October 22, 2010

More than one way 'to skin this cat (7)'

Sometimes, "there is more than one way to skin a cat," even when that "Cat" happens to wear No. 7.

"When ball is handed off, they have players who can execute the run, no matter how they get the football-whether it's Noel Devine or any of their play makers. They're explosive at a lot of positions and in all three phases of their game," Syracuse coach Doug Marrone said of WVU earlier this week.

No matter how anyone tries to dress it up, West Virginia's unparalleled running back is hurting. Whether it was during the Maryland game or the week after, Devine injured a toe earlier in the season that has been slow to mend.
Devine carried the ball a season-high 27 times for a season-best 131 yards in the Sept. 18, 31-17 victory over the Terrapins, but since that time the senior has not been his best. Playing with what trainer Dave Kerns terms a "bruised Sesamoid"--two little bones under his big toe--the No. 1 active career leader in NCAA rushing yards (3,801))-has carried the ball 30 times for 150 yards in the last three games (5 yards per carry). Eighty-four of those came against one-victory UNLV on Oct. 9. He has rushed for 504 yards this season, but 354 of them came in the first three games when he was relatively healthy.

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