Pick Your Cliche'

Backs to the Wall. Must-win. Do or Die. Whatever phrase you prefer, WVU's football team almost certainly needs a win this Saturday to preserve any hopes at a bowl game.

Of primary concern is the team's state of mind, which might be shaky after giving away a game at Maryland and getting thumped by Virginia Tech. However, Coach Rodriguez says that the team's mental outlook is ok.

"Practices have been good. I had a long talk with them. I think they are still having fun, and I want them to have more fun."

In on the field matters, WVU's rushing defense leads the problem list, and Rodriguez is putting everything he has into figuring out a way to stop the run.

"We must do things to disrupt Notre Dame offensively. We've tried to disrupt [other teams] so far, and it hasn't worked. We can't keep doing the same things, so we have to try something different. Coach Elmassian has been working to try to figure out what we can do. We have to get better technique wise too."

During Tuesday's press conference, Coach Rodriguez also took a question about his sideline manner. While there's no dobut that Rodriguez is more animated than previous Mountaineer coaches, he offers that there's nothing abusive about his actions.

"I don't berate officials, I don't grab guys or swing at them or anything like that," Rodriguez said. "I'm not really sure where [those concerns] come from."

On the injury and availability front, linebacker Grant Wiley remains "very quesitonable" while both Lance Nimmo and Tim Love are expected to play.

"He may have tweaked it (the hamstring) a little more," said Rodriguez.

The matter of Cooper Rego also remains up in the air. According to the Notre Dame student newspaper, Rego was banned from the campus as part of a disciplinary action that resulted in his transfer to WVU in 1998.

Neither school had much to say officially about the matter, citing federal privacy laws. Those law do not cover the student newspaper.


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