www.charlestondailymail.com Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Archie Manning steps away from playoff committee http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029873 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029873 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:36:20 -0400


IRVING, Texas - Archie Manning is taking a leave of absence from the College Football Playoff selection committee, which will not replace him this season and go forward with 12 members as it chooses four semifinalists for the first time.

Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said Manning will have surgery next month to help relieve discomfort he has while moving around and will be unable to travel to the meetings.

The committee will issue its first rankings Oct. 28 and announce the four teams in the national championship field on Dec. 7. The semifinals will be Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The title game will be Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Mike Tranghese will take Manning's spot to work with Oliver Luck on the Mountain West and Steve Wieberg will join Tom Jernstedt in evaluating the Atlantic Coast Conference.

WVU FOOTBALL: Holgorsen calls injured Shell, cornerbacks day-to-day http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029874 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029874 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:34:13 -0400


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Three injured starters haven't been ruled out for No. 22 West Virginia's next game at Oklahoma State.

Coach Dana Holgorsen said Monday that cornerbacks Daryl Worley and Terrell Chestnut and running back Rushel Shell are day-to-day. They were hurt in the first half of West Virginia's 41-27 win over Baylor on Saturday.

Worley injured his ribs after fumbling a second-quarter punt. Later in the period, Chestnut sustained a head injury after a hard block from Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman.

Shell hurt his right ankle after a first-quarter run.

All three did not return.

"We knew it was going to be a physical game. We wanted to play that way," Holgorsen said. "I thought we were nasty. We played the type of game that I felt like we needed to in order to win."

The Mountaineers overcame the injuries with their depth.

Backup cornerback Ricky Rumph made six tackles, while Ishmael Banks had a tackle and broke up a pass. The Mountaineers limited Baylor to season lows for points and total yards.

In Shell's absence, three other running backs combined for 150 yards on 42 carries. Baylor had entered the game allowing an average of 108 yards on the ground.

Dreamius Smith, the Mountaineers' fourth-leading rusher, gained 39 yards on a second-quarter drive that he capped with a 9-yard scoring run. Wendell Smallwood, who had a season-high 123 rushing yards a week earlier at Texas Tech, led West Virginia against Baylor with 66 yards on 20 carries.

"Having guys go in to play at a high level when guys go down is what you have to do if you want to win games in the Big 12," Holgorsen said.

Worley's fumble was the latest in a season filled with problems on punts for the Mountaineers. Their average of 3.6 yards per return is among the worst in the nation. Jordan Thompson also has had fumble problems and deciding when to catch punts. Twice on Saturday, West Virginia lined up with all 11 players rushing the punter and no one back to field it.

West Virginia (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) plays at Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) on Saturday.

ROUNDUP: Switzer named ACC receiver of the week http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029875 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029875 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:32:31 -0400


Switzer named ACC receiver of the week

Former George Washington High School football star Ryan Switzer was named the Atlantic Coast Conference's receiver of the week, the league announced Monday.

Switzer, a sophomore, posted career-highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (136) in North Carolina's 48-43 win against Georgia Tech on Saturday. He had his second career two-touchdown game.

Switzer has already eclipsed last year's receiving numbers and has 34 receptions for 429 yards and three touchdowns. He is fifth in the ACC in receptions and seventh in receiving yards.

Police: Texas Tech player injured in shooting

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech's leading receiver, Jakeem Grant, was briefly hospitalized after suffering a laceration during an off-campus shooting over the weekend.

University spokesman Blayne Beal tells the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the junior was "doing well'' after being hospitalized Sunday morning. Grant has 50 catches for 629 yards and five touchdowns. It wasn't clear where the injury will affect his role on the team.

Police Lt. Bryan Taylor says it's unclear what cut Grant. He says more than 20 rounds were fired from multiple weapons during a party at El Fronteriso. Taylor says a second person was injured but the wound wasn't life threatening.

WVU women's soccer team ranked eighth

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. ­- Following two Big 12 Conference shutout wins on the road, the West Virginia University women's soccer team moves up five spots to No. 8 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Division I Women's Top 25 Poll.

The Mountaineers' climb comes on the heels of the team's 3-0 win at Iowa State on Oct. 17 and 2-0 victory at then-No. 9 Kansas on Oct. 19. The victory over the Jayhawks was WVU's first over a top-10 opponent this season and puts the squad's 2014 record against ranked teams at 2-2-1. The Mountaineers (11-2-2, 4-0-1) have defeated at least one top-10 team in each of the last 10 straight seasons.

Herd's Miller matches career-low golf round

POWELLS POINT, N.C. - Senior Jacob Miller matched his career-best round of 72 for the Marshall men's golf team to card a 1-over-par on the second day Monday of the ODU/Outerbanks Intercollegiate at Kilmarlic Golf Course.

With help from Miller's one-stroke improvement, the Thundering Herd bettered its team score by four from the first round to total 22-over-par 590 through 36 holes. Marshall is tied with host Old Dominion at ninth place going into the final 18-hole round on Tuesday.

Former George Washington standout Will Evans sits in a tie for 67th after the second round.

WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers go from finesse to physical http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029876 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029876 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:32:29 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - No matter how often West Virginia runs the ball, pulls its guards and topples defenders, there remains a perception that's more of a stigma and is rapidly becoming a falsehood that the Mountaineers use finesse to move the ball.

They do spread out formations, seek to isolate receivers in space and ask their quarterback to avoid hits at all costs. They play with an extra player in the secondary so they can be faster on defense and they all but concede their linemen aren't big enough to play without help.

But what WVU engaged in during Saturday's win at Baylor was anything but soft, and the timing was unmistakably critical. The tenor of a 41-27 victory didn't erase last season's 73-42 loss to the Bears, but it did prevent another embarrassment.

"The mentality this game was to play their game," WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider said. "We were not going to be intimidated by anybody. They were not going to come in here and run over us again. They embarrassed us last year. Call it like you see it. They kicked our butts up and down the field.

"But as a man, you've got to look yourself in the mirror and say, 'That is not going to happen. Not on our field. Not in front of our crowd."

What worked for the Mountaineers last week can't work against them this week. No. 22 WVU (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) plays Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. The Mountaineers won last season's game at home.

The Mountaineers ran the ball 50 times against Baylor. It's the second consecutive week and the fourth time this season they've had at least 50 runs. They never ran the ball 50 times in coach Dana Holgorsen's first three seasons.

Running back Rushel Shell hit a Baylor defender so hard he hurt himself and came out of the game. Tight end Cody Clay shoved a safety out of the way on one play and then saw the safety avoid him on the next, which was a touchdown run by Dreamius Smith on the last of five straight runs. When WVU had to run out the clock on the final possession, running back Wendell Smallwood pushed forward for a pair of game-ending first downs.

"They knew it was coming and we still hit their guys in the mouth," Seider said. "There was nothing finesse about that. We can play finesse if we want to, but we're still going to come off the ball and hit you."

Even what the Mountaineers did with their passes was a bit more brutish than usual. Receiver Kevin White won one-on-one matchups outside to get open for eight receptions for 132 yards and two scores, but he also battled with defensive backs and drew five pass interference penalties, plus a facemask penalty as he shoved a defender to the ground.

A screen pass at the end of the first half was "probably the best we've run that play all year," according to offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, because WVU knocked Bears over and shoved them aside.

"We knew it was going to be rough and dirty," Smith said.

There were also 32 penalties in the game. The Bears, now the most-penalized team in the country, had seven defensive pass interference penalties and four personal fouls. WVU committed seven personal fouls. All of it was the product of the game and one team matching the other with actions during and after the play.

"I could have told you it was going to look like this," Holgorsen said. "They had 17 (penalties) against Central Florida (in January's Fiesta Bowl loss). They average about 12. It's how they play.

"We were going to do the same thing. We weren't going to be intimidated. We were going to be physical. I told our guys to take chances. I told our guys in man coverage to be physical."

Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson took that advice. His team attacked.

"A year ago, they did that to us," he said. "They physically beat us up and physically assaulted our kids. Coming into the week, I told them, 'You better respect them, but you better not fear them.'"

He did not want his players to be passive, and he had a hunch the Bears didn't like to be pressured. The Mountaineers played man-to-man defense, and sometimes the cornerbacks had only one safety - and sometimes none - to help out.

"They didn't expect us to come out and play like we did," WVU cornerback Ishmael Banks said. "That caught them off guard because last year, all we did was sit back in coverage on defense."

WVU's constant pressure delivered four sacks after having just eight in the first six games. The Bears allowed only seven sacks in the first six games.

"We knew we had to get to the quarterback," West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski said. "Playing aggressive and putting him under as much pressure as we could to get a sack or force a bad throw or just knock him down was our biggest emphasis."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu.

PREP SOCCER: Confidence high for GW girls as postseason begins http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029877 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029877 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:29:27 -0400 By Tom Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The George Washington girls soccer team knows two-time defending Class AAA state champion Winfield looms large over the rest of the state as tournament play begins, but second-year GW coach Megan Johnson thinks this year's Patriots have a key ingredient that was missing in the past - confidence.

GW (14-2-2) opens its postseason at host site Ripley on Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday's Riverside/South Charleston game and Johnson said the experience of going to the state tournament last season combined with what the Patriots have accomplished so far this season has the team in peak form.

"I think we are pretty conditioned and mentally we are confident," she said. "They believe in themselves which is what I think they lacked last year. We always lost to Winfield and this year we tied them 2-2. Now we're finally confident."

The Patriots will be without three players - Alanna Mobayed, Kasey Rhodes, and Jessica Lowen - who were each injured during the regular-season finale against Morgantown. All three will miss sectionals, but GW has one of the state's top goalkeepers in Olivia Miller, which can certainly be counted as an asset in the win-or-go-home soccer playoff format. In addition to Miller's play in goal, the Patriots' defense - including junior Elisha Davis, sophomore Kate Eddy, senior Sarah Wilson and freshman Katie Roberts - have only allowed four goals this season.

"Olivia, obviously, has a lot to do with that," Johnson said. "My four backs have stepped up and helped Olivia out a lot though."

Capital takes on Ripley in Wednesday's other semifinal with the championship game scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

As for Winfield, the Generals (15-0-4) returned the bulk of the 2013 team that won the program's state-record fifth girls soccer state title and second in as many season, including reigning state player of the year Jayne Lawman. If Winfield is to take a sixth state championship, however, it will have a fight on its hands the whole way.

Joining the Generals in the Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 tournament is Putnam County-rival Hurricane, which has been among the top teams in the West Virginia Soccer Coaches Association ratings but has lost twice to Winfield this season. Hurricane (16-2-1) hosts St. Albans (11-6-1) on Tuesday while the winner of Tuesday's Point Pleasant at Nitro game travels to Winfield the same night. A potential third Hurricane-Winfield match looms in the sectional final on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The third of the Kanwaha Valley's highly rated group of Class AAA girls teams, George Washington, is the top seed in the Region 3, Section 1 tournament at Ripley.

Sissonville's road to a second consecutive Class AA/A girls state title features the familiar hurdles of Herbert Hoover within its section and Charleston Catholic within its region.

The Indians (18-0-2) are the top seed in the four-team Region 4, Section 1 tournament, scheduled to begin Tuesday at Ravenswood. Hoover (16-4-0) and Williamstown open play at 5:30 with the Indians and the hosts playing the second game.

In Region 4, Section 2 Charleston Catholic gets to stay close to home at host site Trace Fork Soccer Complex. Sherman and St. Joseph opened the tournament Monday, with the winner slated to play the Irish on Wednesday at 7:30. Wednesday's other semifinal features Scott against Poca.

On the boys side, playoff games with local implications began Monday.

George Washington, fresh off its 5-1 thrashing of crosstown rival and Class AA/A power Charleston Catholic, is the top seed in the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 tournament at Ripley. On Wednesday the Patriots (14-2-3) play the winner of Monday's Capital/Riverside game, while No. 2 seed Ripley plays South Charleston (5-10-3).

Winfield, a Class AAA semifinalist a year ago, hosts the winner of Monday's Point Pleasant/St. Albans game in the Region 4, Section 1 semifinals on Wendesday. Nitro (10-4-3) hosts Hurricane (8-10-2) in the other semifinal with the highest seed hosting the title game on Saturday.

Seniors Steven Taylor and Jesse Richmond have helped lead the Generals attack this season. Taylor finished the regular season with 35 goals, while Richmond tallied nine goals to go with six assists.

"A lot of that credit (for Taylor's goal production) goes to Jesse, who is feeding him the ball the majority of the time," Winfield coach Mike Foster said. "They're just two seniors that have contributed to this program since freshmen year."

The boys Class AA/A Region 4, Section 1 tournament features three Kanawha Valley teams this week at Schoenbaum Stadium. The winner of Monday's Herbert Hoover/St. Joseph taking on Charleston Catholic (16-1-1) on Tuesday while Sissonville (6-10-2) plays Scott in the other sectional semifinal. The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Regional championship games are scheduled for next week. The WVSSAC designates host schools for the regional games each season. In Class AA/A, East Fairmont hosts Region 1, Bridgeport hosts Region 2, Bluefield hosts Region 3 and Ripley hosts Region 4. In Class AAA Parkersburg hosts Region 1, Buckhannon-Upshur hosts Region 2, George Washington hosts Region 3 and Cabell Midland hosts Region 4. Class AA/A regional games are slated for Tuesday, Oct. 28 while Class AAA regional games are set for Thursday, Oct. 30. Regional winners advance to the state tournament on Nov. 7 and 8 at the Beckley YMCA Soccer Complex.

Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.bragg@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.

MARSHALL FOOTBALL; Herd defense continues its climb http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029878 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029878 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:29:09 -0400 By Derek Redd HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall defense made waves last season with a whiplash-inducing turnaround.

What was one of the worst units in college football became one of the best between the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

So far, the 2014 version is even better.

Entering Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game against Florida Atlantic at Joan C. Edwards Stadium (Fox Sports 1), the 23rd-ranked Thundering Herd's defensive numbers eclipse last season's, when Marshall vaulted from the bottom of the rankings to near the top. The defensive players said their climb even higher is a matter of trust.

"In the beginning, it was sort of a surprise," linebacker Neville Hewitt said of the defense's continued improvement. "And then as we started to buy into what the coaches were saying and started to see what everybody else was seeing, and how good we really are, I think that helped."

Marshall (7-0, 3-0 Conference USA) is seventh in the Football Bowl Subdivision in points allowed per game, giving up just 16.6 a contest. That tops last season's average of 22.9 points allowed, which tied MU for 31st overall and blows away the 43.1 points allowed in 2012, next to last in the FBS.

The ascension is similar in total defense. Marshall's 336.3-yard average this season is 27th best in the FBS, better than last season's 368.7-yard average (35th-best) and vastly improved from 2012's 456.8-yard average (103rd-best).

Hewitt - the team leader in tackles (44), tackles for loss (seven) and sacks (3.5) - goes back to the concept of the defense buying in, taking to heart the lessons the coaches offer. Among the most important messages, he said, was for each defender to win his one-on-one battles.

"If you have to make the tackle, make your tackle," Hewitt said. "If you have to beat your block, beat your block. That's where a lot of people are buying in and that's why you can't find just one person on defense that stands out."

Marshall's defense features several standouts. College football expert Phil Steele released his midseason all-Conference USA team and seven Herd defenders made either first or second team. Hewitt, defensive tackle James Rouse and corner Darryl Roberts were first-teamers, while defensive end Ra'Shawde Myers, linebackers Jermaine Holmes and D.J. Hunter and safety Taj Letman were on the second team.

In comparison, the Marshall offense had five first-teamers - quarterback Rakeem Cato, receiver Tommy Shuler, running back Devon Johnson and linemen Chris Jasperse and Clint Van Horn - and no second-teamers. Tyler Williams was first-team punter and Shuler was second-team punt returner.

A defense that commands that type of respect should put up those numbers, Rouse said.

"We always say we have a lot of playmakers on defense," Rouse said. "And on third down, third and long, that's when your playmakers are going to show up and get us off the field."

Third down is among the Marshall defense's specialties, as is the red zone, or rather, Marshall's ability to keep opposing teams out of it.

Marshall is 14th in the FBS in third-down conversion percentage, allowing opposing offenses to convert just 30.09 percent of them (34 of 113). The Herd is tied for 22nd in the FBS in red zone conversion percentage (75 percent), and it isn't very often that opponents get inside Marshall's 20 yard line. The Herd is tied for 29th with opponents getting to the red zone 20 times, fewer than three times per game.

Van Horn said those performances make it easy for the offense, ranked second in the FBS in both yards (574.9) and points (47.4) per game, to trust the defense.

"I have complete and total trust in those guys to do their job," Van Horn said. "I don't worry about them when they're out there. If something goes wrong, I know they won't let adversity get in their way. It's just the resilience of that group of guys."

It's also a group that knows it can still improve. Rouse said the defense counted about 18 missed tackles against Florida International, the first game in which the Herd trailed when it went down 7-0, though ultimately won 45-13. That'll be a point of focus this week, Hewitt said.

"Each game, we see something we can fix, and if we fix it, we'd be that much better of a defense," Hewitt said. "We don't want to be just a good defense. We want to be the best defense."

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

PREP SOCCER: Yablonsky, St. Joe oust Hoover boys http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029880 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029880 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:21:41 -0400 By Chris Wade WVU FOOTBALL: Gibson's plan worked to perfection (video and photos) http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019108 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019108 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:23:44 -0400 By Mike Casazza

(Reading on our app? Click here for video and more photos)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Tony Gibson might have been crazy, but he was not insane.

West Virginia's defensive coordinator spent last Sunday watching how other teams went about defending what was then the nation's leader in points and yards per game. He would not do what so many others before him tried with no success and expect a different result.

He'd be different. He's be aggressive. He'd be physical. He'd be questioned.

"If you watch the film, you'd be scared about what you did see," he said. "But nobody had ever done that to them the whole game. We were going to keep the pressure on them rather than drop guys back."

So he met with his coaches that day and explained the plan: Crowd the line of scrimmage, blitz a lot and demand the cornerbacks thrive in one-on-one coverage.

An assistant spoke up, remembering Gibson coaches the linebackers now after coaching the safeties before.

"I can tell you don't coach the defensive backs anymore," the voice said.

Gibson convinced the room it was the right thing to do, even if it was a little risky and might further facilitate a Heisman Trophy contender at quarterback who excels at hitting receivers in open space.

"I didn't care," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "I thought it was the best thing to do. He thought it was the best thing to do, and I seconded it."

Gibson then met with the players. The plan excited the linebackers, who knew they'd be attacking quarterback Bryce Petty and his massive offensive line. The cornerbacks were a little less enthusiastic.

"Whoa," cornerback Ishmael Banks said, "that's the plan?"

It was the plan and it was the difference. Gibson's defense held Baylor to its lowest yardage total (318) in four years, sacked Petty four times and stopped the Bears on 13 of 16 third downs in a 41-27 victory Saturday before 60,758 at Mountaineer Field.

The Bears dropped from No. 4 to No. 12 in the Associated Press poll. WVU appeared for the first time since the 2012 season at No. 22.

"It was effective," Gibson said. "I wouldn't want to go back and play them again next week when they know what's coming."

WVU (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) looked closely at Baylor's overall offensive prowess and found something on third down. Baylor had faced 119 third downs in the first six games, but needed 6 or fewer yards 97 times.

The Mountaineers believed their defense was a suitable match. In their six games, they'd forced 97 third downs and 50 needed more than 6 yards.

Gibson wanted to make first down miserable for the Bears (6-1, 3-1). Linebackers, a safety and sometimes two safeties stepped toward the line of scrimmage to stop the run. The cornerbacks played close to prevent quick throws if the call was a pass. The Mountaineers controlled the early downs and set up third downs the way they wanted.

Baylor faced 11 third downs that needed more than 6 yards for a first down. The Bears converted two and none in the second half.

"If you do the breakdowns and watch them, nobody's been able to do that to them," Gibson said. "That's where we kept them off balance."

The Mountaineers won their first home game against a top-five team since 2003 on the strength of those third downs. Petty was 4-for-14 passing for 59 yards and two first downs. That included a 63-yard touchdown to Antwan Goodley on one of the rare times WVU's plan failed, but also on a play that saw the Bears block downfield to wipe out a cornerback and create the score.

Three of WVU's four sacks were on third down, as well. One of Shaq Riddick's three sacks came late in the third quarter and gave WVU the ball to take a 27-20 lead. Another was a one-handed feat by Brandon Golson in the fourth quarter that gave WVU the ball to take a 34-27 lead.

Entering the game, Petty was just 17-for-33 for 183 yards and 12 first downs on third down, and he and his receivers were erratic against the Mountaineers.

"I wanted to see if he could do it under extreme pressure," Gibson said. "I thought our blitzes were good. Sometimes we weren't getting home, but we were affecting the throw because he was seeing the rush and getting rid of the ball. Sometimes he was throwing under the route and the receivers kept running. Sometimes they'd pull up and he'd overthrow them."

Baylor, the Big 12's leader in rushing this season and the past two seasons, could only run twice on third down and totaled minus-two yards. That included a 1-yard touchdown run that only happened after a third-and-goal stop was erased by an offsides penalty.

The success came despite an unexpected development. Gibson was using Banks and fellow backup Ricky Rumph with starters Daryl Worley and Terrell Chestnut to cover receivers better behind the pressure. Cornerback Jaylon Myers was a deep safety who could help the others or come forward to cover a fifth receiver.

Safeties K.J. Dillon and safety Karl Joseph would move forward to be linebackers next to linebacker Shaq Petteway and they'd pressure with Riddick and Golson at ends and defensive end Eric Kinsey at nose guard.

It worked early, but Chestnut and Worley were lost to injury in the first half. Halftime couldn't come soon enough for Gibson, but his team led 24-20.

"I said, 'Guys, I'm not going to draw anything on the board. I don't know what to tell you. Keep doing what you're doing,' " Gibson said. "Sometimes good coaching is leaving your players alone. I didn't want to screw up anything. They were hitting at a high level."

WVU played its base defense on early downs and its nickel package with safety Jarrod Harper as the extra defensive back after halftime. Baylor managed one touchdown, and that 92-yard drive was the only one to go more than 32 yards.

"We probably played better going back to the regular packages," Rumph said, "because the guys we did have were real familiar with that."

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

MARSHALL FOOTBALL: Cato's homecoming ends with record-setting day (with video) http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019109 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019109 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:22:33 -0400 By Derek Redd

(Reading on our app? Click here for postgame video)

MIAMI - Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato joked last Monday that his dream scenario for his first touchdown pass against Florida International - the one that would set the major college record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass - would be a 99-yard throw to freshman backup tight end Ryan Yurachek.

Cato's prediction fell about 98 yards short.

The record-setting touchdown was just a 1-yarder, but it still went to Yurachek, the first of four Cato scoring throws in the 25th-ranked Thundering Herd football team's 45-13 blowout at FIU.

That first touchdown, the culmination of a four-play, 74-yard drive, gave the senior a touchdown pass in 39 straight games. Cato had been tied with former North Carolina State and Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson at 38 in a row.

"That's a record, guys, that may never be broken," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. "And if any guy deserves it, he does. I was happy when he got it, and I think it took a little bit of heat off of him."

Cato finally admitted after the game that he felt a little of that heat. It's not just that he was on the cusp of solely owning a national passing mark. It was that he had that chance in front of an army of family, friends and mentors in his home town. Cato won a Class 6A state championship at Miami Central and ended his high school career as Dade County's all-time leading passer.

It might have played a part in the Herd (7-0, 3-0 Conference USA) stalling out on its first two drives. He completed just three of eight passes on those drives for 22 yards. Yet Marshall got no deeper than FIU's 43 on either drive and punted on both.

"Once I threw the touchdown, I knew that it was back to normal," he said. "I could run the offense again and just keep focused. It was a lot of pressure taken off me. I knew how much I wanted it and I knew how much my teammates wanted it for me. I just came out and just executed the play."

Cato said that the play to Yurachek wasn't even one that was in the Herd playbook.

"I knew that play was going to work," Cato said. "It's a play we don't have in our system. We know it. The whole offense knows it and when that play is called, we just know what to do."

Once Cato got that play out of his system, the scoring floodgates for him opened wide. The senior's four touchdown passes against the Panthers (3-5, 2-2 C-USA) marked his second four-touchdown game of the season - Ohio was his first - and the ninth game of his Herd career where he's thrown at least four. He tossed for 214 yards on 15-of-27 passing and threw one interception.

Besides Yurachek, two of those touchdown passes went to running back Devon Johnson and another went to fellow Miami native Angelo Jean-Louis. Cato's best friend, senior slot receiver Tommy Shuler, didn't take part in Marshall's touchdown parade. He caught two passes for 20 yards. But he made sure to be the first person to congratulate Cato after he set the record.

"That's my brother and I'm happy for him," Shuler said. "He deserves every bit of it. He works so hard in practice and it comes out and shows on the field."

That he could set the mark in front of so many friends and family members made it even more special. There were nieces and nephews. There were coaches who worked with him from youth leagues through high school. There were familiar faces and ones he hadn't seen in a while. Yet they all arrived to cheer Cato to a national record.

"For those guys just to be here, I was shocked," Cato said. "I'm still shocked to see tons of family members come to watch what I've been doing throughout my college career. I've seen faces I ain't seen in four years, since I've been in high school."

Cato's passing day allowed him to reach a few more milestones. He has been responsible for 122 touchdowns in his Marshall career, 110 passing and 12 rushing, which broke Chad Pennington's record of 119. He passed Wilson in another category, too. The current Seattle Seahawks quarterback had thrown 109 career FBS touchdown passes. Cato also is second in Marshall history in career passing yards. His 12,088 so far put him ahead of Byron Leftwich (11,903) but still behind Pennington (13,143).

The number Cato feels is most crucial is the zero Marshall still sports in the loss column. While individual records are reasons to be proud, he wants to keep the Herd undefeated for as long as possible.

"I just want to continue doing my best job and just continue making everybody who supported me smile, make the Herd family proud and continue getting Ws."

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

Chuck McGill: WVU handles adversity in pivotal win http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019110 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019110 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:18:40 -0400 By Chuck McGill MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia's Wendell Smallwood hesitated on the opening kickoff and made the ill-advised decision to bring the football out of the end zone. He was tackled at the 9-yard line, a 16-yard swing if he would've taken a knee for the touchback.

Then, on first down, quarterback Clint Trickett threw into double coverage and severely missed his target, Mario Alford. Rushel Shell was stuffed for a 1-yard gain on the next play. Trickett was sacked and fumbled on third down, giving visiting Baylor - first nationally in points and No. 1 in total offense - the ball on the 7.

It took the Bears one play to score a touchdown, and it seemed then-No. 4 Baylor, an 8-point favorite against the Mountaineers, was off and running again.

"We probably have the worst first drive you can probably have," West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said.

"It was pretty bad," added WVU coach Dana Holgorsen, before adding, "but nobody panicked."

Instead, the Mountaineers overcame themselves and flummoxed the opposition after Baylor's quick-strike touchdown 59 seconds into the game, and outscored the Bears by three touchdowns in the final 59 minutes of Saturday's game in front of 60,758 at Mountaineer Field. WVU defeated Baylor, 41-27, for its first win over a top five team at home since 2003, and nudged its way into the Associated Press poll at No. 22.

The Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) are ranked for the first time since the 2012 season that ended with six losses in eight games.

This WVU team, unlike the one two seasons ago, is trending up in late October, as evidenced by the unlikely thought of outscoring Baylor 41-20 after flubbing the first five plays.

The Bears' 318 yards on offense - more than 300 below their average - was the fewest for the program in 55 games. Baylor had been 17-0 all-time under coach Art Briles when forcing three or more turnovers, which it had accomplished by the first play of the second quarter.

WVU had two punts and three turnovers in its first six possessions, and little went the home team's way.

Shell, the starter at running back, left with an ankle injury and carried the ball three times before exiting for the game. Smallwood, the most likely running back to spell Shell, missed time. The plan to use four cornerbacks against the Bears hit a major snag when starters Daryl Worley and Terrell Chestnut were lost for the game because of first-half injuries.

"It didn't change our game plan," Holgorsen said. "We didn't blink."

The Mountaineers stared down adversity, survived and thrived.

It wasn't just the personnel losses, self-inflicted wounds or ill-timed penalties that portended something calamitous.

Trickett, WVU's starting quarterback, was under the weather, according to teammate and star receiver Kevin White. The fifth-year senior QB shook off an injury to his throwing hand when he hit the hand off a defender's helmet on the follow through. Then, after the game, the media learned of that medical issues would keep Trickett's father, Rick, from coaching Florida State's offensive line in a game against Notre Dame on Saturday night.

Trickett didn't make his usual postgame appearance with the media. He threw for 322 yards, his eight consecutive game with 300-plus passing yards, and had the go-ahead and game-icing touchdowns to White and Alford, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, a week after Baylor scored 24 fourth-quarter points to erase a 21-point deficit against TCU, the Bears were blanked in the final period by the Mountaineers and managed just 74 yards of offense on 22 plays. Baylor (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) scored one touchdown on its final nine possessions.

"If you've got depth, you've got a chance to win these games," Holgorsen said. "We felt like we were pretty good. We were disappointed in Oklahoma, we were disappointed in Alabama ... we didn't feel good about just being in the game."

WVU is in it now. The Mountaineers, picked eighth out of 10 teams in the preseason Big 12 poll, are tied for second place in the league with five conference games to go. There is little respite ahead.

West Virginia alternates road and home games the rest of the way, starting with this Saturday's game at Oklahoma State. Home games against No. 10 TCU and No. 11 Kansas State remain, plus road trips to Texas and Iowa State, loom.

The Mountaineers appeared on 52 of 60 Associated Press poll ballots when the results were revealed Sunday afternoon. Three voters placed WVU as high as No. 13 and 14 have the Mountaineers somewhere in the teens.

That's a surprising finish after such a dreadful start.

MARSHALL FOOTBALL: Johnson paces Herd with his hands and feet http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019111 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019111 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 21:03:07 -0400 By Derek Redd MIAMI - Before he became Conference USA's leading rusher, Marshall tailback Devon Johnson was a member of the Thundering Herd's tight end corps.

The junior hearkened back to those pass-catching days in the Herd's 45-13 win over Florida International. Johnson hauled in three passes, two for touchdowns, as Marshall's football team (7-0, 3-0 C-USA) won its eighth straight game dating back to last season's Military Bowl.

Johnson's first scoring catch was the Herd's first of the second half, and the first of four straight Marshall touchdowns. He grabbed a Rakeem Cato throw across the middle, watched a would-be FIU tackler bounce off him, and picked up speed for a 46-yard touchdown.

"I didn't see him," Johnson said of that defender. "I felt him a little bit and I knew he didn't wrap up, so I just knew I had to keep my legs going and knew that I could end up in the end zone if I could break that tackle."

Johnson scored Marshall's next touchdown, too, a 27-yard pass from Cato that made it 31-7.

He also made an impact on the ground, finishing with 117 yards on nine carries, his sixth 100-yard rushing game this season. The Marshall major college record for 100-yard games in a season is seven, shared by Ahmad Bradshaw (2006) and Darius Marshall (2008). The overall record is 10, set three times by Chris Parker in 1993, 1994 and 1995, when the Herd was a part of the Football Championship Subdivision.

Most of Johnson's rushing yardage Saturday came on his first run of the game, a 71-yard burst up the middle that put the Herd on the FIU 3.

"The coaches told me, hey, let's go, get it going," Johnson said. "I was feeling a little sick before the game. I was a little under the weather and they told me to push through it, fight through it, and that's what I did.


THAT WIN over FIU helped Marshall move up in the Associated Press sportswriters and Amway coaches top 25 polls. The Herd moved from 25th to 23rd in the AP poll and from 24th to 22nd in the coaches poll.

The only other team in the top 25 from a "Group of Five" conference, East Carolina of the American Athletic Conference, was 18th in the AP poll and 17th in the coaches poll. Marshall sits ahead of West Virginia in the coaches poll, where the Mountaineers are 25th, but behind WVU in the AP poll, where the Mountaineers are 22nd.


WHEN THE HERD fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter, it was the last time Marshall had trailed at any point in a game since the fourth quarter of last season's Military Bowl against Maryland. Yet the players didn't get nervous after falling behind.

"All we heard on the sidelines is, 'We're good,'" receiver Tommy Shuler said. "We knew we could respond. We knew our offense was good enough to respond. We knew our defense was getting cranked up. We went out and responded as great teams do."

On the drive after FIU scored, the Herd went 76 yards in just four plays, featuring Johnson's 71-yard rumble and Cato's first touchdown pass of the night. The Herd scored the next 45 points, and the Panthers finally scored again on their final drive.

Marshall coach Doc Holliday said at the half, when Marshall led 17-7, there was no anxiety or panic.

"We went into the locker room at halftime and there were no worried looks on their faces," Holliday said. "They knew what they had to do. All the leadership on that football team, the coaches don't have to say a whole lot at this point. They understand that they want to be a great football team, they understand what's at stake and they fixed their problems."


IN A BATTLE of the conference's top two defenses, Marshall's came out on top. Besides three sacks and eight tackles for a loss, the Herd took a page out of the FIU defense's playbook. The Panthers had returned four interceptions for four touchdowns, and Marshall gave FIU a taste of its own medicine with corner Corey Tindal's 30-yard interception return for a score.

"We're just going to keep pushing," Tindal said. "We're going to make our plays. We just have to fight to the end. Things may not go our way at first, but we've learned how to fight until the end."

That pick-six was Tindal's first interception and first touchdown as a member of the Thundering Herd.


RUNNING BACK Remi Watson's night was cut short with a left shoulder injury. He spent a while on the sideline with his shoulder pads off and an Ace bandage wrapped around the shoulder. Because Watson was on the shelf, junior Steward Butler got a few carries. He responded by gaining 76 yards and a touchdown on six carries.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

MARSHALL SOCCER: Herd women fall at home http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019126 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019126 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:04:03 -0400


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall women's soccer team had its five-game unbeaten streak snapped by a 1-0 count against Conference USA foe Middle Tennessee (7-7-2, 4-3-1) in the Herd's home finale on Sunday at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.

The Thundering Herd's (6-5-4, 3-2-2 C-USA) unbeaten streak snapped was the longest since Marshall opened the 2009 season with a program-record seven consecutive wins. The Herd had not lost since dropping its C-USA opener against Western Kentucky, 1-0 (Sept. 27).

The Herd is headed southbound to visit Southern Miss on Friday and Louisiana Tech on Oct. 26.

WVU SOCCER: No. 13 Mountaineer women top No. 9 Kansas http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019127 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019127 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:02:28 -0400


LAWRENCE, Kan. - Senior forward Kate Schwindel did what no other opponent has done to No. 9 Kansas all season - scored twice in one game - and the No. 13-ranked West Virginia University women's soccer team pushed its unbeaten streak to 12 matches with a 2-0 win over the Jayhawks Sunday at Rock Chalk Park.

Sunday's win is the Mountaineers' (11-2-2, 4-0-1) second of the season over a ranked opponent and first over a top-10 foe, giving WVU at least one victory over a top-10 team in each of the last 10 seasons.

The Mountaineers close out the regular season with a three-match homestand at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. WVU opens against Oklahoma State on Friday with kick set for 7 p.m.

MARSHALL GOLF: Herd men trail by three strokes http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019128 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019128 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:01:00 -0400


POWELLS POINT, N.C. - Following a 1-over-par 73 performance by senior Jacob Miller, the Marshall men's golf team sits three strokes behind leaders Maryland and Drake in fifth place at the ODU/Outerbanks Intercollegiate at Kilmarlic Golf Course.

Former George Washington standout Will Evans shot a 6-over 78.

Marshall will continue play on Monday with a second 18-hole round, beginning with tee-times at 8:30 a.m. off holes 1 and 10.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WVU, Marshall make Mountain State poll history http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019137 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141019/DM03/141019137 Sun, 19 Oct 2014 15:16:20 -0400


West Virginia University and Marshall University teamed up to make Associated Press poll history Sunday.

The college football top 25 poll, as voted on by 60 media members nationwide, ranked WVU at No. 22 and Marshall at No. 23, the first time ever the Mountain State's two Football Bowl Subdivision programs have appeared in the regular-season AP rankings at the same time.

The only other voting week this occurred was the final poll of the 2002 season, which was released Jan. 4, 2003 after the bowl games. The Thundering Herd was No. 24 in that poll after defeating Louisville, 38-15, in the GMAC Bowl. The Mountaineers finished 25th that season after losing to Virginia, 48-22, in the Continental Tire Bowl. In the last AP top 25 poll before the bowls that season, WVU was No. 13 and the Herd sat in the others receiving votes category.

West Virginia (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) cracked the top 25 for the first time this season after defeating then-No. 4 Baylor, 41-27, Saturday in Morgantown. The Bears plummeted eight spots to No. 12. West Virginia has won three consecutive Big 12 games after losing to then-No. 4 Oklahoma on Sept. 20. The Mountaineers have won five of six games since the season-opening loss to Alabama, with wins over Towson, Maryland, Kansas, Texas Tech and Baylor.

Marshall (7-0, 3-0 Conference USA) is in the national rankings for consecutive weeks after winning at Florida International, 45-13, Saturday in Miami. The Thundering Herd, one of four remaining undefeated teams in the FBS, moved up two spots.

The Mountaineers accumulated 272 points by appearing on 52 of 60 possible ballots. Three voters ranked WVU at No. 13.

The Thundering Herd compiled 184 points and appeared on 44 ballots, with one voter placing Marshall at No. 15. Sixteen voters did not rank the Herd.

MU has won eight consecutive games dating back to last season.

WVU visits Oklahoma State this Saturday after the Cowboys tumbled from the national polls. Marshall hosts Florida Atlantic.

MARSHALL FOOTBALL: Cato sets record, Herd thumps FIU, 45-13 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141018/DM03/141019149 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141018/DM03/141019149 Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:35:42 -0400 By Derek Redd MIAMI - The Marshall football team trailed for the first time this season in the first quarter of its game at Florida International University.

That didn't last long. And didn't happen again.

The 25th-ranked Thundering Herd scored 45 straight points to pull ahead and stay ahead of the Panthers - and quarterback Rakeem Cato set the major college record with his 39th straight game with a touchdown pass - in a 45-13 win at FIU Stadium.

"I'm glad that happened," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said of the team's early struggles. "We had a little adversity there in the first half and the kids came out there in the second half and played extremely well. It was great to see."

The Herd exploded for 31 second-half points to give MU its eighth straight win dating back to last season's Military Bowl.

That bowl also happened to be the last time Marshall (7-0, 3-0 Conference USA) trailed in a contest. That came with about 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter against Maryland.

The latest came with 2:00 left in the first quarter against FIU. The Panthers (3-5, 2-2 C-USA) capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive with quarterback Alex McGough's 1-yard run. The Herd answered quickly in all regards. On the next drive, Marshall went 74 yards on four plays in a minute, 55 seconds, and Cato found backup tight end Ryan Yurachek for a 1-yard touchdown.

"I knew that play was going to work," Cato said. "It's a play we don't have in our system. We know it. The whole offense knows it and when that play is called, we just know what to do."

Cato's pass broke the tie he had with former North Carolina State and Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson. He wasn't done after that. Cato threw for four touchdowns against the Panthers, who had allowed just five in their first seven games.

What made the milestone even sweeter was that he reached it in front of his family and friends in his hometown, where he won a Class 6A state title at Miami Central and became Dade County high schools' career passing leader.

"It's a blessing, because I broke it with a group of men I've been here with," Cato said. "The guys I've been here with are great guys to play with. It was a team effort through 39 games and we still have some games to go."

Meanwhile, Marshall's defense remained its stingy self. Despite giving up 205 first-half yards, the Herd allowed only that McGough touchdown. It buckled down in the second half, allowing just 180 yards in those two quarters - 75 coming on the Panthers' final drive - and intercepting a pair of passes. The second, corner Corey Tindal returned for a 30-yard touchdown. Defensive tackle Jarquez Samuel picked off the first grabbing an Arnold Blackmon deflection.

Holliday said that improvement came simply from the defense doing what it knows, just doing it a little better.

"We just got lined up, played our technique, played our fundamentals and just tackled better," Holliday said. "It wasn't that we were lined up wrong. We just had to play a little better."

Marshall harassed FIU freshman quarterback Alex McGough into 176 yards and two interceptions on 14-of-27 passing, sacking him three times. Alex Gardner led FIU with 104 rushing yards, but left the game injured in the fourth quarter.

Marshall running back Devon Johnson continued his breakout season, rushing for 117 yards on nine carries, including a 71-yarder on his first carry. He added three catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Angelo Jean-Louis caught Cato's other touchdown.

The Herd hosts Florida Atlantic at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday, a game that will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.redd@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

WVU FOOTBALL: Mountaineers stun No. 4 Baylor http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141018/DM03/141019161 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141018/DM03/141019161 Sat, 18 Oct 2014 19:25:34 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Tony Gibson can relax.

The West Virginia defensive coordinator trusted a risky game plan against a prolific passing offense and did so without his starting cornerbacks, but was wildly rewarded. The Mountaineers suffocated No. 4 Baylor and the nation's leading scoring offense for a 41-27 victory before 60,758 at Mountaineer Field Saturday.

"I haven't eaten much the last 48 hours and I haven't slept much the last 48 hours," Gibson said. "All I heard about all week from some of you guys and some of the TV people and from listening to the TV, even though I try to block all that out, was this was going to be a track meet.

"I took it as a personal challenge and the defensive coaches took it personally, but it all falls back to the kids. We can't go out there and play."

Defensive end Shaq Riddick had three of the team's four sacks, cornerbacks Ricky Rumph and Ishmael Banks played solidly after starters Terrell Chestnut and Daryl Worley were lost to injury in the first half and the aggressive Mountaineers held Baylor to 318 total yards, the offensive juggernaut's lowest total since October 2010.

The Bears (6-1, 3-1) had just 223 yards passing and went 3-for-18 on third down as WVU (5-2, 3-1) asked its cornerbacks to play man-to-man and hang on while the linebackers hovered around the line of scrimmage and blitzed.

The Mountaineers decided Sunday that was their best chance to beat Baylor.

"I think they didn't expect us to come out and play man like we did," Banks said. "It caught them off guard. Last year, we sat back in coverage and their offense spread us out and we left big holes inside. We had to keep guys in the box and tell the corners to earn their scholarship check."

In the 73-42 win in Waco, Texas, last season, Baylor ran for 476 yards. In the rematch, WVU allowed just 95 yards on 42 attempts and five first downs on the ground.

Little went right offensively last season, either, and Clint Trickett was pulled from the game in the third quarter. He, too, did better with his second chance and completed 23 of 35 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns. He extended his school record with an eighth straight 300-yard game and also brushed off a turnover on the third play of the game and another on the fourth series.

Receiver Kevin White caught eight passes for 132 yards and scores in the first and fourth quarter. He has at least 100 yards in every game this season and was the first receiver in the nation to surpass 1,000 yards. Mario Alford caught three passes for 53 yards, and his 39-yard touchdown on third-and-10 with 7:27 put the game out of reach.

WVU would get the ball back two more times and Wendell Smallwood picked up two first downs on the final drive to drain the clock. The Mountaineers ran the ball 50 times for 137 yards, but three sacks cost the total 25 yards and a two more yards went away when Trickett took a knee on the final snap to start the celebration for the first home win against a top-five team since 2003.

"Credit goes to West Virginia," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "They played with a lot of energy and a lot of emotion. We knew the crowd would be engaging, which they obviously were. They played a good game.

"We had a good opportunity early in the game and didn't take advantage of it. We had to settle for field goals. In particular on the road, you have to score touchdowns. That came back to haunt us in the second half."

Quarterback Bryce Petty completed just 16 of 36 passes for 223 yards and two scores. Antwan Goodley caught nine passes for 132 yards and a long touchdown and Corey Coleman added 77 yards and an early touchdown.

"They had a pretty good plan and loaded the box and pressured a lot - a lot more than we thought they would," Petty said. "At the end of the day, I've got the ball in my hands and I've got to be sure what I do helps the team be successful. I was off."

Baylor set a school, Big 12, Mountaineer Field, WVU game and WVU opponent record with 215 penalty yards. The 18 penalties were one shy of a school record and matched the WVU field, game and opponent records. Six of the penalties were for pass interference and five came defending White.

WVU committed 14 penalties for 138 yards and the two teams combined to beat school and site records for penalties and penalty yards in a game.

"I've never been involved with anything like that," Briles said.

WVU took a 27-20 lead early in the third quarter on Josh Lambert's 24-yard field goal, but the Bears tied the score when Shock Linwood twirled into the end zone on a 1-yard run on third-and-goal. That only came about after when WVU was flagged for lining up offside when it stopped Linwood short on third-and-goal.

WVU and Baylor each followed with punts, but Trickett threw a perfect fade to White in the corner of the end zone for a 12-yard score before answering a Baylor punt with the long pass to Alford.

"I was pretty excited about that one," Holgorsen said. "We'd been working on that one against man coverage when they blitz it. We finally hit it."

The Mountaineers led 24-20 at halftime and somehow managed to take all the momentum into the locker room despite three turnovers and losing one starter on offense and two on defense for the game.

The Bears took a 20-14 lead with 8:21 to go in the half when Goodley got behind Chestnut to catch a long pass and then cut left across the field and scored for a 63-yard touchdown. Coleman blindsided Chestnut with a clean block that knocked Chestnut out of the game.

WVU went three-and-out and Baylor went at WVU's two backup cornerbacks with a 10-yard pass on first down. Riddick then sacked Petty and Banks batted down a pass to force a punt. The Mountaineers countered with a touchdown run from Dreamius Smith, who was playing because starter Rushel Shell was injured earlier. Smith carried on all five plays on the drive.

Baylor then ran twice for two yards and Petty was hurried and threw short of Goodley on third down for a three-and-out. The Mountaineers lined 11 players up on the line of scrimmage for the punt for the second time in the half and Baylor managed a 69-yard kick to push WVU back to its 9-yard line with 2:54 to go.

The Mountaineers took every second and completed a 16-yard pass on third-and-11 and a 24-yard pass on third-and-15 to set up Lambert's 54-yard field goal as time expired for a 24-20 lead.

A lead seemed unlikely throughout the half, though. Trickett was sacked and lost a fumble at his 7 on the third play of the game and Petty threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Coleman on Baylor's first snap for a 7-0 lead 59 seconds into the game.

Trickett answered with a 36-yard touchdown pass to White, who was in 1-on-1 coverage, which didn't happen much the rest of the game. The teams traded punts and Baylor added a 38-yard field goal before Trickett was intercepted on third-and-3 to set up a 34-yard Baylor field goal.

Chris Callahan was 0-for-5 from 30 yards or longer entering the game, but his two kicks made WVU's opponents 12-for-12 on the season. The teams punted back to one another again, but Baylor's kick was fumbled by starting cornerback Daryl Worley, who had to run up to catch the short kick and was hurt when he dived forward. He injured a rib and did not return.

The Bears took over at the WVU 29, but ended up giving the ball back after Petty overthrew Goodley on what should have been a touchdown pass on fourth down.

The Mountaineers responded quickly, and Trickett's 37-yard pass to White, Smallwood's 10-yard run and the fourth pass interference penalty of the half against White moved the ball to the Baylor 12. Andrew Buie put WUV ahead 14-13 with a 1-yard run.

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mikec@dailymailwv.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.charlestondailymail.com/wvu. Follow him on Twitter at @mikecasazza.

MOUNTAINEER GAMEDAY: Attitude key to WVU defensive success http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141018/DM03/141019191 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141018/DM03/141019191 Sat, 18 Oct 2014 01:43:46 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN - K.J. Dillon jogged off the football field Saturday, the first drive under his shoulder pads, his eyes building, his heart pounding. He found defensive coordinator Tony Gibson and offered up a confession.

"Coach," said the junior safety, who more than once this season has been described as the key to whatever good West Virginia does on defense, "that No. 11 can run."

That No. 11 was Texas Tech's Jakeem Grant, and he might be the fastest player in the Big 12. He is a diminutive dynamo, all of 5-foot-6 and 170 pounds, but stout and speedy and thus a handful in the slot. Dillon is WVU's Spur and is charged with covering such players.

It did not go well in that first half Saturday and that was not good news to Gibson, not merely because Dillon is supremely confident and sincerely believes he is faster, stronger and better than everyone on the other team. No, this was a frightening flashback.

"K.J. early on in the game didn't play well," Gibson said. "It was probably, if you go back, the same game a year ago and the same thing with Texas Tech. He just didn't play well."

Dillon got himself in trouble as the Mountaineers fell behind 21-10, but he got them out of trouble before halftime. WVU was playing a Cover 3 defense with three safeties deep, until one safety, freshman Dravon Henry, took Texas Tech's bait and jumped forward to cover a shallow crossing route.

That let Grant arch uncovered across the middle to where Henry should have been. For some reason, Tech's quarterback, Davis Webb, missed it and threw deep along the right sideline. And for some reason, Dillon was there, having spun sharply when he read Webb's eyes and mind and raced back to be in position to float over and intercept the pass.

The storm was over and WVU would head to halftime, which was said to be the most constructive one of the season. It showed in the second half, where the Mountaineers allowed two field goals - both in the red zone and one following a WVU turnover - and a 69-yard touchdown run that only happened because two players conspired cripple the play.

"In years past, in games past, we would have been done," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "Maturity is big. We've got a lot of kids on defense who have played a lot of ball and they understand going into their third year in the Big 12 what the offenses are like."

Grasping that, simply knowing there are going to be bad moments, makes it easier to swallow them and move forward.

"Guys understand what we're trying to accomplish on defense," Holgorsen said. "You're not going to suffocate teams like Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU. The list goes on and on. You're not going to suffocate them. Nobody is. What you can do is keep playing defense and maintain a positive attitude and get excited about key stops. That translates into winning games."

That constitution is going to be severely and repeatedly challenged when the Mountaineers (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) play host to No. 4 Baylor (6-0, 3-0) at noon Saturday on Fox Sports 1. The Bears come to town with the nation's top-ranked offense, a Heisman Trophy contender at quarterback, a scary swarm of receivers and the Big 12's best running game.

Yet WVU enters with that positive attitude, with a handle on that obtuse approach and even with a little bit of momentum.


A year ago, WVU won at home against then-No. 11 Oklahoma State and held the Cowboys to offensive marks they hadn't dipped to in quite some time. The Mountaineers felt like they were figuring things out and that they would get better, and perhaps the two would combine to give them a chance on the road at Baylor.

Nope. The Bears scored on a 61-yard touchdown on the third play when WVU had one of those dreadful mental errors that defined last season's group and still pop up often enough to make Gibson ill. It was 56-14 at the half and 73-42 at the end. Rather than recite all the numbers, just know WVU had never played as poorly on defense. Ever.

Gibson said he'd never been as embarrassed and the performance left a mark.

"It lingered for the rest of the year," he said. "We never got back on track defensively after that game. Some of that was maybe playing young guys and some of it was maybe lost confidence and some of it was due to injury - that was the first game where we started losing guys.

"But that lingered throughout the rest of the season. In the offseason, we moved on and forgot about it. It's a whole new deal. And it doesn't matter what this final score ends up being this game. I'm not worried about where we are. We're a completely different group right now."

How different? In last year's disaster, WVU started two defensive linemen and a safety who were seniors, a linebacker who is out for this season and a defensive end who has missed the past two games probably won't play Saturday, one linebacker who doesn't really play anymore and another who is now a backup defensive end and a cornerback who quit the team earlier this season.

This season, WVU will start All-America FCS transfer Shaq Riddick and sophomore Noble Nwachukwu at defensive end and converted defensive end Kyle at nose guard. Junior college transfer Ed Muldrow and veterans Wes Tonkery and Nick Kwiatkoski, who barely played in last season's game because of injuries, will start at linebacker. Daryl Worley, who didn't start last season, will start at cornerback and is now the best the team. Cornerback Icky Banks and safeties K.J. Dillon and Karl Joseph return to fill out the starting lineup.

Recruiting and maturation, which is the general and necessary evolution of any program, have helped this defense. They still make errors, but they get over them. They fall behind, but they understand it's a long game. And their confidence, their general knowledge of the game and how to play it, is fostered by what Gibson admits is a simpler scheme.

"I would think a simple scheme lets them play faster and a little harder when they don't have to think as much," Gibson said.

These Mountaineers rarely ever add to their core package. A year ago, they built game plans from week to week and designed things for opponents. This year, WVU worries about itself and getting better at what it does. What the defense will do in game seven is what it did in game one, except that things should be better now than they were then.

And that is why Gibson will use Saturday's game to measure how far his team has come from the worst experience of his career.

"No doubt," he said. "This will be when we see where we're at. If we go out and execute and play hard and just don't blow any assignments to give, we'll have a good idea of who we are and what we are as a defense."

MEC FOOTBALL: Charleston rolls past West Virginia State http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019279 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019279 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:08:17 -0400 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The University of Charleston running game took a back seat to its passing attack and cornerback Torie Wagner in the first half on Thursday night, paving the way for a 28-10 victory over West Virginia State in the inaugural Frontier Communications Kanawha Classic at University of Charleston Stadium.

The result was the same, but the route UC used to its destination was somewhat different.

The Golden Eagles (5-2, 4-2 MEC) had outrushed State by a 1,026-211 margin in the three meetings since Pat Kirkland became UC's coach in 2011 and 193-35 in Jon Anderson's first season as State coach last year.

This time, Charleston managed only 49 yards rushing in the first half but still took a 21-3 lead en route to winning for the ninth time in 10 meetings since the school reinstated football in 2003.

"We knew with what we did to the run and what we wanted to do with the run, we knew it was a possibility (they'd have success passing)," Anderson said. "You have to put a lot of resources in the box and that put some guys in isolation on the outside."

The Golden Eagles finished with 182 yards rushing on 46 carries while earning the victory, which ended a two-game losing streak, just its second since 2011.

In a resurgence of sorts, State had outgained Urbana (159-27) and W.Va. Wesleyan (140-76) in its last two games.

During its 1-3 start, State was outgained 802-424 on the ground, which included a 221-124 advantage in a season-opening victory over Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference member Lock Haven.

This time, Wagner, the reigning MEC Special Teams Player of the Week, had a 59-yard punt return to give UC a 21-0 lead with 8:43 left in the first half.

After Charleston muffed a punt at its own 28-yard line, Wagner intercepted a Matt Kinnick pass at the Charleston 7-yard line to end State's scoring threat. In the third quarter, he had a 70-yard punt return called back because of a holding penalty. He intercepted his second pass of the game in the fourth quarter.

"The coaches prepared us very well," said Wagner, one of only three players in Division II to return two punts for touchdowns this season. "The past two weeks were very rocky. We just had to come out today and execute and that's what we did."

As for the Golden Eagles' passing game, UC starting quarterback Jermaine Kelly made up for his team's struggles in the running game by completing 8-of-11 of his first-half passes for 88 yards and a touchdown to Nick Passodelis. Kelly came into the game with just five pass completions in nine attempts for 60 yards and a score. He finished the game 14-of-23 for 171 yards and no interceptions. John Knox, who has dabbled at quarterback, played wide receiver, while UC's third QB - Jordan Paul - was injured and is day-to-day, his coach said.

"I was really proud of Jermaine Kelly," Kirkland said. "He stepped in, did a great job. We asked him to make plays with his feet and make plays through the air. I can't say enough how proud I am of him tonight."

The Yellow Jackets threatened after the second-half kickoff, moving the ball from its own 33 to the Charleston 6. A holding call set up State with a third-and-12 at the 16. Following an incompletion, a Cole Patterson 33-yard field goal was short, leaving UC with a 21-3 lead at 11:20 of the third quarter.

The Golden Eagles answered with an 4:09, 80-yard drive capped by a Kelly 3-yard scoring pass to Joey Augustin - his sixth touchdown reception of the season - for a 28-3 advantage.

Augustin finished with five receptions for 92 yards, giving him a team-leading 25 catches for 473 yards.

Leading the way for State was quarterback Matt Kinnick, who completed 22-of-40 passes for 197 yards, but had two interceptions. Talir Satterfield-Rowe had 93 offensive yards - 13 carries for 43 yards and seven receptions for 50 yards.

Charleston returns to action on Oct. 25 when it visits Concord, while the Yellow Jackets will play host to UVa-Wise in a 2 p.m. game at Lakin Field at Dickerson Stadium.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail.

PREP SOCCER: GW boys stun Charleston Catholic http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019280 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019280 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:06:26 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Charleston Catholic boys soccer team had turned away all challengers this season, amassing a 15-0-1 record.

That all changed Thursday, however, as George Washington routed the Irish 5-1 at Trace Fork Soccer Complex.

"They just came out and beat us," Catholic coach Dom Cipollone said. "I think my kids thought they could beat them and they didn't play well. Last year, GW was like No. 1 and we tied them. It was kind of opposite this year. Their attitude and mentality was different this year."

GW coach Kevin Cushing indicated his Patriot team put an extra emphasis on the rivalry game against Catholic on Thursday night.

"We agreed that this was a playoff game for us," Cushing said. "Catholic has always had our number. It is always good to get a win against them because they have such a quality program. I'm a little bit surprised by the score. I'm proud of the boys."

GW senior Alex Lewis, who scored two goals for the Patriots, knows how important it is to beat a rival.

"I've never seen anything like that against them (Catholic)," Lewis said. "For us to come out and play like that, felt really good. To beat them and get a win against a good team like that, is huge. Catholic has a really good team."

Cushing was proud of his senior in Lewis, and envisioned a good game from him even before the contest.

"Before the game, I told Alex I thought he would score tonight," Cushing said. "He had two weeks of great practice. He deserves it."

GW senior Jonah Cosby, a transfer from South Charleston who scored two goals, played in the rivalry game for the first time.

"I had heard it was a big game and we wanted to win more than anything," Cosby said. "Throughout the years, it has either been a loss or a draw. It was time for us to win. We definitely wanted it more than they did."

Cosby has been on a roll for GW in his only season with the team, leading the Patriots with 26 goals. Despite that, Cushing wanted even more from the standout senior, and got it against Catholic.

"Jonah and I had a talk this week and I challenged him to step up more than he has so far," Cushing said. "He is a fine young man and I wanted him to prove that he could do even better. Tonight he took it to another level."

Catholic actually got on the scoreboard first, netting a goal with 23:35 remaining in the first half on a Anthony Cipollone goal to give the Irish a quick 1-0 lead.

However, it was all GW after that as the Patriots attacked the Catholic goal and scored four times in the first half to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

Cosby scored the equalizer with 13:56 left in the half and then added another goal with 11:04 left to give GW a 2-1 lead. The Patriots were far from through, scoring two more times late in the half by Khegan McLane and Lewis.