November 16, 2006

WVU play reverses, confuses the other side

MORGANTOWN--Oddly, West Virginia's best set play has come on the reverse.

Steve Slaton (1,363) and Pat White (840) have made the bulk of their yards this season off zone reads, where they read the defense and then make a cut. But the reverse is a play called in from the sidelines and is paying off.

"I don't think anybody in the country runs the reverse as well as we do," said WVU assistant coach Bill Stewart earlier this season.

That's because it's a surprise play, which comes at just the right time. It calls for blockers to "sell" a fake and then for dancers like Slaton, White and slot receiver Darius Reynaud to run to daylight.

Reynaud, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound propped junior, has run at least one reverse in each of the Mountaineers' (8-1 overall, 3-1 Big East) games this season. He is averaging 13.3 yards per carry on it.

But Slaton and White--along with surprise lateral man Owen Schmitt--got a lot of yardage off the call in last Saturday's 42-24 victory at home with Cincinnati. You can bet that head coach Rich Rodriguez will dial it up Thursday night at Pitt (6-4, 4-2).

"We usually want to take a couple of shots down the field and take a couple of reverses.

It depends on how they're playing us and how aggressive they are--that's what determines whether we use it or not," said Rod Sunday night.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!