Players of the Game: WVU - East Carolina selects the outstanding performers in West Virginia's tough 27-10 win over East Carolina.

On a night when the offense was less explosive than it has been for a while, wide receiver Darius Reynaud shouldered the load and made the big play that put the Mountaineers in control of the game.

In the first half, Reynaud had four receptions for 50 yards, including a big third-down reception of 23 yards that kept a drive alive. He also had a rush of 11 yards on a reverse.

However, the Luling, La. native saved his best for last. After suffering debilitating leg cramps in the third quarter, he returned to the field in the fourth period with the Mountaineers leading just 17-10. After three Steve Slaton runs, Reynaud took a slip screen pass, juked a defender and raced 60 yards across the field for a touchdown to put the Mountaineers up by two scores.

Reynaud finished with five catches for 110 yards and the all-important touchdown. He added 23 rushing yards and 35 kickoff return yards to his outstanding all-around performance.

Defensively, bandit Eric Wicks had his best performance of the season as WVU shut down the Pirate running game. Keying off Wicks, who was a stalwart against the rush on his side, the Mountaineers held ECU to just 41 rushing yards in the contest.

Eric Wicks
Wicks was excellent in stringing out runs to his side and keeping ECU runners from turning the corner. The Mountaineers held the home team to just 1.7 yards per rush.

Wicks also stifled another ECU drive with a second-quarter interception that led to a West Virginia touchdown. He gathered in a tipped pass and returned it nine yards to East Carolina's 49-yard line, setting the Mountaineers up in excellent field position.

Wicks finished with eight tackles, including one a yard behind the line of scrimmage when he stayed at home on a Pirate reverse and dumped the ball carrier for a loss. In addition to the interception, he also broke up another pass.


  • Defensive back Larry Williams, who entered the game in the first quarter after Vaughn Rivers was benched following a personal foul, played very well. Williams helped hold Pirate star Aundrae Allison to two catches for zero yards after Allison had piled up 52 yards on his first two catches.

  • Linebacker Reed Williams played very well on WVU's pass defense and special teams as he continues to earn more playing time. The West Virginia native had a beautiful diving pass deflection to thwart one Pirate drives, and was excellent in coverage on special teams as well.

    For the game, Williams had six tackles to go with his pass break up, and showed very good closing speed in the open field.

  • The Mountaineers' kickers played a big, if somewhat unnoticed, part in the game. Punter Scott Kozlowski averaged 50.5 yards on two punts, and did not allow a return on either boot. Kozlowski has worked hard to master the roll punt, and it showed against the Pirates.

    Placekicker Pat McAfee was perfect on two field goal attempts from 26 and 29 yards, and again mixed up his kickoffs well to keep Pirate returners off balance. ECU averaged just more than 21 yards per return.

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