Opportune Moment

West Virginia redshirt freshman offensive lineman Donny Barclay couldn't have picked a better moment to get his first start as a Mountaineer.

Barclay, who has played in a relief role this year, moved into he starting lineup in place of Greg Isdaner for the Louisville game, and things could not have worked out better for him. West Virginia rolled up 379 rushing yards in downing the Cardinals.

"I found out this past Thursday I found out I was going to start," Barclay said after WVU's 35-21 win over Louisville. "It was pretty exciting. I definitely prepared a lot more this week, and I was definitely thinking a lot more about what I had to do. It was a great felling to get to play most of the game."

Whether it was the extra preparation or the past game experience, Barclay dealt with the anticipatory hours before the game very well.

"Actually, I had a good night's sleep," the good natured freshman said with a laugh. "I went to bed around 10:30, and was just trying to stay calm. That's what Ryan Stanchek was telling me, just to calm down and I would be fine. We had a good day out there."

Barclay obviously had the support of his teammates along the line, including Greg Isdaner, whose spot he took for much of the afternoon. Isdaner rotated with Barclay in the first half, but was on the bench for all of the second half.

"It's just such an honor to play with the other linemen, with Ryan and Jobe on my side, and with Figner and Capers. And Greg was giving me pointers throughout the game -- he was great. They were all on my side, and that really helped."

Was it just coincidence that West Virginia's offense had its best day of the season against an upper tier foe? Barclay was quick to deflect any credit coming his way, but did describe what happened up front that allowed WVU to roll up 498 yards of total offense.

"We were just getting out there well on the linebackers and safeties on our side," he explained. "Ryan and Jobe and I were doing well getting out and getting to the next level. We were just having fun out there."

Perhaps the biggest thrill of the day, other than winning the game, came for Barclay when Patrick White became the all-time NCAA leader for career rushing yards by a quarterback. Barclay grinned from ear to ear while describing the feelings associated with that effort.

"Pat was making some good moves out there. It is an honor to play with him. It was a great feeling to play with him when he set the record. Every time he scored, I was just running up to him and congratulating him. He is such a good guy, he holds the team above any record and above himself. But I am so happy he was able to do that today. It was a great thrill."


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