UC Down, Pitt Next

After a long bus trip home (the team arrived in Morgantown at 4:15 a.m.), head coach Rich Rodriguez had a short night's rest before beginning work on evaluating his team's performance in the 38-0 win over Cincinnati.

"I thought the guys, assignment-wise, did well. There was obviously a play or two we could have blocked better or done better downfield. But for most part we got the right hat on the right hat. It wasn't bad for productivity. We got a couple long drives, then got the turnovers."

Rodriguez was also pleased with the way WVU extended its lead and kept driving in the second half.

"That's the thing you want to do if you have a lead in second half because it takes any life that they had out of them. If you go score and it does that."

RIFLE REPORTS

Rodriguez remained concerned about Dan Mozes, who did not suffer a broken leg as initially feared, but instead has a sprained knee. The severity of that injury, and the possible recovery time, may not be know for a few days until the swelling goes down.

"I laid awake all night waiting on it. He is our biggest concern. No question he may be the most valuable player we have on the team."

Rodriguez explained that when he saw Mozes trying to limp off the field, he waved at him to stop where he was.

"I was waving on to get down to stop the game. If a player gets hurt, especially the quarterback or center, the last thing we want them to do is hobble off. I was waving at him to get down. I don't want guys to play hurt. Don't hobble off, just stay out there and let the trainers work on them to let other guys get ready."

* * *

If Mozes is still unavailable, Mike Dent will be the starter at center for Pittsburgh.

"I thought he played well," Rodriguez said of his backup center. "He was a tough competitor. If he has to be the guy we'll get him ready. Dent is the first one, and we'll try to get guys that can handle the ball and make calls. Those guys are going to be point of attack on every play. Sheffey has snapped, but never played center before."

* * *

Patrick White again played well in his second starting assignment.

"White showed his explosiveness," Rodriguez observed. "He played well and ran the ball well and made good decisions. We made mistakes at times, but he has that burst that made up for it."

* * *

WVU hit some big plays in the form of a couple of passes to Brandon Myles as well as some big runs from White and Slaton.

"There are still a couple of missed assignments, and we have to eliminate those. Big plays are there and we have to hit those in big games. Whether it's a receiver or we get a defensive look we want and call the right play, you can't miss those. We have hit some, but we have to hit all we can.

"I think we are getting better," Rodriguez continued. "We are closer to getting more. We are playing pretty focused, but you worry about a game like last night. There was not much crowd, and our guys had to wait around all day. But they played well, and they have handled every situation maturely. They are hard to read sometimes."

Ernest Hunter got in a few more snaps against Cincinnati than he did against Connecticut, but Rodriguez needs him at full speed in two weeks.

"Hunter is getting better. We need him -- he's our best nose guard," Rodriguez said. "We need him at 100 percent to beat Pitt. We started talking about them right after the game. I said I don't think I have to remind you what is next. We are meeting today, this afternoon to get the Cincinnati game over with. We'll start right into Pitt after the weekend."

WVU will take a couple of days off, have a light practice on Monday and begin serious Pitt preparations on Tuesday.

* * *

West Virginia has done an outstanding job in forcing turnovers while not committing them, which has been a key in the last four games.

"We can't afford to turn ball over and beat people," Rodriguez said. "The field position battle is so key for us. We are good with a short field, but we struggle with a long field, like any teams do."

* * *

Asked what he would do if his son grew up and decided to go to Pitt, Rodriguez laughed.

"I can't imagine that ever happening. He would have to change his name. I couldn't stop him I guess. If you asked him, he would respond like I am now."


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