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Mountaineers Mix and Match on D-Line

Brown, Devine both reach milestones

November 8, 2009
By JIM ELLIOTT

MORGANTOWN - As the injuries continue to mount, not just for West Virginia, but all football teams this time of year, strange things start to surface.

Like Saturday's defensive line for West Virginia, which at one point was two-thirds made up of defensive ends - Julian Miller to the left, first-time starter Larry Ford at nose tackle, and redshirt freshman Jorge Wright, a natural tackle and first-year player, to the right.

''We had a lot of players we had to do without,'' West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said. ''That's the way the lineup is, the ball doesn't always bounce your way.''

Josh Taylor, the backup at nose guard and starter at tackle, didn't play at all because of an injury, starting nose guard Chris Neild was there in the beginning, but departed after making one tackle, and end Scooter Berry, back from both injury and suspension, couldn't finish, though he did have three tackles, including one for a loss.

''We had to use what we had,'' Miller said.

That left Miller as the only defensive lineman on the field playing his natural position.

''I was real pleased with Julian Miller, he was just a force out there with three sacks,'' Stewart said. ''He showed great presence. He stepped up because Chris Neild was over there with me.''

So did the rest of the guys. West Virginia's defense did not surrender a touchdown in a game for the first time all season.

''I was really proud of the way our defense just set the tone the entire day,'' Stewart said. ''I can't say enough good about (defensive coordinator) Jeff Casteel, the defensive staff, and most importantly, the defensive players in the arena who played their hearts out. They kept great field position for the offense most of the day, and found a great way to bounce back from a subpar showing in our last outing.''

Feeling Grand

West Virginia running back Noel Devine surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive season. He had 13 carries for 56 yards before departing with an injury.

Meanwhile, quarterback Jarrett Brown went beyond the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career with eight carries for 43 yards. He became the fourth Mountaineers quarterback in school history to do so.

Still, West Virginia was held to a season-low 273 yards of offense.

''I think we did a good job in not letting them get started,'' Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe said of the Mountaineers offense. ''They have such explosive playmaking ability, both (Jock) Sanders and Devine. Every time they touch it, they have a chance to go the distance.

''The biggest thing was trying to keep them out of rhythm. They are like any offense, where you get in rhythm and tempo and make plays, and they always have that ability.''

Kozlowski's bounce back

Fifth-year senior punter Scott Kozlowski averaged 46.7 yards on seven punts, as he continually helped change field position.

''I was really pleased with the way Scott Kozlowski bounced back,'' Stewart said. ''He was on the verge of being sat down. I'm not near as nice as some of you think. And he bowed up, jutted his jaw, and proved to his football coach, his team, and most importantly, his fellow players he can respond to a little toughness. I wasn't real pleased with his performance last week, and he knew it.''

Kozlowski, who averaged 43 yards on five punts vs. USF, came into the game ranked 8th nationally in punting average at 45.0 yards per boot.

Philpott's big day

Louisville kicker Chris Philpott kicked a pair of field goals of 37 and 44 yards in the first half. After each, it was announced that the distances were a career high. Those notifications were a bit misleading, in that Philpott had made only one other field goal in his career - a 19-yarder against Tennessee Tech last season. He was 1 of 3 for his career coming into the game. He wound up making three field goals, the most by a Louisville kicker since Art Carmondy hit three in a game against North Carolina State in 2007.

Rare INT for Cards

Jarrett Browns interception in the first quarter was WVU's first against Louisville since Major Harris threw one against the Cardinals in 1989. The Mountaineers had gone 226 pass attempts without throwing a pick against Louisville. Those two remain the only by West Virginia quarterbacks in the series.

Game Captains

Brown, linebacker Reed Williams, fullback and Morgantown native Maxwell Anderson, and cornerback Kent Richardson were WVU's captains.

 
 

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