Less than two weeks ago, Alric Arnett talked about making a downfield impact in the Mountaineer passing game. In West Virginia's 48-21 win over Villanova, the junior college product delivered.

Of course, Mountaineer fans had heard this kind of talk before. It wasn't smack talk on the part of the players involved, but over the past few years West Virginia has been desperate to develop a downfield threat. The occasional player, such as Chris Henry or Brandon Myles, did provide it, but for the most part West Virginia's deep passing game has been an afterthought.

That all changed on Saturday, when Arnett delivered four catches for 70 yards and two scores, including two downfield routes on which he beat coverage deep for a score. The first, which featured at least three receivers running deep routes, isolated Arnett on a single defender. He got behind the Wildcat, then slid down for a nicely placed pass from White for the score. The second TD was a thing of beauty, involving two faked handoffs from White. The cool senior froze the defense with both moves before delivering a strike to Arnett deep in the end zone for his second scoring play in as many catches.

Arnett's plays delivered on the promise that he showed in pre-season camp last year before injuries derailed his season and forced a redshirt. Granted, it was Villanova, and West Virginia will have to show that it can do the same against defenses like those of East Carolina and South Florida that have given the Mountaineers problems in the past. But for a team that has been trying to produce a passing game threat that foes will have to honor, Arnett's start to the 2008 season was certainly a step in the right direction.

Listen as Arnett discusses WVU's downfield attack and what it means for the Mountaineer offense.

Alric Arnett - Windows Media

Alric Arnett - MP3

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