Things Of That Nature - ECU

Head coach Rich Rodriguez, though disappointed in his team's play against East Carolina, was still taking a matter-of–fact approach after reviewing tape of the uneven effort.

"We were close on some things offensively," he noted. "It seemed like we had one mistake on every snap that halted some drives, and of course we didn't play with a whole lot of emotion. We did some good things at times, but our guys know we have to play a lot better this weekend to have a chance."

Of particular concern was the running game, which yielded just 127 yards, and a paltry 2.8 yards per carry.

"The tackles and center played pretty well, but the guards didn't play as well," Rodriguez said after evaluating the line play. "We didn't sustain blocks, and we had a number of missed assignments. They, did a good job tackling and getting off blocks too."

Rodriguez also deflected a suggestion that the rotation of running backs didn't allow any one player to get into a groove.

"Getting a hot hand had nothing to do with it," he said. "It wasn't a poor performance [by the running backs]. We know we can play better."


Rodriguez noted that Marc Magro, making his first career start, played very well.

"He was very active, flying around the field. He was one of our defensive award winners."

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Injuries, for the first time this year, have become a major concern, and at the worst possible time. Adam Bednarik's knee injury was a bruise, with no ligament or cartilage damage, but it is sore, as is his shoulder, which remains a concern. Vaughn Rivers has an ankle sprain and will be out for at least two weeks. Andrae Wright has a hip pointer and is day to day, as is Anthony Mims with a strained hamstring. Mims has a history of hamstring problems. Also, the status of Jay Henry (sprained knee) and Pat Liebig (back spasms) is still uncertain.

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West Virginia had six sacks on the afternoon. While Rodriguez partially attributed that to the high number of passes thrown by the Pirates, he also noted that the sacks were caused by a number of different things.

"The defensive line did some good things, but many of those were off pressure from different blitzes," he explained. "Sometimes we were bringing four or five players, and a couple were coverage sacks. I think we can pressure better now."

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Rodriguez also commented on Antonio Lewis' punt return for a score. It wasn't the first time he has seen Lewis make a big play on special teams.

"He did a great job of hitting the seam. He's an explosive player, and he has done that in practice a couple of times. I think it will give him confidence for the future."

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Turning his attention to Saturday's foe, Rodriguez had words of high praise.

"I'm not surprised by Virginia Tech at all. I thought Tech was more talented (than Georgia Tech), and they totally dominated in all three phases. I don't think I have seen a better Tech team. They might be the most talented team we have seen in 4 ½ years. They have recruited very well the past couple of years. They have a system where the coaching staff is stable and has been together for a long time. They are playing with more confidence now than ever. When you are blowing people out you get that.

"Our guys know how good they are," he continued. "At least I don't have to worry about us being focused. We have some veterans, a few at least, who have played against them and beaten them. They know how you have to play, and they will pass that on to the younger guys."

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