Things Of That Nature - Syracuse Edition

Mountaineer head coach Rich Rodriguez was very pleased with his team's effort in Saturday's 34-7 squeezing of the Orangemen.

"I liked the effort most of all," Rodriguez said after reviewing Saturday's game films. "Our young men really played hard. They did a nice job of trying to execute. Rodriguez did find some areas that need to be addressed, including areas of physical play in the trenches.

"Our offensive line didn't come off the ball as well as they had in previous games, and we didn't run our pass routes as crisply as they need to be.

"Defensively, we tackled well but we didn't get off blocks well. We still have a lot of work to do. But, I was really pleased with how our players focused on the game on every play. We're still not playing to the level of execution that we want, but the effort that we are getting has been really pleasing."

Rodriguez knows that a lot more than focus will be required to get a win against the next opponent, number one ranked Miami.

"It's the same old story, you're never as good as you think you are, or as bad as you think you are," Rodriguez noted. "We have a number of things to keep working on."


The defensive staff has seen a number of players rotate beween the free safety, spur and bandit positions over the first half of the season. Jahmile Addae has settled into the free saftey spot and apparently locked up that spot, but the other two positions will continue to see a platoon of players.

"A lot of that (the rotation) can change from week to week," Rodriguez said. "It can depend on who we're playing and how they are trying to attack us. Angel has had a couple of really good games, the last two weeks, and Addae is playing well. Jermaine Thaxton didn't play as well this week as he did against Rutgers but we hope he'll step back up. Arthur Harrison's ankle sprain has kept him out of the rotation, but we want to get him back in there.

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WVU will send a tape of "five or six" questionable calls to the Big East Conference this week. The officiating crew made a number of calls that were puzzling, to say the least.

"I'm probably slanted in my opinion, of course," Rodriguez said of the calls. "Some were justifiable, but some, quite frankly, we questioned. We'll pull those out and put them on tape and send them to John Soffey. There's about four or five that were obvious, in our opinion, that needed to be questioned.

Among those calls were the roughing the kicker call in which Thandi Smith appeared to get a hand on the ball, and a helmet to helmet call on linebacker Scott Gyorko

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The injury list continues to mount, and they aren't the types of things that can be brushed off easily.

Grant Wiley played the game with a tweaked hamstring. It is not the same leg that he aggravated last year, however, he was not 100% for the Syracuse game, and probably won't be for Miami, according to Rodriguez.

Brian King broke his thumb in the third quarter and now has his hand in a cast. The break occured on the same hand that was surgically repaired in the offseason. The break is in a different area than the surgery, which was on his wrist, but due to the large cast King will be questionable at best for Miami.

A. J. Nastasi is also still questionable. He will see how much pressure he can put on it during practice this week, which will determine his status.

"We'll probably have a better feel for that by Wednesday," Rodriguez said.

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Plenty of tickets still remain for Saturday's contest with Miami, despite some reports to the contrary.

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