September 17, 2007

Wicks 'happy, not content' with defensive effort

COLLEGE PARK, MD-- West Virginia safety Eric Wicks knows that defense will never be the calling card of the 2007 Mountaineers. But after WVU held the Maryland Terrapins to 269 total offensive yards on Thursday night, the senior was optimistic about his unit's ability to hold its own as the season progresses and the competition stiffens.

"We felt like we were an okay defense after the first two games, but now we know we can be a great defense if we work on stuff like pursuing the ball and playing physical, which we did tonight," Wicks
said following his team's 31-14 victory.

Against Maryland, Wicks and his teammates allowed the fewest total yards by a Mountaineer opponent since Connecticut amassed just 210 yards from scrimmage in a 37-11 WVU victory last season.

Wicks, considered by many to be the cerebral hub of the secondary, contributed to the Mountaineers' solid defensive effort with a pair of interceptions toward the end of the first half.

The first came with Maryland threatening from the WVU 45 and facing a 3rd and four. Flushed from the pocket, Terrapins quarterback Jordan Steffy rolled right and attempted to throw the ball away. Due to the pressure, however, Steffy wasn't able to gather enough strength to launch the ball out of play, allowing Wicks to corral the errant pass just before falling out of bounds.

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