Stewart was questioned about his knowledge of Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros and the decision facing Bearcat head coach Brian Kelly. In fact, he only received one question about the status of the Mountaineers – and he adroitly slipped that query.
Stewart first responded to questions about Collaros, who played his high school football at Steubenville, which is just across the river from the West Virginia northern panhandle. "I knew about Zach Collaros. I've known Reno (Steubenville head coach Reno Saccocia) for a long time," Stewart said. Those Steubenville players are physical, and they are competitors. I thought he was a great player, and I understand he's an even better baseball player. The guy is a gamer. Now, I wish we had gotten him over here."
The main reason for that was WVU's quarterback roster at the time. The Mountaineers had both Pat White and Jarrett Brown, and had Coley White coming in as well. Stewart did note that he sees similarities in the nature of both Brown and Collaros.
"Both young men are great competitors and great winners," he explained. "These guys that have running ability, the ability to pull it down when their senses go off, these guys tuck it and go. That's what makes a Jarrett Brown, a Zach Collaros, a Pat White different. They are great players. They could be great running backs, or they could be great safeties. That ability to pull it down and run makes them special."
Stewart noted, with good humor, that he "wasn't going to go there" when asked which quarterback – Collaros or Tony Pike – he would rather face. Answering such a questions would, of course, just provide fodder for critics or the opposing team, and thus he chose not to answer. He did, however, note that West Virginia would have to prepare for both.
"Both may play, or they may not," he said philosophically. "We have to get ready for both. We have to practice well this week. It's a tough time and we are kind of nicked up, but we have to better our game no matter who we play. We have to contain what there scheme is, but that's difficult, because no one has been able to do that. We will try to play to our strengths and call what we think will stop their scheme."
As to West Virginia's injury situation, Stewart allowed that "everyone was out there, but some are still hobbled" at the team's most recent practice. "Some dind't practice as well as others."
Stewart also admitted that he didn't want to give out too much information on the injury situation, so as to keep the Bearcats in the dark as to who they might face. The injury list following the Louisville game included Noel Devine, Bradley Starks, Sidney Glover, Chris Neild and Josh Taylor. Scooter Berry, Reed Williams and Jarrett Brown are all expected to play. Stewart would not commit any further on who might or might not be expected to be available fro the Friday night contest.