer drives.

On the downside, Rodriguez was bothered by penalties and the offensive line play.

"The line didn't grade out very well. We're going with a seven man rotation (Lance Nimmo, Ken Sandor, Zach Dillow, Brad Knell, Tim Brown, Jason Brooks and Jeff Berk), but they didn't get the job done yesterday," Rodriguez said.

"The penalties were disturbing. We will stress that at the team meeting today. Some of them are poor technique, and some are caused by a loack of judgment or a lack of discipline. The ones that are caused by poor technique, we have to correct by coaching the proper ones. As for the others, we have to improve our discipline. That reflects badly on what we've accomplished."

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