www.charlestondailymail.com Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers MARSHALL FOOTBALL: Herd expects physical game with Middle Tennessee http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009178 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009178 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:49:47 -0400 By Derek Redd HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall's football team has been raining blows on opponents through its first five games with little retaliation. The Thundering Herd's 31.8-point average margin of victory is the second best behind Baylor in the Football Bowl Subdivision. And when Marshall opened its Conference USA schedule last Saturday at Old Dominion, it jumped to a 28-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game.

The Herd is anxious to line up at noon Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium against homecoming opponent Middle Tennessee (Fox Sports Net). From what the players have seen on film, the Blue Raiders might be able not only to take a punch, but also counter.

"Those are the type of games you look forward to," offensive tackle Clint Van Horn said. "You hate when people lay down early. We know these guys are too well-coached, care too much and play too hard to quit. I don't think they're going to quit."

The Herd (5-0, 1-0 C-USA) and Blue Raiders (4-2, 3-0) traded haymakers until the very end in last season's clash in Murfreesboro, Tenn. MT pulled that one out with a 13-play, 79-yard drive that ended with Logan Kilgore's 9-yard touchdown pass to Tavarres Jefferson with no time left on the clock. The Blue Raiders won, 51-49, in a game that included 1,033 yards of total offense.

"It was one ... and I would say this, even if we'd have lost ... it was one of the best games I've ever been a part of in my coaching career," Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said.

Marshall's players likely wouldn't agree. It snapped a two-game winning streak and gave the Herd the only blemish on its conference record. And that blemish was enough to rob Marshall of home-field advantage for the C-USA title game.

The Herd won five straight after that Middle Tennessee loss and earned the C-USA East Division crown, but ended up tied with West Division champ Rice for the best conference record. C-USA's tiebreaker formula put the title game in Houston, Texas, and Marshall lost to the Owls, 41-24.

"I think, after that game, our kids grew up a little bit," Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. "It was a tough loss. They were a better team that particular day and they were a better football team than what we were. We lost the game because of it. Our kids took it personal and, from that point on, we have been a solid football team."

Marshall hasn't won a game this season by fewer than 15 points. Its largest margin of victory came last week in the Herd's 56-14 pummeling of ODU. In that game, Marshall's defense held quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who has thrown for more than 13,000 yards in his career, to just 85 passing yards. The Herd's offense battered the Monarchs for 354 rushing yards.

The Herd doesn't think it will be so easy Saturday. Holliday admitted the Blue Raiders beat Marshall physically last season. They'll come to Huntington featuring a power running game that ranks second behind the Herd in C-USA in rushing yards per game (224.7). And, like the Herd, Middle Tennessee employs pressing man-to-man coverage in the secondary. Marshall offensive coordinator Bill Legg said MT will throw that coverage at opponents in several forms.

Defensive end Ra'Shawde Myers said the players know they're in for a battle.

"They want to knock you off the ball," Myers said. "They want to impose their will on you. We know that, so we've just got to put up a fight."

That physical style has led to longer injury lists for both teams. The Herd was without receiver Davonte Allen for the ODU game and watched guard Blake Brooks, defensive end Gary Thompson and linebacker Evan McKelvey limp off the field during that game. Holliday wouldn't offer specifics, but said some players could miss time.

Middle Tennessee lost offensive linemen Adam Stickel and David Adams, running back Shane Tucker and corner Jamarcus Howard to injury during the Blue Raiders win over Southern Mississippi. They already were playing without corner Khari Burke and offensive lineman Daniel Stephens.

That won't deter Marshall from playing the way that has kept it undefeated to this point. The Herd players don't expect Middle Tennessee to shy away from it, either, and that's fine with them.

"I love competition," Leggett said. "That's what makes the game fun. I like to go out there and get the best competition level possible. I look forward to going out there and competing with those guys."

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.

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WVU FOOTBALL: Trickett, Mountaineers prepared for the wind at Texas Tech http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009179 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009179 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:41:57 -0400 By Mike Casazza LUBBOCK, Texas - One reason Clint Tricket has played so well this season is because the West Virginia quarterback watches a lot of film to prepare for anything the opponent offers.

Trickett's success in Saturday's game at Texas Tech might have to do with what he learned from one film.

"I was watching White Men Can't Jump the other day and there's that part about shooting with the wind up and how it pushes it 6 to 8 inches to the right or left," Trickett said. "It's the same thing."

The Mountaineers could find themselves in the windiest place in the Big 12 when they kick off at noon inside Jones AT&T Stadium (Fox Sports 1). It's out of WVU's control, but if it happens it requires WVU to take care of its offense.

"You play with it," Trickett said. "You've got to know when it's with you and when it's against you, but you're still playing ball."

Wind is unpredictable, but it's common in the Big 12's venues. It was windy when the Mountaineers (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) played host to Kansas last week, and Trickett still managed a sixth consecutive 300-yard passing game. It was windy in Kansas last season when the Mountaineers lost 31-19 and the Jayhawks passed for just 61 yards.

Oklahoma State has a wind farm not far from its Stillwater campus and its most revered graduate, T. Boone Pickens, had an ambitious plan he later abandoned to make America more dependent on wind than oil for energy.

One of the first things WVU learned about the Big 12, thanks in large part to its head coach who was a Texas Tech assistant for eight seasons, was how windy Lubbock can be. It's home to the American Wind Power Center and Museum. Two years ago, a bank of stadium lights had to be replaced because of the damage wind did to the tower.

And three years ago, the Mountaineers came completely unraveled on a sunny afternoon when the wind was blowing at 20 mph at kickoff and never eased up in Texas Tech's 49-14 win.

"There were a lot of other issues going on in that game other than that," WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said this week. "It dang sure didn't affect them, because they threw for about 500 yards and had 49 points. Last year at Kansas, that wind affected how you called it. Two years ago at Texas Tech, it did not." 

After that game, though, the story was different. Tommy Tuberville, who was the Red Raiders coach at the time, said the wind played into his defense's plan.

"Going in we were going to make him throw it deep," he said. "That ball kind of fizzles in the wind on deep balls."

WVU's Geno Smith was 29-for-55 for 275 yards with a season-low passer rating and the second-fewest yards per attempt. The longest pass play was a short throw to Tavon Austin that turned into a 39-yard gain. Nothing else topped 20 yards.

Afterward, Smith said wind wasn't a factor and "anyone that says that doesn't know football at all." Trouble was, his coach believed it was a problem.

"We got receivers opened down field. Geno let the wind affect him," Holgorsen said after the loss. "I've played around here for eight years, and it wasn't any windier today. It's a nuisance, but if you let that be an excuse, it's going to mess with you and I think it did."

The Mountaineers lost Stedman Bailey to an ankle injury during the game, which robbed Smith of his main downfield threat. That affected Smith's numbers, but Holgorsen repeated this week the presence of the wind further complicated matters.

That's the issue to consider, especially with Trickett's reliance on deep passes to Kevin White, who leads the nation in receiving yards and is tied for the lead in plays of 25 yards or more, and Mario Alford. If there is wind and it's in Trickett's face or at his back, he has to understand how to handle it and, more importantly, how to keep it from becoming a deciding factor.

"I have to adjust to it, and that's kind of a thing you do on the fly," he said. "If I'm in my throwing motion and I feel something pick up, I've got to adjust to it."

Trickett missed last year's game at Kansas, where the wind would at times top 30 miles per hour. His backup, Paul Millard, couldn't throw the vertical passes during the quarters it went into the wind. It was then when the Mountaineers saw the Jayhawks tightly cover the short routes. The game plan changed, though Holgorsen said that's rarely happened in his career.

Should it happen again and WVU can't push deep balls into the wind or calibrate them properly with the wind, handoffs aren't a bad option.

Texas Tech ranks worse than No. 110 nationally in scoring defense, total defense and rush defense. Opponents have passed the ball on 33 percent of its snaps, the third-lowest percentage in the nation and the result of giving up 5.3 yards per carry and 279.5 yards per game, the fourth-highest average in the country.

Still, it's the sort of thing the Mountaineers can only think about and won't talk about until it happens - if it happens.

"I just think you have to experience it, and I think Clint is at the point now where he has experienced that atmosphere," Holgorsen said. "After that game, Geno was very comfortable at Oklahoma State with the same wind. He was very comfortable at Iowa State with the same wind, so he learned from it and became better.

"I think Clint is at a point now where he has experienced it. Paul has experienced it. They've been there, done that. I don't think it will affect us one bit. If it affects us, and it changes what we call, it's going to affect Texas Tech and affect what they call. It's the only way you can look at it."

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.

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PREP SOCCER: Rhodes leads Sissonville girls past Hurricane http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009180 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009180 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:41:02 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The combination of Madison Jones and Karli Pinkerton get a lot of attention and notoriety for the Sissonville girls soccer team, combining for 52 goals and 49 assists this season.

However, there's another player, that is just as important to team's success - Taylor Rhodes.

Rhodes was responsible for both of Sissonville's goals in leading the Indians to a 2-0 victory over Hurricane in girls soccer action at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex.

Sissonville and the Redskins have high aspirations for a deep state tournament run with the Indians, the defending Class AA/A state champions, improving to 15-0-2 while Hurricane falls to 14-2.

In a scoreless game in the second half, Rhodes took a powerful kick, striking the ball well off of a free kick from about 40 yards when Redskin goalie Hannah Thompson tried to make the save.

The ball hit Thompson in the chest, but due the pace of the kick, the Hurricane senior keeper couldn't handle it and it fell to the ground, where Pinkerton tapped it in from right in front of the goal to give Sissonville a 1-0 lead with 22:13 left in the game.

Soon thereafter, Rhodes gave the Indians some breathing room, scoring a goal off another free kick with 19:53 remaining. Rhodes took the free kick off of a difficult angle from the left side of the field from about 20 yards away, but managed to find the back of the net, getting the ball past Thompson into the right corner of the goal.

Sissonville coach Ali Sadeghian was impressed with Rhodes' free kicks.

"Taylor has a great leg, shot, and vision for those kinds of shots," Sadeghian said. "We try and take advantage of those things."

Rhodes indicated the coaching staff told her to keep firing shots on goal, even from distance.

"I had a lot of opportunities in the first half and they just weren't falling," Rhodes said. "They were close but not close enough. They said to just keep shooting and one of them is going to go in. I tried to keep shooting and luckily it did.

"I could see the bigger part of the goal," added Rhodes, on the difficult second free kick. "I could hear Ali (Sadeghian) saying far side and that was what I was aiming for. I knew if it wasn't getting there, someone would be there to finish."

Sadeghian couldn't emphasize enough the importance of Rhodes, a senior midfielder.

"Taylor is our secret weapon," Sadeghian said. "She makes the goals or assists, always shows, and is the hardest-working kid on the field. She is unbelievable.

"She is a player who doesn't get a lot of publicity but she does what she is good at. She is a senior and a great leader. The girls respect her and follows her instructions."

Hurricane coach Shelly Young was also impressed with Rhodes.

"Those were very nice kicks," Young said. "She was threatening every time they had a free kick. She was making a play on the ball and doing a really good job. She's a really good player."

Both Sadeghian and Rhodes indicated the victory over a powerhouse Hurricane team is a huge confidence boost for the Indians.

"This was a big game for us," Sadeghian said. "I am really proud of the girls. They stepped up. This is exactly what we needed this time of the year to beat a very good skilled team with excellent players."

"We really wanted to win," Rhodes said. "This was a big step to boost our confidence. Hurricane is a very good team. We knew that and if we came out on top this would definitely help us in the long run."

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Chuck McGill: UC's success gives recruiting a boost http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009181 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009181 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:34:53 -0400 By Chuck McGill CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Prior to his inaugural season as the University of Charleston men's basketball coach, Dwaine Osborne had 96 days from his introductory press conference to the first game to polish his recruiting pitch and patch together a roster.

No sweat, right? UC won 21 games in Osborne's first season, captured the Mountain East Conference tournament title and Osborne walked away with the league's coach of the year award. He took six holdovers, meshed them with a hastily assembled recruiting class and made the national tournament.

How about an encore? Osborne had a full offseason to sell the program to recruits, and once again he needed quite the haul to fill out the roster. The Golden Eagles lost six of their top eight scorers, and the players gone from the roster accounted for nearly 65 percent of the minutes played last season.

He lured a combination of Division I transfers, junior college products and prep talent to restock his hoops cupboard. So much is different now than it was a year ago, but his challenge is the same.

"It's been building a lot of chemistry and togetherness and trust," Osborne said. "I don't feel like it's going to be a talent issue as much as getting everybody on the same page and in sync."

Osborne should lean heavily on the Division I transfers that dot this season's roster. Deandre Leatherwood (Morehead State), Chris Evans (Sacred Heart), Octavius Green (Lamar) and Vincent Dillard (University of Texas at Arlington) all will exhaust their final year of eligibility at UC this season.

All can play ... and all will.

Leatherwood is 6-foot-10, and Osborne naturally raved about the newcomer's length.

"He's really long, he can really run and he's really athletic," Osborne said. "He can shoot it and he can affect shots."

Leatherwood grew 13 inches in high school, so he's relatively raw when it comes to basketball.

Evans was on track to be a 1,000-point scorer at Sacred Heart, a Connecticut-based school that competes in the Northeast Conference. Evans averaged 11.3 points in 28.3 minutes last season, and scored 18 points against Boston College. Sacred Heart finished 5-26 last season.

"He wanted to win," Osborne said. "He wasn't going to go just anywhere. He wanted to go somewhere he had a chance to win a championship."

Green played for Pat Knight, son of Bob Knight, at Lamar and was junior college's second-leading rebounder as a sophomore. Dillard started impressively at UTA, which included scoring 18 points at Boise State and 13 points at Kentucky. Green is 6-6, while Dillard is 6-4.

Cameron Dozier is a 6-1 point guard from Tallahassee Community College. Osborne said he felt "fortunate" to land the talented guard, who has three years of eligibility left and will help Tino DiTrapano in the backcourt.

Jevonte Hughes, a 6-5 junior college transfer, is a key pickup. It's clear Osborne has high expectations for the newcomer, who has two years of eligibility left.

"His motor is on high all the time," Osborne said. "He plays his tail off and he is freaky athletic."

Osborne, 38, has another month to mesh those pieces with DiTrapano, 6-8 junior Aleksander Kesic and 6-6 sophomore Denio Chirindja. He said the addition of so many players with experience in four-year programs will help with the transition.

It's recruiting tactic that Osborne said was made easier because of what UC accomplished last season, from the league title to postseason berth to a win over West Liberty, which is ranked No. 1 in multiple preseason polls this season.

"All those things are helpful in addition to our history of winning and having success," Osborne said. "I think it is a pretty formidable presentation you can make to a kid."

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SPEAKING OF THAT tradition, Osborne is tapping into it for the second annual 100/100 Club Tip-Off Dinner on Nov. 8.

Former UC coach Tex Williams will be the guest speaker for the event, which will be held at 7 p.m. in the Appalachian Room inside the Geary Student Union on the school's campus. Osborne started the event last season to jump-start fundraising efforts. The idea is to get 100 program supporters to donate $100, which is the cost for a seat at the dinner. Table sponsorships are available at $700 (for eight tickets).

Osborne can be reached at dwaineosborne@ucwv.edu or 304-357-4831.

UC's season gets started Nov. 14 in the PSAC/MEC Challenge in Glenville. The Golden Eagles face Slippery Rock on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m., followed by Gannon on Nov. 15 at 6 p.m.

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MEC FOOTBALL: W.Va. State seeks second consecutive victory http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009182 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009182 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:32:21 -0400 By Rich Stevens CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia State University football team eyes its third victory of the season at 1:30 p.m. Saturday when the Yellow Jackets face West Virginia Wesleyan in a Mountain East Conference matchup at Lakin Field at Dickerson Stadium.

The represents a rare opportunity for State (2-3, 1-3 MEC), which will seek its first two-game winning streak under second-year coach Jon Anderson, and its first winning streak since 2008. That season, the Yellow Jackets finished 7-3, winning their first five games and reaching 21st in the NCAA Division II rankings before losing three of their last five games.

Last weekend's 18-13 victory at Urbana gave Anderson his first road win and his first conference victory, sending State into Saturday's Homecoming game against the Bobcats (2-3, 2-3) on a high note.

"One thing I've learned over the years is you have to enjoy the wins, the entire program from the coaches to players to trainers and support staff," Anderson said. "You learn when you win, you learn when you lose. Every time you compete you have to learn about yourself, your staff and it's a lot easier to learn when you're sitting with the victory. It's part of that positive reinforcement."

As State passes the midway point of the 11-game regular season, the Yellow Jackets have found balance in their offense. After running the ball 55 times in last week's win, State has attempted 189 passes and 187 runs. Against the Blue Knights, redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Kinnick attempted just 23 passes, his fewest attempts in a game this season.

"Being 50-50 run to pass makes it easier on everyone," said Kinnick, who attempted 26 in a 55-7 home loss to Concord in a game during which he was replaced by backup D'Von Dorsey. "The defense isn't able to key on what we're doing and we can be more creative on offense. It also helps when you can have long drives."

Kinnick has completed 62.4 percent of his passes (111-178) for 1,121 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. More importantly, his decision making has improved as he prepares to start just his sixth game as a college quarterback.

"We put a lot on Matt Kinnick on the field," Anderson said. "We see a lot of things where he has the ability to either hand the ball off or throw it. He's doing a great job of reading those indicators."

Against Urbana, State ran the ball 55 times for just 159 yards for an average of only 2.9 yards per carry. However, Cincinnati, Ohio product Tevin Brown carried the ball 26 times for 132 yards (5.1 per attempt).

The Yellow Jackets can take a big step this week, facing the league's lowest-ranked rush defense. Wesleyan is giving up 214.8 yards rushing per game and surrendered 235 in a 38-35 win over Glenville State last week in Buckhannon.

"Last week, we talked about details and being able to run the football and stop it defensively," Anderson said. "I'm a firm believer in physical football. You have to be able to run and stop the run."

Wesleyan is eighth in the MEC in rush offense, averaging 125.8 yards. Michael Anderson, a sophomore from Elkridge, Md., leads the Bobcats with 383 yards on 86 carries.

Wesleyan quarterback Jeremy Musselman, another Maryland product, is fifth in the MEC in passing yards per game (221.8) and third in touchdown passes (11) against only four interceptions.

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WESLEYAN IS coached by former University of Charleston assistant and former WVU graduate assistant George Shehl. With a victory on Saturday, Shehl will reach the .500 mark for the third time in his career. The Bobcats opened last season 1-1 before losing three consecutive games. They finished the 2013 season with a 5-5 record, Shehl's first as a head coach.

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THE LAST TIME State defeated Wesleyan was Nov. 8, 2008, the last season the Yellow Jackets finished with a winning record. State's 31-24 overtime victory at Lakin Field that year ended a two-game losing streak for coach Earl Monroe's Yellow Jackets.

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THE UNIVERSITY OF Charleston will try to rebound from its first loss of the season when the Golden Eagles (4-1, 3-1 MEC) pay a visit to Glenville (1-4, 1-4) for a 1:30 p.m. game on Saturday.

For the second time in his four seasons, Shepherd handed University of Charleston coach Pat Kirkland his team's first loss of the season. In 2012, Charleston was 3-0 when Shepherd defeated the Golden Eagles 16-10 at University of Charleston Stadium.

The UC defense was up to the task on Saturday in its 24-15 defeat to the Rams, holding coach Monte Cater's team to fewer than 100 yards rushing - the first time Shepherd had been held to less than 100 since week 1 of the 2012 season. That year, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference member Shippensburg held Shepherd to 48 yards on the ground.

However, the offense could muster just 123 yards against the stout Shepherd defense.

Despite Glenville's record, the Pioneers have been solid defensively, sitting at fourth in the MEC in run defense but still giving up 37.4 points per game. Glenville is tied for first place in the league in rushing offense with an average of 223.4 yards per game. Glenville and Charleston are tied for fourth in the league in scoring at 30.6 points per game.

Where Glenville stumbles is its pass defense, where it gives up a league-worst 319.4 yards per game. The Golden Eagles, however, are last in the conference in pass offense with an average of 146.6 yards.

Against Shepherd, UC starting quarterback John Knox was just 11-of-23 for 107 yards and three interceptions.

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

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GW boys top Woodrow Wilson in MSAC third-place game http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009183 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009183 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:31:46 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - George Washington (13-2-3) fell behind early in the second half but rallied with three second half goals to pull out a 4-2 road win over Woodrow Wilson (12-4-2) in the Mountain State Athletic Conference boys third-place soccer game Thursday evening.

The two teams were tied 1-1 at the half after Woodrow's Curtis Ketchup and GW's Jonah Cosby traded goals.

In the second half, in which both teams fielded mostly reserves, Nathan Parsons scored two goals for GW, while Alex Lewis added a single goal.

Woodrow's Keegan Rose netted a second half goal.

Nitro 5, Cabell Midland 0 - Seth Jordan scored three goals to lead the Wildcats (8-4-3) in the MSAC fifth place game. Dylan Cavender and Dominic Fazzolari also scored for Nitro, while Alec Miller contributed two assists.

Midland dropped to 7-8-1.

In girls soccer:

Herbert Hoover 11, Mingo Central 0 - Hannah Schoolcraft scored three goals and assisted a fourth as the Huskies (15-3) rolled on the road.

Abbie Henry, Taylor Bailey, Cassie Hammes, Bethany Roush, Bailey Aab, Megan Holt, Olivia Gandee and Caroline Thornburg added single goals for Hoover, while Kari Harding, Summer Short and Bailey had assists.

Mingo Central dropped to 4-11-1.

Nitro 2, Capital 1 - Autumn Griggs and Tessa Musilli scored unassisted goals for Nitro to propel the Wildcats to a win in the MSAC 11th place game. Marcella Romeo stopped nine shots on goal for Nitro. Jada Joseph scored the lone goal for Capital with an assist from Ashley Fisher. The Cougars Hannah Jack stopped nine shots on goal in the loss. Nitro improves to 5-10. Capital falls to 4-11-2.

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WVU BASKETBALL: Mountaineers picked to finish sixth in Big 12 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009199 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009199 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 19:39:32 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

IRVING, TEXAS - The West Virginia University men's basketball team, which finished sixth in the Big 12 last season, was picked to finish sixth again by the league's coaches.

Kansas was once again the choice to win the regular season conference title. Three squads - KU, Texas and Oklahoma - received first-place votes, but the Jayhawks were the preseason favorite for the 13th time in conference history.

The Mountaineers will be led by the league's leading scorer last year, Juwan Staten, who averaged 18.1 points per game and led the conference in minutes played per game (37.30).

Texas was picked a close second as it seeks to end the Jayhawks run of 10 straight outright or shared Big 12 regular season crowns.

The Longhorns return every starter from last season's NCAA Tournament squad, including four players who averaged 11 points or more.

Oklahoma was picked third, with the Sooners and Longhorns both earning their highest preseason ranking since being picked in the same spots in 2009-10.

K-State and Iowa State were next at fourth and fifth, respectively. Both teams have three starters back from squads that appeared in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Baylor and West Virginia tied for sixth, followed by Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech rounding out the poll. Three of the five teams in the bottom half of the poll played in the postseason a year ago.

The Big 12 season gets underway on Friday, Nov. 14 with nine schools in action. Big 12 conference competition starts on Saturday, Jan. 3 with four league games.

The Big 12 will hold its preseason media day on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Sprint Center in Kansas City - site of the 2015 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship. Live coverage will be available at Big12Sports.com.

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WVU WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Mountaineers picked to finish third in Big 12 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009242 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009242 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 22:48:02 -0400

from staff reports

The West Virginia women's basketball team, which tied with Baylor last year for the Big 12 regular-season title, was picked to finish third this season by the league's head coaches.

WVU picked up two first-place votes. Texas was picked as the preseason conference favorite, getting five first-place votes. Baylor got two first-place votes and was picked second.

Oklahoma State was picked to finish fourth, getting one first-place vote, followed by Oklahoma in fifth, Iowa State in sixth, TCU in seventh, Kansas in eighth, Kansas State in ninth and Texas Tech in 10th. WVU's Bria Holmes was picked last week as the Big 12's preseason player of the year.

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MARSHALL WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Herd picked to finish last in Conference USA http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009243 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009243 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 22:47:41 -0400

from staff reports

The Marshall women's basketball team was picked by Conference USA coaches to finish 14th out of 14 teams in the league, C-USA announced Wednesday. The Thundering Herd finished last season at 11-20 and 3-13 in C-USA, winning its conference tournament opener versus Florida Atlantic, but falling in the next round to UAB.

Middle Tennessee was picked to repeat as C-USA champion, followed by Western Kentucky in second, Southern Mississippi in third, UTEP in fourth, Charlotte in fifth, Old Dominion in sixth, Louisiana Tech in seventh, UAB in eighth, North Texas and UTSA tied for ninth, Florida International in 11th, Rice in 12th, FAU in 13th and Marshall.

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PREP SOCCER: Last-second goal gives Hoover girls win over Point Pleasant http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009244 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009244 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 22:47:14 -0400

from staff reports

Hannah Schoolcraft scored two goals as the Herbert Hoover girls soccer team beat Point Pleasant, 2-1, on Wednesday at Herbert Hoover.

After a scoreless first half, the Huskies and the Knights traded goals, leading to a 1-1 tie as the game entered its final minute. With seconds remaining, Schoolcraft headed in a corner kick from Taylor Bailey to seal the win. Cassie Jordan scored the lone goal for Point Pleasant.

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WVU TECH SOCCER: Pastor's hat trick gives men fourth straight win http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009247 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009247 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 22:46:50 -0400

from staff reports

Alex Pastor's three goals gave him his third hat trick in three games and gave the WVU Tech men's soccer team a 5-1 win over Washington Adventist University on Wednesday. It was the Golden Bears' (9-1-1) fourth straight win.

Sophomore goalkeeper Hunter Moles picked up his sixth win of the season while making two saves. Joao Gigli and Prince Idornigie also scored for the Golden Bears. WVU Tech next plays Virginia Western Community College in Beckley. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at the Paul Cline Memorial Complex.

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PREP GOLF: Charleston Catholic wins fourth straight golf title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009251 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009251 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:47:08 -0400 By Rich Stevens DAILY MAIL ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

WHEELING, W.Va. - Charleston Catholic senior Christian Casingal had a bird's-eye view of what needed to be done for he and the Irish to reach unprecedented heights at the State High School Golf Championship on Wednesday.

Catholic's No. 1 shot a 78 to win Class A medal honors, finishing with a two-score of 154 and to lead the Irish to its fourth consecutive state championship, an all-class first since the Secondary School Activities Commission began sanctioning the state golf tourney in 1954.

"It's pretty special," Catholic coach Bill Gillispie said. "I didn't mention it to the guys all week. I had it as a personal goal for those guys and it's a pretty special feat to be the first one."

Casingal is the first two-time medalist in Catholic history, also winning as a freshman in 2011. He's also a four-time All-State selection. The top eight players and ties in each class earn All-State honors.

In Wednesday's second round, he played with teammate Cameron Blakely and Madonna's Howie Peterson and Nick Mazur. Catholic led Madonna by just three strokes after Tuesday, but won by 21 (488-509).

"This is the first time we've had such a small lead," Casingal said. "I wasn't doing math, but I was thinking in terms of match play. Since Cameron and I hit it in the fairway (on No. 3) and Howie and Nick missed the fairway, I thought this was our chance to pounce. I'll admit it might have affected my score, but it gave me confidence and made me push a little more."

Casingal finished eight strokes better than Mazur, who had Madonna's low score (162). Blakely was two strokes better than Peterson and Nick Casingal was nine strokes better than the Blue Dons' Hunter Payne.

"It's good for this group of kids to get their own," said Gillispie, whose team has won six of the last Class A state titles. "You never take these things for granted."

Blakely finished third - one stroke behind Mazur and nine strokes behind Casingal - to earn All-State honors.

n n n

GEORGE WASHINGTON received a 77 from No. 1 Harry Basile and three of its players improved by 18 strokes from the first round to finish second in Class AAA for the school's highest finish since 2001, when it also finished second.

"We talked (Wednesday morning) about everybody cutting four strokes off their scores (from Tuesday) at a minimum," said GW coach B.J. Calabrese, whose team finished second behind Wheeling Park. "They all said, 'Coach, we can do it.'

"(On Tuesday) if you would've told me we were going to shoot those scores and be in fourth place, right behind second and third, I wouldn't have believed it."

Basile improved by nine strokes and earned All-State honors, while Drew Call improved by six strokes and Matt Nelson by three strokes.

Wheeling Park's Cole Hand couldn't pull off a rarity, but it was a teammate who spoiled his bid to win Class AAA medal honors for the third consecutive year.

The Patriots' Dylan Wojcik shot a 1-over 72, finishing with five bogeys and four birdies, to win big school medal honors at the Oglebay Resort's Robert Trent Jones Course. Hand, a senior, shot his highest round ever in eight state tournament rounds, shooting a 78.

"Putts finally fell today," Wojcik said. "I knew I would have to post something low to have a chance because I didn't expect Cole to post anything high."

In 2012, it was Hand playing the spoiler, defeating then-teammate Thadd Obecny, who had won back-to-back crowns the two years prior (2010-11).

n n n

IN CLASS AA, Westside freshman Colin Bowles lived up to the hype, tying for the low round of the day with a 72 and winning medal honors. Also shooting a 72 were Wheeling Park's Wojcik and Roane County's Cole Moore, whose Raiders won the Class AA title for the third consecutive year.

Still, it was Bowles stealing the show after trailing Roane's Cam Moore by one stroke after Tuesday's first round.

"I hit a lot of fairways and I didn't in the first round," Bowles said. "That helped, just getting it in play. I did keep it low (to avoid the wind) and putted better."

Poca finished fourth after four consecutive years of second-place finishes. The Dots' No. 1, Alex Hamrick, shot 79 each day to finished with a 158 and earn All-State.

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

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Mike Casazza: Holgorsen has evolved since days in Lubbock http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009252 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009252 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:46:48 -0400 MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The way that Dana Holgorsen tells the story, he began exploring avenues out of Lubbock, Texas, when he ran out of ways to get Mike Leach to punt.

Holgorsen was the rising young assistant coach starting to stand out as the Texas Tech offensive coordinator. Leach was the head coach swinging his sword his way on offense. The apple was going to fall from the tree one day.

Before that could happen, Kevin Sumlin plucked the low-hanging fruit.

Sumlin was the co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 2007 and coached the Sooners to the Fiesta Bowl, where they ran into a buzzsaw of emotion and execution named West Virginia and suffered a 48-28 defeat.

Days before that, Sumlin was named the head coach at the University of Houston. When the bowl season was over, Sumlin started talking to coaches he wanted to hire. Holgorsen was early in the process. And the instructions were simple.

Sumlin liked what Texas Tech was doing, what he had witnessed in Oklahoma's Big 12 battles against the Red Raiders, and he wanted to put Holgorsen in charge of doing that for Houston. But he also wanted to run more and, most importantly, do it all as fast as possible.

The Fiesta Bowl had left a mark.

"He had just gotten throttled by West Virginia," Holgorsen said. "That was a lot of the up-tempo run game."

Seven seasons later, Sumlin is the head coach at Texas A&M, running of one of the country's flashiest programs and doing things now much the way he did them before. Holgorsen is in his fourth season as the WVU coach, turning around a program that was headed the wrong way the past two seasons and doing things in ways he hadn't always done them before.

From close, it's difficult to see how much Holgorsen has changed, to explain what's new and different, to understand why and how it happened.

You can say the Mountaineers run the ball and treasure running backs like never before, but you still fixate on receivers Kevin White and Mario Alford and their quarterback, Clint Trickett. You can point out first downs and third down conversions and quality possessions, but you get excited about big plays, quick strikes and high scores.

The present is sometimes best understood in the company of the past, which is what makes Saturday's game so interesting. The Mountaineers play at Texas Tech and the noon game at Jones AT&T Stadium (Fox Sports 1) will feature Holgorsen's most prolific pupil. This is Holgorsen's past meeting Holgorsen's present.

"It wasn't like I went from one extreme to the other," he said. "There are seven years in between there. That was an evolution based on the people around me, based on personnel, based on just kind of changing with the times, I guess."

The Red Raiders are coached by Kliff Kingsbury. He was the their quarterback when Holgorsen was starting as an assistant there, and he lived with Holgorsen when Holgorsen coached at Houston and Kingsbury broke in as an offensive quality control coach. Holgorsen made the leap to running a Big 12 offense in 2010 at Oklahoma State, which created the opening for Kingsbury's first gig as Houston's quarterbacks coach.

Two years later, Sumlin was hired by the Aggies, Kingsbury was his offensive coordinator and Johnny Manziel took the SEC by storm. The alma mater came calling last season and Kingsbury seemed like a star from the start, but he's lost games and luster along the way.

Since leaving Morgantown with a 37-27 win and a 7-0 record last season, Kingsbury is 3-8. Holgorsen, of course, was 10-3 his first season and won the Orange Bowl and then started 5-0 a season later before a 49-14 debacle at Texas Tech. That started a 6-14 stretch.

It was during that slide, in the midst of the 4-8 record in the 2013 season that was highlighted by the skill and value of running back Charles Sims, that we started to see the change. Holgorsen was part Rich Rodriguez with the hurry-up offense and part Joe Wickline, the esteemed offensive line coach at Oklahoma State, who is now at Texas, who Holgorsen partnered with in 2010.

"It was little bit more of a dig-your-hands-in-the-dirt and come-off-the-ball-and-strike-you," Holgorsen said. "The more I did that, the more I realized it makes throwing the ball a little easier when you've got more people up in the box.

"We kept our core principles in the pass game with our progressions and the routes that we run. We just added to it with being able to come off the ball and smack you, or create some movement and tempo to be able to run the ball a little bit as well."

The personification of the change arrived before the start of last season. Holgorsen needed an offensive like coach and picked Ron Crook, who was the tight ends and offensive tackles coach at Stanford. Crook delivered inside runs and power plays with pulling guards. He had the ground forces for the Air Raid offense.

It is a little different at Texas Tech.

"Kliff is running it more than he ever has," Holgorsen said. "He's up to about 33 percent."

Holgorsen, meanwhile, has his offense ranked No. 10 nationally and just named Mark Glowinski and Quinton Spain, his right and left guards, his offensive players of the week. If they hadn't played "on another level," as Holgorsen said, the prize would have gone to tight end Cody Clay, who didn't touch the ball.

"We've evolved a little bit into that as well," Holgorsen said. "I'd like to think we could ... spread it out and throw it. We could go fast and run it, go fast and throw it, use movement and run it, use movement and throw it and then dig our knuckles in the ground and come off the ball and whack you if we need to do that as well. It takes a while to get there, but I think we've gotten to the point where we're there."

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RICH STEVENS: Kanawha Valley golf having its struggles http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009253 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009253 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:46:17 -0400 WHEELING, W.Va. -Hurricane enjoyed a historic run at the State high sschool golf tournament, winning the Class AAA championship from 2007-09.

In 2009, Redskin seniors Brian Anania and Aaron Barna had a playoff for big school medal honors.

Since 2009, only one Kanawha Valley Class AAA team has reached the state tournament. That's George Washington.

During that period, the Patriots also were expected to challenge for a state title. Although GW finished no higher than fourth at the state tournament those years (2007-09), with Andrew Skeens, Elizabeth Frederick, Will Evans and Carl Roncaglione, its depth was matched only by that of Hurricane.

The point is, while golf has grown exponentially in all parts of West Virginia, it has regressed in Kanawha and Putnam counties. To be clear, we're talking about the quality of youth players in two of the most-populous counties in the Mountain State.

The youth program at Sleepy Hollow Golf Club was at its peak when Anania, Barna, Sam Booth, Wyatt Burgess and Taylor Green were in their formative years.

Berry Hills Country Club boasted some quality talent with the GW players.

The Callaway Junior Tour, formerly the Top-Flite Junior Tour, set a record for number of participants in 2012 and came close to that number the last two years. The junior tour includes players ages 10-18.

This week, the state tournament boasted only 13 players from the Kanawha Valley - four each from George Washington (AAA) and Poca (AA) and five from Catholic (AA), all of which qualified as teams. Catholic played Allie Persily on the second day Wednesday to make the 13th Valley player participating at the 2014 state tournament.

Charleston Catholic coach Bill Gillispie, who has directed the Kanawha County middle school tournament for the last decade, has seen it firsthand.

"The number of players has dropped," Gillispie said. "The level of play, including us and John Adams, has dropped too. I don't have an answer. I know that every time I'm up at the range Scott Jamieson has 25 or 35 players, but they're 6-7-8 year olds. I think it'll make a comeback.

"But, Kanawha County middle school golf right now, isn't very good. We used to have numbers. We used to have 10 or 12 teams that had teams of seven, eight or nine members and now we have three or four. I don't know if it's shifting to other sports or what."

St. Albans, South Charleston, Riverside, Nitro, Herbert Hoover, Capital and Sissonville have had some level of success with individuals, and some don't field complete teams.

"I don't know if it's because it's getting expensive or because you have to travel a little more to play," Gillispie said.

It extends to Putnam County, save for Poca - which finished fourth at the state tournament on Wednesday after four straight second-place finishes.

Winfield hasn't qualified for the state tournament since 2006 when it finished fourth among Class AA programs, although last year Chris Williams - a freshman at Coastal Carolina - qualified as an individual for the second time and teammate Josh Bumgarner qualified in 2009.

The state tournament concluded on Wednesday with Wheeling Park (AAA), Roane County (AA) and Charleston Catholic (A) winning state championships.

There was a time when it was dotted with Kanawha Valley players as individuals and teams.

Gillispie and George Washington coach B.J. Calabrese said it's cyclical.

"It goes on a cycle, it really does," said Calabrese, whose Patriots finished a surprising second in Class AAA this week. "Kanawha Valley has some tough courses and some good programs, and I think, in a year or two, you'll have some teams coming back. But, right now, it is a struggle in the Valley."

Maybe not for very much longer.

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MARSHALL FOOTBALL: Herd thinks Middle Tennessee defense better than its numbers http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009254 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009254 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:45:47 -0400 By Derek Redd HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Neither defense performed very well in last season's scoring avalanche between the Marshall and Middle Tennessee football teams. Combined, the Thundering Herd and Blue Raiders allowed 1,033 yards and 100 points at Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Yet MT's defense edged Marshall's by a nose, giving up 49 points compared to the 51 Marshall allowed in the Herd's loss.

Neither team wants a repeat of last season's shootout when they face off at noon Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium (Fox Sports Net). But based on this year's numbers, Marshall is better suited to stop that from happening. The Herd leads Conference USA in scoring defense (15.8 points allowed per game) and total defense (319.8 yards allowed per game). Middle Tennessee is seventh in C-USA in scoring defense (30.7 papg) and eighth in total defense (453.0 yapg).

Marshall's offense isn't focused on numbers on paper. The Herd (5-0, 1-0 C-USA) pays attention to what it sees, an opportunistic, turnover-hungry defense that has pushed the Blue Raiders (4-2, 3-0 C-USA) to the top of the East Division standings.

Those forced turnovers are Middle Tennessee's calling card once again this season. The Blue Raiders forced 33 last season, which ranked fifth in the Football Bowl Subdivision. They're a bit off that pace this season with 12 forced turnovers, but that's still good enough to be tied with 14 other teams for 17th in the FBS.

"For one, it stops drives," MT linebacker T.T. Barber said. "It kills their momentum and for us, it's a momentum-builder. When we go out the next time, it's not a crime to get another takeaway. That's what we preach about takeaways, get in there and take the ball."

The Blue Raiders picked off Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke three times so, even though he threw for 362 yards and four touchdowns, the Monarchs were neutralized enough for MT to win 41-28. One of those interceptions came on the Old Dominion 27, which the Blue Raiders turned into a touchdown two plays later.

Last week against Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee pounced on a second-quarter Southern Miss fumble at the Blue Raiders 14 and went on a four-play, 86-yard touchdown drive. MT needed those points, as it beat USM 37-31.

"It's just playing violent and playing physical with strength and effort, toughness and attitude" Barber said. "It's all about who wants the ball more."

The Blue Raiders' top ball hawk is strong safety Kevin Byard, who has a team-high four interceptions this season and, just halfway through his junior year, already has 13 career interceptions with four returned for touchdowns.

"What I think makes Kevin good is, I think, his preparation throughout the week," Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said. "He practices every day like it's a game. Even when he's not in, he's getting mental reps back there. He's up here in the office a lot studying film."

Middle Tennessee's defense will face a Marshall offense much different than the one that entered last season's game. Rather than put most of the emphasis on quarterback Rakeem Cato's arm, the Herd is posting nearly identical running and passing numbers. Marshall averages 299.6 rushing yards and 296.0 passing yards. That 595.6 yards per game of total offense leads both C-USA and the FBS.

"We're going to have be good on early downs," Stockstill said. "If Marshall can get into third and 3 or 4 consistently, third and 2 or 3 consistently, it's going to make it harder for us to get off the field. Because now they can run the ball or throw it.

"We've got to do a good job on first down and second down of getting them into a predictable play call on third down," he added. "If they've got their choice, run or pass, that makes it that much more difficult to defend."

Despite Marshall's offensive success and the relative lack of defensive success with Middle Tennessee, Herd offensive coordinator Bill Legg isn't entering Saturday's game expecting it to be a breeze. The Blue Raiders use a lot of movement up front and play multiple versions of man-to-man defense in their secondary. The numbers might not be stellar, he said, but the MT defense is dangerous.

"This is a good defense," Legg said. "I don't look at stats. I watch film. The film tells me everything I need to know."

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.

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WVU FOOTBALL: Transfer making an impact on defense http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009255 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009255 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:45:06 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Edward Muldrow is just beginning to make his mark on West Virginia's defense, but the junior college transfer who made his first start last week is already making the most of his relationships.

It begins with Brandon Golson, who started the previous 16 games at Will linebacker before Muldrow started there against Kansas. Golson played all of his snaps during the game as a defensive end, but he and Muldrow combined to pressure the passer a few times during the game.

"He's from South Carolina and I went to South Carolina," said Muldrow, who was a freshman at South Carolina in 2010. "I'd actually seen him a couple times on recruiting visits and ran into him and found out we kind of had the same background on top of that. Now he finishes sentences for me and I finish sentences for him. We're pretty much the same exact person. Like minds think alike."

The similarities are part of the thinking behind the recent moves, but Muldrow also needed to reach a point where coaches trusted him to play the position. He had help getting there from defensive line coach Tom Bradley. Muldrow said Bradley loaded up his iPad with game film for Muldrow to study before his start against the Jayhawks.

"Just different things to look for before the snap to basically know beyond a shadow of a doubt what's going on that play," Muldrow said. "He told me the greatest linebackers he ever coached took every play as a test, as an individual test.

"He helped me out a lot so pretty much every play I was like, 'OK, what's the quarterback looking at? Is the running back staring at me? He might be blocking. Is the lineman leaning back? Is he sitting light? He might be pulling.' He gave me all that stuff so I could be exactly where I needed to be."

That was merely the latest action to grow out of their relationship. Muldrow said one day earlier in the season he was looking for Tony Gibson, who is WVU's linebackers coach and defensive coordinator. He passed Bradley along the way.

"I just stopped him, like, 'What do you think I should do about this?' " Muldrow said. "He broke it down to me, and ever since then he's been like, 'Come back to me if you have any questions.' And that was just about life stuff. Ever since then, I go back one or two times a week and have little conversations, especially before a game so I know everything I need to know."

Bradley is also in his first year on campus after spending his entire career at a Penn State and then two years working in the media, but he's no stranger to the role a coach can play in a player's life.

He's just not going to take any credit for Muldrow's rise.

"I think he's just superstitious," Bradley said.

That wouldn't be unusual on a football team, just like it isn't odd for a player to meet with a different coach "to hear the same thing he's been hearing, but from a different person, just to reiterate what he'd been told by someone else," as Bradley said.

Still, Bradley remains as modest as the prevent defense when he talks about mentoring Muldrow. He simply said, "I help him out."

"It's not a big deal," he said. "It's not worth turning into a story."

Someone begs to differ, and Bradley's first impression kept Muldrow coming back, including the visit before the Kansas game.

"I'd never had such an insightful conversation about playing linebacker in my life, and I've been doing this a long time," Muldrow said. "He definitely knows a lot more than I even expected, and I knew he knew a lot. I'll keep going back to him."

n n n

TEXAS TECH coach Kliff Kingsbury and WVU coach Dana Holgorsen have known one another since Kingsbury was a sophomore quarterback and Holgorsen was in his first season as an assistant coach at Texas Tech. They later coached and lived together at Houston.

Holgorsen hasn't known his quarterback, Clint Trickett, quite as long, but Holgorsen seems to have an idea how things will turn out for the fifth-year senior.

"I have a soft spot for coaches' kids when it comes to quarterbacks -- I've said that a bunch here," Holgorsen said. "Kliff was a coach's kid at quarterback and a student of the game. He was around it his whole life. His dad was a coach. He would come in and want to watch a ton of film and knew how to be a leader in the locker room (and) knew how to be a leader in the huddle. He was extremely competitive. I see all of those qualities with Clint."

Tricket is the son of Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett, who coached at WVU from 2001-06 and had his son along for many of the experiences.

"Being a coach's kid and understanding the game of football, it's important to him," Holgorsen said. "Clint's a great leader in the locker room. He's a great leader in the huddle (by) being competitive out there. I see a lot of other similarities than just that, just like I see similarities with (former Houston quarterback) Case Keenum and (former Texas Tech quarterback) Graham Harrell, other coach's kids. They all possess that same quality.

"I always knew Kliff was going to be a great coach just because of that. Same reason why Clint is going to be a great coach. Those qualities translate into a good coach."

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.

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WVU FOOTBALL: CB Worley fully reinstated to football team http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009288 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009288 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 18:46:22 -0400

from staff reports

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - After pleading no contest Wednesday to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from a September incident, West Virginia University cornerback Daryl Worley has been fully reinstated to the football team.

WVU coach Dana Holgorsen announced Worley's reinstatement in a Wednesday evening news release. Worley has missed the Mountaineers' last two games.

"As I have said many times, we have a high standard of conduct that we expect our student-athletes and our coaches to live up to and, in this instance, Daryl failed to meet those expectations," Holgorsen said in the release. "However, since arriving in Morgantown, Daryl has done many good things and many things right, on and off the field, and I am confident that he will be a better man and teammate moving forward."

Worley was suspended last month following his involvement in an altercation at a downtown Morgantown nightclub. He was arrested two days later and charged with misdemeanor battery. City police said Worley grabbed a woman around the neck and pushed her to the ground.

Two days later, Worley's attorneys issued a press release defending their client. They said the women had not only threatened Worley's girlfriend earlier in the night, but tried to grab the girlfriend around the legs before surveillance video showed Worley grabbing the woman.

On Sept. 28, university officials told the Charleston Daily Mail the school was deciding whether to back Worley's version of events. If it decided to do so, it would ask the county prosecutor to either drop or reduce the charge.

Worley, a 6-foot-1, 199-pound sophomore, is sixth in the team with 17 tackles and has a team-leading two inteceptions in three games.

WVU (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) vists Texas Tech (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) at noon Saturday.

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WVU FOOTBALL: Suspended Worley set to return to practice http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM03/141009358 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM03/141009358 Tue, 7 Oct 2014 22:25:27 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN W.Va. - West Virginia cornerback Daryl Worley, who has missed the past two games as part as an indefinite suspension, has been partially reinstated.

WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said at his weekly press conference Tuesday the university cleared Worley to return to the team Sunday and that the sophomore has been working out with the team and would begin practicing with the Mountaineers on Tuesday.

"As far as competition," Holgorsen said, "that's still up in the air."

Worley was suspended last month following his involvement in an altercation at a downtown Morgantown nightclub. He was arrested two days later and charged with misdemeanor battery. City police said Worley grabbed a woman around the neck and pushed her to the ground.

Two days later, Worley's attorneys issued a press release defending their client. They said the women had not only threatened Worley's girlfriend earlier in the night, but tried to grab the girlfriend around the legs before surveillance video showed Worley grabbing the woman.

On Sept. 28, university officials told the Charleston Daily Mail the school was deciding whether to back Worley's version of events. If it decided to do so, it would ask the county prosecutor to either drop or reduce the charge.

While Worley's return to practice is a step toward returning to the lineup, Holgorsen said the defensive back's ultimate fate is "still up to a lot of people."

"At this point in time, he's in the building, he's practicing and that's as far as I'll go," Holgorsen said.

Cornerback Ishmael Banks practiced with the scout team defense when he was suspended by the NCAA for three games for an eligibility issue. Asked if Worley was with the scout team or the defense, Holgorsen smiled.

"That's a good question," he said. "We'll make that decision here in the next few hours."

* * *

THE MOUNTAINEERS (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) play at noon Saturday at Texas Tech (2-3, 0-2), meaning the kickoff at Jones AT&T Stadium will be at 11 a.m. in Lubbock, Texas.

Holgorsen, who has discouraged any connection between the team's disastrous 49-14 loss at Texas Tech two years ago and this trip, said there's no reason to be worried about the start time. In fact, this road trip is better than others.

"It's the same time we kicked off against Maryland, and we played well and won that game," he said of the game WVU led 28-6 in the second quarter. "We will go on the same schedule. It's a shorter trip, because airplanes go faster than buses, so we'll actually have less travel time to get to Lubbock, Texas.

"I would imagine it would be between 2 hours and 30 minutes, where the bus ride was 3 hours and 30 minutes. We are looking forward to shorter travel and the same schedule - waking up and playing a game and then coming home."

* * *

HOLGORSEN SAID FRESHMAN quarterback William Crest is still sidelined with the right (throwing) shoulder that has only been described as "all jacked up" by Holgorsen following the win against Kansas.

"Still day-to-day," Holgorsen said. "He didn't do anything Sunday. I think we'll probably go out there and evaluate it a little bit, but it's in the trainers' hands right now. We've got him on a pitch count, so to speak."

Crest, who would be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt should he and WVU choose to do so, is the third-string quarterback on the team's weekly depth chart. Sophomore Skyler Howard, the junior college transfer who made his WVU debut for the final eight snaps against Kansas, is the backup.

* * *

WVU IS OUTSCORING opponents 50-6 in five first quarters this season and 126-64 in the first half. After halftime, the Mountaineers have been outscored 38-31 in the third quarter and 27-26 in the fourth quarter.

Kansas, which scored three points in its first 10 quarters against high visibility conference teams this season, outscored WVU 14-7 in the second half Saturday. Quarterback Clint Trickett was miffed about it afterward.

Days later, Trickett wasn't as hard on himself or his teammates.

"I went and watched it again," Trickett said. "We were trying to play around with some things and after watching it I'm more comfortable with it. It's never as bad as it feels and never as good as it feels, but I'm more comfortable with it now after watching it."

The Mountaineers spent part of the fourth quarter tinkering with certain formations and personnel combinations, and used a bit of five-receiver looks as a result. Those plays and players aren't part of the typical game plan, and the only touchdown after halftime was Mario Alford's 94-yard kickoff return touchdown.

"We were just trying to get cute with some things," Trickett said. "We had the lead. It's a good thing that we could do that and get people the ball more."

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TRICKETT REMAINED disappointed Tuesday with his success completing deep passes against the Kansas defense that gave WVU multiple opportunities to do so. But Trickett was also appreciative of why things didn't turn out better, namely cornerback JaCorey Shepherd.

"I played terrible and my deep balls were not very good, but No. 24 is one of the better corners in the country," Trickett said. "We watched film on him before and no one completed deep balls on him. So I asked him after the game, 'Has anyone ever completed a deep ball on you?' He said, 'I've had two my entire career.'

"That made me feel a little better, but I wanted to be one of the, I wanted to be No. 3. He's a very good corner. I'm not sure why he isn't recognized like he should be, but he's a sleeper. And also, I played terrible."

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.

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WVU FOOTBALL: Texas Tech's Marquez shines at two sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM03/141009360 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM03/141009360 Tue, 7 Oct 2014 22:22:24 -0400 By Mike Casazza MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The Big 12's leader in receiving touchdowns is having his best season in his final season at Texas Tech, which makes him a lot like many other Red Raider receivers before him.

And Bradley Marquez is a lot like seniors all across the locker room and the country who have to make a decision about what to do with their lives when the season ends.

What separates Marquez is the decision he has to make. Where others are readying their resumes and shopping for shirts and ties, Marquez will have to choose to catch a football or hit a curveball.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Marquez is so far living up to the responsibility that comes with being put in the primary position in the Red Raiders passing offense, but he's also property of the New York Mets. They drafted the centerfielder from Odessa (Texas) High in the 16th round of the 2011 draft and Marquez played in minor league ball for two football offseasons before deciding to stay on campus this past summer.

"I'm still a part of the Mets organization and I can still play baseball," Marquez said. "I wanted to take one summer and dedicate it to football for my senior year. Once the season comes to an end, I'll have to decide to do one of the sports full-time, so hopefully I have a clear picture about which one to choose."

He takes another swing at football Saturday when the Red Raiders (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) play host to West Virginia (3-2, 1-1) at Jones AT&T Stadium. The noon game will be televised by Fox Sports 1. Last season, Marquez had what were then career-high totals of eight catches for 112 yards against the Mountaineers.

This season, which started with 11 receptions for 184 yards and two scores in the opener, he's fourth in the Big 12 with 30 receptions and seventh with 382 yards and leads the league with six touchdowns.

He's second on the team in receptions and yards to Jakeem Grant, has 39 catches for 472 yards. They're a crafty combination as inside receivers, too. Grant is 5-6 and 170 pounds and his teammates believe he's the fastest player in the Big 12 and perhaps beyond.

"Those guys are good players who have been around there the last couple years and have been extremely productive," WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. "That's their comfort zone at this point in time."

Marquez was a wide receiver last season and moved inside to the Y position this season, the receiver who is closest to the quarterback and often the first and preferred choice of the passer. It's the position Tavon Austin and Wes Welker played for Holgorsen and the position super-sized Jace Amaro played last season for Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was the quarterback when Holgorsen was an assistant at Texas Tech and coached with Holgorsen at Houston.

"A lot of great players have played that position," Marquez said. "I was excited for the challenge and the opportunity to accept that responsibility."

So he picked football this summer to get ready, though it's not the first time he's leaned toward football.

Marquez signed a contract with the Mets in 2011 and accepted a signing bonus that reportedly contained a catch. He immediately received $100,000 and played rookie league baseball in the Appalachian League for the Kingsport Mets in 2011 and 2012 and batted a combined .254.

He would have received another $250,000 if he was a full-time member of the organization on Sept. 25, 2013, but Marquez preferred playing both and was on campus with the Red Raiders for the start of the practice last fall.

"Growing up I played both, but I played baseball first," he said. "I started playing that when I was 3 years old. I played football later on in life, but I love it. I'm from West Texas, so football's a big deal. But I like them for different reasons. I like the competition of baseball, the challenge of the pitcher against the hitter. I like football because it's more physical.

"I like them both because of the differences."

He also likes them both and is good at both because of the similarities.

"I'm a centerfielder, and in football, you're running routes and finding the quickest route to the ball," he said. "They're similar to some extent, but the big difference is the mental aspect of baseball and the physical aspect of football and I like that about them."

He's had to combine mental and physical at the Y position for the Red Raiders. Amaro, now playing for the New York Jets, was 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds and caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

"I add my own dimension to the position," Marquez said. "Obviously, I'm not Jace. I'm not 6-6, 260, but I still have to play to my strengths."

Marquez isn't small, but he isn't slow, either.

"My speed is one of my biggest strengths, and you have to play to your strengths," he said. "Jace was a lot bigger than me and he was able to body up linebackers. I'm not going to be able to do that as effectively as he was able to, but learning to adjust my game inside and playing to my strengths has been the biggest thing for me."

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.

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Middle Tennessee giving Herd familiar look http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM03/141009361 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141007/DM03/141009361 Tue, 7 Oct 2014 22:19:48 -0400 By Derek Redd HUNTINGTON - Marshall football coach Doc Holliday said his Thundering Herd will feel some familiarities when the team lines up at noon Saturday againt Middle Tennessee. What the Herd players face that afternoon in Joan C. Edwards Stadium will feel a lot like what they face each day in practice.

The Blue Raiders (4-2, 3-0 Conference USA) try to maintain a balanced offense much like the Herd (5-0, 1-0 C-USA). Marshall's is more prolific, outgaining Middle Tennessee 595.6 yards per game to 492.0, but the ratio of rushing yards to passing yards is nearly 1-to-1 for both.

Holliday credited Middle Tennessee quarterback Austin Grammer for that. Grammer, who replaced the graduated Logan Kilgore, is throwing for 258.5 yards per game with seven touchdowns and rushing for 43.7 yards per game with five touchdowns.

"The thing about Grammer is they haven't missed a beat offensively with him throwing the football, because he can throw extremely well," Holliday said. "But he runs better than the quarterback they had a year ago. They have a lot of designated quarterback runs for him. He does a good job of getting out to the perimeter. He can beat you with his feet."

Defensively, both teams run man-press coverage, where the defensive backs are called upon to play tight man-to-man, whereas many other teams will predominantly run zone defenses. Holliday, who had coached receivers as an assistant at both West Virginia and North Carolina State, said the fact Marshall runs man-press will be a big boost for the team when it faces Middle Tennessee's version. The toughest transition, Holliday said, was to get a team ready for man coverage when they hadn't practiced against it through the spring and preseason.

"Our guys see that every day," Holliday said. "That's the hardest thing they can go up against. And if you get into a game and you do get cushion and you do get (zone coverage), that stuff's pretty easy to react to.

"Middle's going to play a lot of man-press," he added. "Our guys will not be surprised and be unprepared to go against it because they go against it every day, and vice versa with Middle. I expect their receivers, since they go against it every day, when they go up against our guys, it's not something they haven't seen.

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HOLLIDAY WOULD NOT get specific about the Herd's injury issues, though Marshall suffered some in last Saturday's win versus Old Dominion. Guard Blake Brooks, linebacker Evan McKelvey and defensive end Gary Thompson all left the game with leg injuries. Thompson was on crutches following the game. The Herd also played without receiver Davonte Allen, who suffered an upper body injury against Akron. After the ODU game, Holliday said Allen was "week to week."

"With a couple of guys, they're week to week, and with a couple of guys, they're game to game," Holliday said. "I think for the most part they'll all be out there, but we may have a couple of guys that are not."

MT coach Rick Stockstill is dealing injury problems on his roster, too. According to the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Blue Raiders lost offensive linemen Adam Stickel (knee) and David Adams (undisclosed) in their win last Saturday over Southern Miss. Stickel is listed as MT's starting left guard and Adams is his backup. Starting center Daniel Stephens didn't play the USM game due to an injury suffered in practice.

Corner Khari Burke, a usual starter at corner, missed his second straight game with an ankle injury and the player who replaced him, Jamarcus Howard, left the USM game with an undisclosed injury. Also, the newspaper reported, running back Shane Tucker left that game with a separated shoulder. Their status for Saturday's game was unknown as of Monday night.

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THE MAJORITY of Marshall's conference-leading rushing average is thanks to running back Devon Johnson. The junior is averaging a C-USA-best 136 yards per game. Yet a growing chuck of it is coming from redshirt junior Remi Watson. Watson recorded his second straight 100-yard game with 102 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries versus Old Dominion.

Watson actually owns a better yards-per-carry average than Johnson, edging him 8.3 yards a carry to Johnson's 8.0. Watson has averaged 11 yards per carry over the last two games, while Johnson averaged 19. With neither shouldering a massive load, Watson said both backs feel better throughout the game and after.

"As a running back, you get hit every play," Watson said. "So when you're rotating series like that, you feel a whole lot better on Sunday than those backs that are getting 25 or 27 carries a game. It keeps you fresh for long-term purposes throughout the season."

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CAPTAINS FOR Saturday's game are center Chris Jasperse, Johnson, defensive end Ra'Shawde Myers and linebacker Neville Hewitt. It's Jasperse's fourth week as captain, the second week for Johnson and Hewitt and the first for Myers.

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.

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