Back To The Basics

Head coach Rich Rodriguez says that the Mountaineers will be emphasizing fundamentals during their extra practice time in preparation for Miami.

"We have a little bit of time to try to fix things, but we have to get fundamentally better," Rodriguez said on Monday. "You kind of hate to have a week off to stew about the loss, but we need that right now. We are giong to do a lot of reteaching."

Rodriguez noted that the Mountaineers have a lot of problem areas to address, but did highlight the offensive line and the schemes as two areas that will get attention.

"We have to work on getting on our blocks. We have four new starters, and five if you take into account that Jeff Berk is at a new position. I think we are limited more in playcalling than what we would like. The last thing you want is to confuse your new guys, so we have scaled down the offense some. The other side is that you can't scale down too much, or you become too predictable.

The OLine has come along fine – there haven't been a multitude of missed assignments. We're not going to reinvent the wheel schemewise, but we have to look at what we do well and go from there."

With things going downhill over the last two weeks, Rodriguez, in addition to providing his support, is counting on his captains to help right the ship. "Right now is a time we need our captains," Rodriguez observed. "It's easy when you are winning. When things aren't going well, that's when you find true nature of a leader. Some of our better leaders are probably underclassmen, and they, along with our small group of senior leaders, have to try to pull the guys together.

Rodriguez also noted that Maryland didn't overlaod the box against the run as much as he anticipated, but that the Mountaineers were unable to take advantage of those situations.

"When Maryland stacked it up, we expected it," Rodriguez siad. "But, we have to execute better in the passing game. When the numbers are there to run, you have to make it happen, and we didn't. Each play, it seemed like a different thing that caused it not to work. In watching the film, we'd see one thing on each play that caused it to fail. We were close, but close doesn't get it."

Rodriugez also remains confidnet in his starting quarterback.

"We still have confidence in Rasheed. He has to get his confidence back. He has worked hard, but it takes a little bit of success in the game to get his confidence back. If he can have a little bit of success agains Miami, it would be a big help.

"We played Hales to see if we can get a spark. Rasheed took it fine. And as it turned out, we weren't executing no matter who the quarterback was.


The coaching staff did not name any award winners from the Maryland game.

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