Unhealthy Situation

WVU has lost another front line starter as they prepare for the Maryland game.

Starting free safety Jahmile Addae, who has been plagued by a shoulder injury throughout the season, will likely undergo season ending surgery this week.

"I have to check with the trainers to be sure, but it looks like we'll lose Jahmile for the season," a glum Rodriguez said on Tuesday.

Addae's place in the lineup will be taken by Anthony Mims, who started the East Carolina game in place of Addae.

"Mims worked hard over summer to gain weight and get his hamstrings better. He's a really good athlete and has good speed," Rodriguez said. "He's a coach's son, so he understands defenses. He's more prepared to play than at anytime he's been here."

The news continued to wrosen for WVU, as tackle Garin Justice is still questionable for the game with a sprained back. Hewill not practice today, and WVU is preparing for the game as if Justice will not be available.

Also, true freshman Jules Montinar will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury.

MUSKET BLASTS

Despite all the injuries, Rodriguez is looking for an improved performance from his team

"It's important that we play well and make someone beat us. We need to do that against a quality opponent like Maryland," Rodriguez noted. "They are as big and strong as anyone we will play all year."

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Rodriguez also had several comments on Maryland's personnel.

Steve Suter: "We have to have a good plan aganst Suter, he hurt us last year. He can change momentum of the game on one kick."

Bruce Perry: "Perry was player of the year in the conference two years ago, and he catches the ball great. He's an NFL guy, an experienced guy. Allen hurt us last year too, but Perry has the experience.

Maryland's Defense: "They have nine starters back, and even without E. J. Henderson (who graduated), they've had 3 years in the system. I see the same defense, just with more experience.

* * *

WVU cranked up their pass rush last week against Cincinnati, getting three sacks and forcing several hurried throws by Bearcat QB Gino Guidugli. Rodriguez wants more of the same this week, but knows the task will be tougher.

"We did more four man rushes last week, and we blitzed more. We pinned our ears back a little bit," Rodriguez said of the defensive game plan. "That's something we probably have to continue to do to get pressure on the QB. If you're not beating one on one blocks, you have to do some different things to get pressure.

"It will be tougher this weekend. Scott McBrien has a quick release. We have to try to get him moving around, but we don't want to flush him because he can run with the ball. And we can't isolate our defensive backs one on one against them too much, because they will break a big play.

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The lack of running production from quarterback Rasheed Marshall has also been a sore spot this year, and Rodriguez had a look of frustration on his face as he described the current status of his team's running game.

"Rasheed hasn't busted out any big runs yet. Some of that was good defense. We've talked about it. There are some things in the run game that we're close to breaking, but we didn't. We have to keep them off balance. We've taken steps, but we still have a long way to go.

* * *

Rodriguez still has confidence in kicker Brad Cooper, but notes that it will be a "game by game" decision as to whether to try any lengthy field goals. "We'll look at how he's kicking during the game and during warmups, and that might influence our thinking."

* * *

Hurricane Isabel could influence WVU's travel plans and practice schedule.

"We may change our plans on Friday due to the weather. We might have our walk through in Morgantown rather than at Maryland," Rodriguez noted.


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