Mountaineers Running Attack Concerns Kruczek

Football Head Coach Mike Kruczek

Coach Mike Kruczek has shown concern over West Virginia's ability to produce both a finesse and power rushing attack.  During Tuesday's practice the scout team featured senior tight end Michael Gaines at tailback to imitate the style of West Virginia's 6-1 240lb. Kay-Jay Harris. 

The Mountaineers, who average 207 yards per game on the ground, will also display the talents of senior Quincy Wilson.

Before being pepper sprayed by security last week, the raucous fans in Morgantown saw their team defeat

#3 Virginia Tech 28-7. This was the same Hokie team that demolished UCF 49-28 in the season opener.  How quickly the Knights can overcome the environment will dictate how well they will play, according to Kruczek.  "When you are dealing with a young football team like we have, it is a concern. I think our success hinges on how we handle the noise level and adversity."

West Virginia Coach Rich Rodriguez expects the same kind of attitude from his team this week "Now it to becomes expected because we've seen it," Rodriguez said. "This is a huge game because it gets us back to .500. Our guys are excited again to play in front of the home fans and just play football."

Both teams have great respect for each other so don't expect either one to under-estimate the challenge Rodriguez showed his admiration for UCF by saying, "They are very athletic. I think there were some games they felt they should have won, or could have won. We don't want them to hit their stride against us."

On the other side, Kruczek had this to say about his opponent.  "Their lows have been fewer than their high moments and it just seems like Coach Rodriguez and his staff has the team heading in the right direction."

Ryan Schneider practiced for the first time this week on Wednesday by sharing the reps with true freshman Steven Moffett. Both players threw the ball well during the pass periods on Wednesday and Thursday.

Rodriguez believes the key to stopping UCF is by stopping Schneider.  "He has been in big stadiums and is not a guy to get flustered. The whole key to their offense has been centered around him."

Kruczek gives credit to the West Virginia defensive coordinator for getting the most out of his players.  "They fly around the ball and they are very multiple in the 50-front they use." 

However, UCF has showed signs of a duel-back situation just like the Mountaineers'.  Redshirt freshman, tailback Dontavius Wilcox has made a quick transition into the UCF offense in the past two weeks including a 77 yard one touchdown performance against Central Michigan.  "We have been bragging about Dontavius and his talents, and I think our fans got a chance to see a little bit about him Saturday."

In the injury report, junior middle linebacker Stanford Rhule did not practice on Tuesday due to ankle injury and defensive end Paul Carrington is doubtful for Saturday's game.  With these downfalls, UCF should still feel confident because of the performance they put on last week.  "Our defense played pretty well. They bent but didn't break and only gave up seven points," Kruczek said.

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