MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia's offensive coaches are begging for receivers to make plays. The Mountaineers are wondering if things have lined up to make it happen Saturday.
In back-to-back weeks, Maryland lost both its starting cornerbacks and will be shorthanded when it sees WVU at 3:30 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
A week ago, senior Dexter McDougal suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. A week before, junior Jeremiah Johnson fractured a toe that will keep him out at least another month.
They'll be replaced by senior Isaac Goins, a 5-foot-11, 190 pound junior college transfer who started twice last season, and 5-7, 175-pound true freshman William Likely. They both started Maryland's Sept. 7 win against Old Dominion, though as extra defensive backs against the pass-happy Monarchs.
"They're both real small so we should be able to do some things," WVU receiver Kevin White said.
WVU's offense will feature three and four receivers quite often and sometimes use a running back as a fifth receiver, which will force the Terrapins to go deeper. Their third and fourth cornerbacks are true freshman Jarrett Ross and sophomore Alvin Hill.
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WHITE MINDFUL of big plays, White vows to do small things first. The junior college transfer, who missed the season opener, lost a fumble in the red zone in the third quarter of the loss to Oklahoma and then dropped two passes against Georgia State.
He was benched after the second, a certain touchdown, and watched the rest of the game while taking heat from his coaches.
"They were all (mad) because they know what I can do," White said. "I rarely ever make those mistakes in practice, but when I make them in a game with thousands of people watching, they get upset. I expect that. It's my mistake."
White is second on the team in receptions, though with only nine, and his 10.6 yards per catch is just the sixth-best on the team. That's not what he wants to fix, though.
"I've got to come out and do my part first," he said. "It's my part. It's not like a corner or a defense is just shutting me down. Everything I'm messing up is because of me. The fumble at Oklahoma was me. They didn't hit me or force that. It's me. The drops are me. It's mentality. I've got to fix it."
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THE MOUNTAINEERS continue to run the ball with frequency and success. They've rushed 44, 24 and 42 times in three games and rank No. 39 nationally with 5.33 yards per carry.