Garrett Prepares for Challenge

West Virginia offensive tackle Travis Garrett knows he has a tough task on Saturday trying to contain Louisville's sack machine.

The Cardinals are known mostly for their offense, and with good reason. The potent Cardinal attack is among the most explosive in all of America. On the defensive side of the ball though, they have a man could be the best player on the field: senior defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

The Miami, Fla. native has registered an astounding 15 sacks through the season's first five games. Garrett's challenge on Saturday will be trying to slow down the All-American candidate.

"Basically you just have to watch as much film as possible to get his tendencies down," says the 6'6" 350 pound Grafton native. "I've got to get to know him better than he knows himself, so I've definitely got my work cut out for me."

This won't be the first time Garrett has squared off against a big-name defensive end. It was just two weeks ago that he lined up across from Virginia Tech's Darryl Tapp.

"He was a high motor guy, and you needed to stay with him the whole time. He probably had the best hands of anybody I've ever faced," admitted Garrett. "He was really good about getting my hands down, and getting his hands up. He was just a hard working son of a (gun)."

While watching film this week, he's seen some similarities between Tapp and Dumervil.

"They're shorter guys, but they have good leverage and high motors. They're always moving, and it's going to be a tough match."

Garrett feels that his best asset as a lineman is his cerebral play.

"My biggest strength would have to be my mental play out there. I don't make too many mental mistakes, but when I do I can recover from them quickly," he says.

Throughout the week he'll be looking for something, anything, to help him block Dumervil when Saturday comes around.

"You look at their stance and look for things. How much weight is on their hands? How do they move their feet? How do they come off the ball? If you do one thing, what does he tend to do, and if you do another thing, how does he adjust to that?

"It's been a learning process. I didn't start doing it until this year, because I had never really thought of it that way," he continued. "It definitely makes sense. You can start to see things. After a while, your eye is trained to do something."

As Saturday approaches you can bet that Garrett's preparations will increase. And when the ball is snapped for the first Mountaineer offensive play, all of his hard work and film study will hopefully pay off.


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