MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Daikiel Shorts leads the West Virginia football team in receptions with 28. All but two of those have come in the cozy confines of Mountaineer Field.
Could that be a harbinger of what's to come this Saturday, when WVU (3-4 overall, 1-3 Big 12) travels to Kansas State (2-4, 0-3) for a 3:45 p.m. game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium?
"It's just opportunity," WVU receivers coach Lonnie Galloway said. "The biggest thing for him is opportunity."
Shorts, a 6-foot, 201-pound true freshman from Clayton, N.J., should get more of that after his nine-catch performance against Texas Tech last Saturday.
"Every time I have a good week of practice I do pretty well in the game," said Shorts, who led the Mountaineers in receptions and yards (78). "I'm not saying I had a good game, but production-wise people thought I did."
The home-road splits, however, are unusual. Shorts had seven catches for 63 yards in the season opener against William & Mary, five receptions for 88 yards against Georgia State and five for 32 in the win over then-No. 11 Oklahoma State before the breakout versus Texas Tech.
In three road games, Shorts has two receptions for 35 yards. Both of those came in a 31-point loss to Baylor. He didn't catch a pass in losses to Oklahoma and Maryland, games in which WVU combined to score seven points in eight quarters.
"I think that's got to just be a coincidence," WVU teammate Cody Clay said.
It could also be Shorts' still-developing rapport with quarterback Clint Trickett, who is set to make his fourth consecutive start this Saturday. Shorts has a reception in every game Trickett has started.
Before Trickett took over as the QB, Shorts averaged three catches for 37.8 yards per game. In the past three games, Shorts is averaging 5.3 receptions and 48.3 yards.