POG: West Virginia - East Carolina

Our picks for the outstanding players and performances in the West Virginia - East Carolina game.

Though standout performances for those in white jerseys and blue pants were few and far between in Saturday's 24-3 loss at the hands of East Carolina, a couple of Mountaineer specialists did all they could to keep West Virginia somewhat competitive.

Kicker/punter Pat McAfee continued his strong start to his final season, scoring West Virginia's only three points of the afternoon on a 26-yard field goal with 4:19 remaining in the second quarter.

On a busier-than-normal afternoon from a punting perspective, the All-America candidate boomed five punts for a total of 225 yards, an average of 45 yards per kick. McAfee's long went for 65 yards.



Pat McAfee

Even more impressive than his punting yardage might have been his hang time, as the senior routinely sent his kicks skyward for more than four seconds. Of his five punts, three were downed inside the 20 yardline, with the 65-yarder just missing that distinction as it bounced into the end zone. None of McAfee's punts were returned.

Another specialist, senior walk-on linebacker Jim Lewis, had an outstanding afternoon on the punt and kickoff coverage teams. Lewis blew up an ECU returner on one first-half kickoff, and downed a fourth-quarter McAfee punt at the ECU four-yardline.


GAME BALLS

  • The first game ball goes to senior linebacker Mortty Ivy, who now boasts starting experience at each of the three linebacker positions in West Virginia's 3-3-5 odd stack alignment. Ivy, starting at Mike (middle) in place of the injured Reed Williams (who did not dress), was credited with nine tackles on the afternoon, and shook off a first-half leg injury the lead West Virginia's defense.

  • Tailback Noel Devine receives a game ball after bouncing back to his normal form against the Pirates. Devine ran the ball 12 times for 94 yards against ECU, an average of 7.8 yards per carry. The speedy sophomore boasted long gains of 34 and 29 yards, respectively, but it still wasn't enough to get West Virginia's sputtering offense into a consistent rhythm. Devine also registered three catches for nine yards.

    West Virginia has yet to record a touchdown in the running game this season.

  • Finally, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium security and ECU officials did a commendable job controlling a boisterous band of purple-clad Pirate faithful waiting to erupt in postgame jubilee. While fans were allowed to run onto the field, most who were out of line were detained in handcuffs. Roughly a dozen spectators met this fate.

    The ECU fans were herded off the field in a timely fashion.


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