Things Of That Nature - Connecticut

After a long trip home (complete with a 4:00 a.m. arrival in Morgantown) head coach Rich Rodriguez offers thoughts on WVU's win over UConn.

"I thought we played pretty hard, but it wasn't our 'A' game," Rodriguez said on Thursday. "I'm still looking for that. I see it at times in practice and games, but we haven't put it all together yet. I am happy to be 5-1, but the penalties and inconsistency have been like that all year. I wasn't so upset about them after last week, because five of the calls from the Tech game were bad calls, according to the Big East. But this game, the calls were legitimate. It's not frustrating to anyone more than it is to me.

Some of the penalties, like the false starts, are more of an aggressive penalty. You can't do that, though. We knew this crew was going to call it tight, so we have to adapt and be good enough to execute.

Rodriguez also clarified his position about possible benchings for penalties that he termed "stupid", such as unsportsmanlike conduct and other loss of composure infractions.

"I was kind of half joking when I said I wouldn't bench him (Pac Man)," Rodriguez said when asked about what he could do to stem the tide of such errors. "But, it may come to that. If guys keep making stupid penalties, we may have to affect their playing time."

Rodriguez also noted that the return of an effective running game was very pleasing, and that Pernell Williams put himself into a position to claim more playing time with his performance.

"They still loaded the box up, and we did some different things, especially with Rasheed, in the running game," Rodriguez noted. "We did a good job on our perimeter runs, and Rasheed had some nice scrambles too. We need to be able to mix it up and not get predictable.

"[There's] no question Pernell has put himself into the mix. He's very coachable, and he did enough in that game that he will put some heat on to see who will be the starter. He ran hard, he ran behind his pads, and more importantly, he like a veteran. He made his reads, and does what he's asked to do and that's while he will be in the mix."


The injury report was a good one following the game. Although the normal minor bangs were in evidence, no one that played in the contest is expected to miss the Syracuse game.

Erick Phillips may return to the practice field in the next two weeks, but nothing is set in stone. His strength in the muscles surrounding the knee have improved, but tendinitis is now hampering his efforts to get onto the field for full practice sessions.

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Former tight end Brad Palmer, who has been getting some work as an HBack type player, made an extended appearance at fullback.

We needed a bigger physical presnece at fullback," Rodriguez explained. He gives us a little different look. Brad is a big physical player. He didn't play a great game, but he showed some of the things that he can do that has us excited about the future.

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Rodriguez also looked forward to Syracuse, which, while not a world beater, does appear to be improving.

"Syracuse is playing their best football right now. They had a few extra days for us, so they have a head start on the Mountaineers. They are vey athletic. Florida State is very athletic, and Syracuse held its own against them.

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