Things Of That Nature - East Carolina

Laundry was on the mind of head coach Rich Rodriguez as he reviewed WVU's 56-23 win over East Carolina on Sunday afternoon.

The laundry wasn't the gold and blue uniforms of the Mountaineers, or his own coaching togs, but rather the yellow flags of the officials, which littered the surface of Mountaineer Field like losing tickets at the race track on Saturday night. WVU was hit with 14 flags for 141 yards, leaving Rodriguez more than a bit vexed.

"It was embarrasing to have that many penalties," Rodriguez said. "You expect some, especially in the first game, but not that many, and not by veteran guys. The poor decisions made by the veterans were disappointing."

Rodriguez was also blunt in describing his plans to deal with the offenders, which will include loss of playing time if the pattern continues.

"[We'll deal with the penalties] pretty harshly," Rodriguez said in a striaghtforward manner. "It was a point after the game, and will be a major point tomorrow when we meet. A lot of guys will be put under the gun, and it won't be tolerated in the future.

"Some penalties are borderline, and come from playing aggressively," Rodriguez explained, "but some are stupid, and those are the ones that you have to correct immediately. If you can't stop it, then you won't play." Downfield blocking didn't greade out well. At times good, at times poor. We have some guys who can get in the open field. RIFLE REPORTS

WVU converted only one third down out of 11 attempts, a number that also caught the coaches' concern.

"Poor decisions and execution," Rodgiez said of the twin culprits for the low conversion rate. "A couple of times we came up short on routes. The the quarterback made a poor decision, and we had some bad techniques on the offensive line."

Although WVU's drives were littered with big plays, Rodriguez didn't think that contributed to a lack of continuity in sustaining drives.

"We do a lot of third down stuff in practice, more than any other situation," the fourth-year head coach said. "So we should be used to that coming up. We have to execute better there."

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On the injury front, Ben Lynch suffered a sprained shoulder, and although he could have returned to duty, he remained on the bench. Ryan Thomas, who has been bothered by back spasms, sprained an ankle. Both seniors will be questionable for Saturday's game at Central Florida.

Erick Phillips continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired knee, and will have another strength test on Monday.

Rayshwan Bolden was healthy but did not dress, having been passed on the depth chart by other receivers.

Rodriguez also admitted he did not know who the starting punter will be against the Golden Knights.

"We'll put them under pressure in practice this week and see how they do."

* * *

Central Florida is still in Wisconsin after losing 34-6 to the Badgers, and won't even attempt to return to Orlando until Monday at the earliest. That will definitely cut into their preparation time for WVU.

"That's very unfortunate - we feel for everyone in Florida getting hit with two hurricanes," Rodriguez said sympathetically. "Central Florida has an experienced coaching staff, and we think they will deal with it o.k.

"I was impressed with them - they looked improved and we will have to play a lot better this weekend."

* * *

Eddie Jackson and Miquelle Henderson, both of whom played sparingly, should be available for more action this week.

"Eddie should be close to 100% and Miquelle closer," Rodriguez predicted. "They both played a little, and should play some more this week."

* * *

Although Rodriguez slyly admitted that Harris may have won the starting job at running back, the third team spot is again in the spotlight. Bryan Wright gained 28 yards on seven fourth quarter carries, and appears ready to contribute.

"We're hoping Bryan can be the third guy," Rordriguez observed. "He brings something different than the other two guys. His health will have an effect on the decision to redshirt Pernell Williams."

Williams did not play against ECU, and is still being considered for a redshirt. Rodriguez said he has talked with Williams about that possibility.

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