The Kinder Garden - 9/20/02

The off week in football gives me a chance to share a few thoughts that otherwise might have been crowded out by the approaching game.

Everyone has noticed that WVU is fourth in the nation in rushing this week. But has anyone noticed that sophomore wideout Miquelle Henderson is leading the Big East in both receiving yards and receptions? Or that sophomore quarterback Rasheed Marshall is second in the conference in total offense and passing efficiency?

I'm not saying that these numbers mean WVU's offense has arrived in full flower. The Mountaineers still need to improve their consistency, complete another deep pass or two, and prove they can move the ball in crucial situations.

However, the improvement over last year has been a Scott Bakula-like Quantum Leap.

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There have been some comments on our message board recently about defensive statistics and the fact that they are an overlooked area. I agree.

There is a problem, however, in reporting those stats. After each game, media receive a stat book with the game play by play, quarterly breakdowns, and stat totals. Included are defensive statistics.

However, many coaching staffs, including WVU's, revise those tackle totals after reviewing game films.

Confusion arises when the immediate post game stats, which are often in conflict with the revised stats, are provided to other entities, such as conference headquarters.

As a result, the totals never match up. For example, linebacker Grant Wiley is listed by the Big East as having 19 unassistend tackles and 7 assists for a total of 26, with no sacks. Those totals appear to have been taken directly from the post game summaries.

WVU, however, lists him as having 27 solos and 5 assists for a total of 32, and one sack.

I hate it when things don't match up!

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Usually I'm one of the first people to go around and vote on web sites asking for the "Biggest Surpise" or the "Most Improved" for the upcoming college football season. And, as you might expect, I vote for WVU.

This year, for some reason, I didn't. Could that be the diffrerence in WVU getting their first close win of the Rich Rodriguez area against Cincinnati? Is it a sign of the turnaround that we all hope is imminent?

Nah. The reason we won the Cincinnati game was because I wore the belt bag that holds my extra batteries and memory cards on my left hip instead of my right at Nippert Stadium.

Don't laugh - it's true. While we're at it, what are some of your "lucky charms" for games? What do you do when the Mountaineers aren't playing well? Share them with us!

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