October 7, 2007

Bye week means return to basics for WVU

MORGANTOWN-- With a bye week serving as a reward for Saturday's dominating 55-14 victory over Syracuse, West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez plans to reemphasize fundamentals to his squad this week before turning his attention to Mississippi State, the Mountaineers' next opponent.

"I know we played hard, but we can certainly use this week to do some things fundamentally on both sides of the ball and on special teams. (The bye) is coming at a good time, because when you play six games in 36 days, you don't have as much time for fundamentals. As coaches, we need to make sure we get that covered," Rodriguez said.

It would not seem as though a 41-point victory on the road would leave Rodriguez with much to quibble. On Sunday, however, he had already identified the deficiencies exhibited by his team at the Carrier Dome.

"Our kickoff coverage was poor, and we didn't do a great job on kickoff return, either," Rodriguez said. "We've got to do a better job of getting off blocks on kickoffs. We had a couple of guys running out of their lanes. On kickoff returns, we didn't do a great job up front of getting our first level of blocking set up. We've got to get better at that. I also didn't think our defense played particularly well against the run early on."

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