The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 11, 2011

Big-play Bailey strikes again

MORGANTOWN — Stedman Bailey’s stock is rising.

The West Virginia receiver was named the Big East player of the week after grabbing seven passes for 178 yards and two scores.

It was Bailey’s fourth straight 100-yard game and he is currently No. 1 in the Big East in receiving yards per game at 105.7 yards per game.

And, according to at least one college fantasy football site, in leagues where he isn’t taken, Bailey is the No. 1 available receiver.

It’s been a big year for Bailey, a red-shirt sophomore from Miramar, Fla.

A high school teammate of quarterback Geno Smith, Bailey has 34 catches for 634 yards and five touchdowns.

“I’m pretty pleased with myself. To get four straight 100-yard games is pretty big, I never thought I would do that on this level. We just want to win. Our main goal here is to win the Big East championship. Whatever I can do, I’ve got to do.”

He has done that.

Bailey has had big play after big play for the Mountaineers and Saturday’s 43-16 win over Connecticut was no different.

He had an 84-yard touchdown pass from Smith that was a career long for Bailey and Smith.

Bailey had a nice move on the run, stopping after he caught the ball, allowing the defender to fly by, and then hitting the high gear to the end zone.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Bailey said. “All I know is he wasn’t there to make the tackle. I saw the end zone and I had to get on my high horse. And I want to tip my hat to Tavon (Austin, a fellow receiver) because he made a good effort to come down field with me and make a downfield block.”

The Mountaineers’ second half eruption included Bailey, who had four of his catches for 129 yards. But 111 came on the two touchdowns.

The question at WVU has been its propensity to start slow and finish fast. Bailey said it’s all on the players.

“The offensive scheme is just great,” Bailey said. “We put in great game plans throughout the week to have big games. It’s just a matter of us coming out and doing everything right. Sometimes when we press too hard to do that we kind of mess up, have some bumps down the road. Once we get everything going, it can be like a train.”

While he would like to the see the string of 100-yard games continue, it’s not the major goal for the 5-foot-10, 190 pound Bailey.

“That really has not been my goal,” Bailey said. “I just want to do whatever to help my tam win. I’ve been coming up pretty big with over 100 yards in four games straight but that really isn’t my goal. I just want to do whatever to help my team win.”

— E-mail: demorrison@

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