Bounce Back

Will Johnson had a rocky start to his sophomore season, when he dropped an eminently catchable ball against the Villanova Wildcats. However, he didn't let that one mistake mar the rest of his day.

Johnson made the best recovery possible on his next chance, snaring a three-yard toss for quarterback Patrick White and rumbling over a defender for a touchdown. That's the play that Johnson and all of the Mountaineer receivers hope to build upon all season long.

"I didn't get down on myself (after the first drop). I just wanted to have another opportunity to make another play and I know first impressions mean a lot," he admitted. "I just wanted another opportunity to make another catch and it turned out the next one went for a touchdown."

The 6'2" 215-pound tight end/fullback from Dayton, Ohio played an aggressive game, going head-to-head against the Wildcat defense. When running the route to his receive his touchdown pass on Saturday, Johnson's hit on a potential tackler stood out.

"He tried to chop my legs out from under me. I really ended up just driving over him and I fell into the end zone," Johnson said.

Despite his contribution (one of West Virginia's five passing touchdowns on the day), Johnson was not completely happy with his performance.

"I'm not totally satisfied with the one drop but I made up for it, I think. I think it was fine but not a great game," Johnson said of his play.

Johnson and the rest of the Mountaineers are aware of the difficult game they are facing against the East Carolina Pirates, who are coming off of a big win against Virginia Tech. He is hoping that the pass-oriented offense played against Villanova will carry over to the ECU game.

"It felt good to be able to spread the ball out more (against Villanova) and actually play a role in the offense. I think we added a different threat. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully we will continue that into the next game," Johnson said.

Johnson is ready to face the Pirates, who will likely be just as excited to face the No. 8 Mountaineers. As head coach Bill Stewart and many players have stressed this fall, Johnson mentioned a mantra that has been heard often this year.

"I think we have to come out of the gate and hit them right in the mouth. We have to prove a point to them that we're not a Virginia Tech team and that they are coming in and playing a whole different ball game," Johnson noted. "We have to execute and play hard."

Johnson saw limited playing time last year as a freshman, participating in approximately 75 plays. He was moved from his initial wide receiver spot to the tight end/fullback position during the spring.


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