Things Of That Nature - Syracuse

Unlike many onlookers, WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez was happy with the play of both of his quarterbacks on Sunday.

"I was really pleased with both quarterbacks," Rodriguez as he critiqued the play of Adam Bednarik and Pat White. "I thought they handled things well, especially in such a tough environment. Adam Bednarik graded out highly and converted a couple of plays. He's a tough guy, too. He took a couple of hits, and I don't want the quarterback to do that a lot, but I don't want to change his personality either.

"Pat White also played well. He had a little bit of bad luck, because a couple of the drives he was on ended up in fumbles. I'm going to keep playing both of them."

As happy as Rodriguez was with the quarterbacks, he was just as unhappy with the players in front of him.

"We were really disappointed in the play of the offensive line," he said. "We didn't run as well as what we are accustomed to, and we misread some things in the running game. We feel like we left some runs out there [on the field]. We didn't control the line of scrimmage at times, and although we rushed for 170 yards, we didn't play as well there as we would like.

"Still, it's the first game, and all of the mistakes that we saw were correctible."


West Virginia's next opponent, Wofford, runs a variation of the wishbone called the flexbone, which differs only in minor respects from its parent offense. In the flex bone, halfbacks line up at different positions, including as wingbacks and in tight slot positions, which can create different angles in the running game. The Terriers piled up 413 rushing yards on 74 carries last week in a 34-24 win over Georgetown (Ky.) last week.

"If they get the slightest crack in the defense they can make you pay," Rodriguez said.

Like the wishbone, the flexbone is based in good part upon the fullback, who typically has a chance to carry the ball more than the average player at his position.

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Rodriguez was also happy with the experience many of his younger players got in the win over the Orange.

"We had 30 guys making their first trip," he said of the true and redshirt freshmen that made up the majority of that number. "It was a good learning experience for them. We didn't play our best football, but we'll take a Big East road win. It was a tough environment, and we had a lot of unknowns, but a lot of young kids played. It was good for them, and I think they got some confidence."

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Rodriguez also addressed the thinking that Syracuse's poor offensive performance had more to do with problems in the Orange program rather than great play from the WVU defenders.

"I think out defense played well," he emphasized first. "I think some of it was probably first game mistakes. But they came close to busting some big plays. We were able to run some different blitzes and put pressure on Perry Patterson, and we tackled well. In fact, that may have been the key to the game."

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