WVU Has A Winner with Rasheed

West Virginia quarterback Rasheed Marshall may not have had the best of games against Wisconsin on Saturday, but his actions and demeanor both on the sidelines and after the game bode well for the future of the sophomore signalcaller.

After suffering through a 7-18 first half where he missed four open receivers, Rasheed could have sulked or gone into a funk. However, according to Mountaineer quarterbacks coach Bill Stewart, that didn't happen.

"I'm proud of Rasheed Marshall. He missed a couple of passes early, and we could have packed in in, like all the naysayers want us to pack it in. But Rasheed kept fighting and he ran the option pretty well. He fought back and had a real good second half, and I'm pleased with how he came back and led the team.

"When it's not a good outing, the quarterback has to take the lumps just like he takes the good. I think he grew a lot today.

"He was great on the sidelines. He never gets rattled or down. We (the coaches) have to help him get into a flow. [The early overthrows] kind of got him out of his rhythm a little. But he never quit. We can build on this."

It would have been a simple thing for West Virginia to fold their tent in the second half, but that didn't happen. Despite the long odds, WVU kept battling, and in the process earned some respect.

As good as his turnaround was on the field, Rasheed was even more impressive during post game interviews. Other quarterbacks might not want to talk after a game such as this, but he didn't waver. He came out and answered what had to be painful questions about the overthrows that he made. He answered directly, thoughtfully and with clarity. He didn't mumble or hang his head. That type of behavior bodes well for a player who is still establishing himself one of the leaders of the Mountaineer offense.

"It was a slow start. I had a couple of incompletes right at the start," Rasheed analyzed after the game. "We had seen that the passes to the backs would be open on film, and I should have made the throw. I'll just work on that in practice.

"I just try to erase those plays from my mind and go on to the next one. I'll tell a guy 'I missed you on that one, but I'll get the next one'. I didn't have any nerves or jitters, even though it was my second start."

Rasheed also recognizes the contribution of Stewart, who serves as a calming influence on the field.

"Coach Stewart is always talking to me and encouraging me, and telling me to relax. That's the type of coach he is. He does everything he can to help you get into rhythm."

We're betting that Rasheed won't take long to find the range, and when he does, the Mountaineer offense will take another big step forward.

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