The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

November 11, 2011

Bailey wants win, record for birthday

MORGANTOWN — A West Virginia football victory at favored Cincinnati and a record-breaking performance would be most timely for wide receiver Stedman Bailey.

That’s because Friday, Nov. 11, happens to be the outstanding pass-catcher’s birthday.

With 933 receiving yards, Bailey not only needs 67 more to reach 1,000, but 110 to tie the all-time WVU single-season record of 1,043. David Saunders set the mark in 1996.

Bailey, a 5-foot-10, 192-pound redshirt sophomore from Miami, has topped 100 receiving yards five times. That’s already a school record for a career — not for just one year.

Aware of his positioning, he admits he really hopes he has a great performance in Saturday’s noon contest in Cincinnati. The Bearcats are a 3 1/2-point favorite.

“It means a lot to me,” Bailey said earlier in the week, “and it’s something I’d like to accomplish.

“Friday is my birthday, and I’d like to reward myself this weekend with a good game.”

Bailey actually is second on the team with 51 receptions, 12 behind Tavon Austin’s 63. But he’s No. 1 in yards with 933 and in touchdowns with nine.

He leads the Big East with 103.7 receiving yards per game and is ranked 15th nationally.

Consistency has been a major factor in the striking success of Bailey, who’s from the same Miramar High School as WVU quarterback Geno Smith.

“For the most part,” the pass-catcher said, “it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of repetitions to go over the plays and get our timing down (for consistency).

“It’s just having the mentality to go out and make plays each time you’re given the opportunity. I want to take advantage of every opportunity and be the guy who makes every catch.”

In the meantime, coach Dana Holgorsen hopes that the Mountaineers (6-3, 2-2 Big East) can upset Cincinnati (7-1, 3-0 Big East).

He said the Bearcats are a team that has found ways to win close games.

“The one thing that stands out is the amount of effort they play with in games,” he noted.

“When you play with that amount of effort, good things happen.”

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