MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Stedman Bailey got together with fellow West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin in the preseason to look up the school's single-season receiving record.
Not to say Bailey saw his success in 2011 ahead of time, but the sophomore knew Coach Dana Holgorsen's offense provided significant opportunities.
One the two eyeballed was the 1,043 yards David Saunders had in 1996.
"We knew there would be a lot of opportunities being here to get past it," Bailey said. "Here I am close to it, being 7 yards away. I put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and throughout the season and I try to continue to make plays, so it'll feel good to get my name in the books."
Bailey, the sophomore from Florida's Miramar High, has 1,037 yards.
He figures to break the record in Friday's 7 p.m. (ESPN) home game against rival Pitt.
He could break or tie another record with a really good game at Mountaineer Field.
Bailey also has 10 touchdowns this season, two shy of the record shared by Darius Reynaud (2007) and Chris Henry (2004).
"I've seen him and all he's been though in his life and it's great to see him prospering and getting the recognition he deserves," said quarterback Geno Smith, who was Bailey's high school teammate.
"He was one of the guys who was overlooked in high school in my eyes and was one of the best receivers in the country. It's the same here now, so it's good to see him get his name out there."
Austin could also pass Saunders if he gains 137 yards. Saunders (1998) and Shaun Foreman (1997) share the school record with 77 receptions. Austin has 72.
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PITT COACH Todd Graham worked in 2001 as WVU's linebackers coach and then the following season as the co-defensive coordinator before leaving to work the next three seasons as Tulsa's defensive coordinator.
Graham was the head coach at Rice in 2006 and then at Tulsa from 2007-10. The Owls were No. 45 in total offense in 2006 and then the Golden Hurricane were Nos. 1, 1, 35 and 5 with Graham in charge.
In 2007-08, Graham had Gus Malzahn as his coordinator. Malzahn is now at Auburn and had been considered with Holgorsen as one of the most promising assistant coaches.