Rod Report - Maryland

Head coach Rich Rodriguez was obviously pleased to get a fourth consecutive win over Maryland, but he was not happy with the execution displayed by his offense, especially in the first half.

"We just had very poor execution offensive against Maryland, especially in the first half," the seventh-year coach noted. "We had missed blocks, missed reads, and dropped a couple of snaps. We were just messing around for a good bit, so I guess that's encouraging that we can do that and still win. We can play a lot better than what we did.

The dropped snaps, the first ones of the season, were indicative of Patrick White's play. By no means did the junior play badly, but he was not quite as crisp as he normally is.

"Pat didn't have his best game," Rodriguez noted. "He still competes and makes plays, but he may have pressed a little bit."

On the positive side, the defense's performance in the game bordered on stellar. WVU allowed just 2.3 yards per rush and collected three turnovers. Maryland converted just five of 14 third- and fourth-down chances.

"I thought the defense executed a little better than they had [in the first two games]," Rodriguez noted. "We had some nice third down stops and got some good pressure on the quarterback. We went to man coverage and they caught a couple passes with the tight end, but the bigger thing was getting pressure on the quarterback. A couple of times the tight end was open, but the quarterback didn't have time to get the ball to him."


West Virginia had just six penalties for 53 yards, continuing a season long trend. In three games, WVU has just 14 penalties for 117 yards.

"I think we are just playing smarter," Rodriguez said. "We had penalties at times last year that just frustrated us. I think it has been a big factor this year. We aren't killing ourselves. We had a couple yesterday, but for the most part we haven't been hurting ourselves."

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West Virginia came out the game no worse than it came in on the injury front. Both Reed Williams and Julian Miller sported shoulder to wrist tape jobs, but appeared to be o.k. Bobby Hathaway got one play on Maryland's onside kick. And two stalwarts should be much improved for the East Carolina game.

"Keilen Dykes and Darius Reynaud are still sore, but came out o.k.," Rodriguez reported. "Reynaud fell on his shoulder in practice, but it is just bruised. He will be better this weekend."

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West Virginia didn't arrive home until 3:00 a.m. Friday, and thus will take a couple of days to "rest and relax", according to Rodriguez. The maximum allowable seven coaches are out recruiting Friday, and will return to meet on Saturday before beginning preparations for East Carolina on Sunday.

"The coaches will meet Saturday to grade film and talk recruiting," he said.

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Rodriguez noted that adjustments, whether made on the field or at the half, are similar in nature.

"At halftime, you might have maybe ten minutes, or you might get three minutes on a TV timeout. But it's not like you can put in a whole new play or defense. It's more of an opportunity to explain some things and give them what your plan of attack might b during the second half.

"We did not make as many adjustments versus Maryland as we did against Marshall," he continued.

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Dorrell Jalloh was the only wideout to distinguish himself in downfield blocking against the Terrapins. His block on Noel Devine's 76-yard run wiped out both a cornerback and a safety.

"Jalloh is a physical guy, an he took his man in and pushed him into the safety," Rodriguez said. "I didn't think our downfield blocking was very good last night, though. It was below average, other than Jalloh, who had a couple."

* * *

Rodriguez was again asked to compare Steve Slaton and Noel Devine, and he came up with a couple of different points.

"Steve is faster, stronger and knows the system. They both have the ability to hit a crease and make you take poor angles. Noel has great hips. I don't know that they are much different, but it's a case of you get one fast guy out, put another fast guy in and keep the same issues defensively. Noel runs behind his pads. He is a small guy, but not a weak guy. He has good upper body strength and strong legs.

"On some run plays, you have to patient," Rodriguez continued "You can call it setting up your blocks or making your reads, but whatever you call it, there are plays where you have to make your reads and then cut off those reads. Steve has done a good job learning that, and the young guys will get better. In blocking, it shows up when you don't know who to block or when your technique is not good. I think that makes you not as aggressive, but I think that improves over your career."

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