Things Of That Nature - Cincinnati

Head coach Rich Rodriguez shared much of the blame for Saturday's poor offensive performance, particularly in the area of playcalling.

"I'm as much to blame as the team is," Rodriguez said on Sunday. "We had some some checks that were there that we dind't make."

Rodriguez was referring to play call changes at the line of scrimmage, which can be made to attack a weakend area of opposing defenses. He noted that WVU doesn't change plays as often as fans may think, but that he made far fewer than what he should have after reviewing films.

"Sometimes we don't make checks because we want to keep our tempo up," Rodriguez explained. "But, our tempo wasn't very fast in this game, so that wasn't a factor. There were some plays where we had some checks thatwe should have made and we didn't.

"Rasheed can do some checks, because those are built into the play, but a lot come from the sideline and from upstairs. We don't make as many as people think, but there were some where we should have made them and we didn't."

Rodriguez continued to sound as down as he has been since coming to West Virginia.

"It's very diappointing in a way It was a nightmare seeing a play here or a situation there where we continually shot ourselves in our foot. It was a surprisingly poor performance, because I thought we had our best week of practice offensively.

"Cincinnati is talented. I don't want to take anything away from them. Their line is quick and their linebackers run well. But sometimes we played like we were scared of their quickness. We played tentatively instead of getting low and hitting hard."


On the plus side, Rodriguez was happy with the defense and some aspects of special teams.

"The defense created some turnovers. Cincinnati kept us off balance with some of their runs, and in fact they ran a lot of our stuff. I thought our defense kept battling and were in the game. They kept at it.

"I also thought our kickoff coverage was solid, and we had a couple of returns that were good. Other than the one fumble, I though our special teams did some things that created som hidden yardage. There was no panic on our side, we just didn't step up offensively."

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"You have to appreciate that [PacMan Jones] feels he can make the play at any time, but at the same time we've talked to him about the fair catch maybe being the best thing," Rodriguez noted after the sophomore coughed up two balls on punt returns, losing one. "We'll work hard with him this week. He makes the decision on whether to fair catch or not."

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Jahmile Addae's injury problems continued, as his shoulder "poppoed out" again. He will gain see limited action this week as he tries to get ready for Saturday.

Garin Justice has a sprained back. His status was also termed day to day, but it won't be at least until midweek before his playing status begins to come into focus.

Two other Mountaineers were felled by their teammates. Ben Lynch was fallen on by linemate Ernest Hunter, and linebacker Kevin McLee suffered a hyperextended elbow when it got tangled between hard hitting cornerback Brian King and a Cincinnati ballcarrier.

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WVU must now put the bitter taste of a given-away game behind them and get ready for Maryland, which looms as a critical battle for both 1-2 teams.

"I don't want to put all the emphasis on one game, but the Maryland game is important, Rodriguez said. "We haven't played well against them the past couple of years, and we let one get away against Cincinnati. We have to put all three phases together, and even that might not be enough against them."

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