The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 6, 2010

Mountaineers’ week off helped Miller recover from LSU game

MORGANTOWN — MORGANTOWN — Julian Miller is a key member of West Virginia University’s football team that was benefited, health-wise, from last week’s open date.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound junior defensive end from Columbus, Ohio, saw some action in the tough 20-14 loss at ninth-ranked LSU. But he complained afterward about muscle spasms in his hip and tightness in his back.

While he was about only 75-80 percent against the Tigers, WVU Coach Bill Stewart said on Monday that “we expect to get more play out of him” in Saturday’s home game against UNLV (1-4).

“I would anticipate and hope he’ll be in a starting role, but I don’t really know right now,” Stewart added. “Yes, he’s a starter at DE and also on all three phases of the defensive packages.

“Julian is going to be a whole lot better this week than he was a week ago. That’s for sure.”

Like teammates, Miller believes WVU (3-1) came out of the LSU contest with more positives than negatives and confident that it can compete well with any team.  

He’s especially pleased with the way the entire defense is performing. It gave up just one touchdown, on four downs from his team’s 6-yard line. LSU’s other TD came on a 70-yard punt return.

Miller said, “As a team, I think in that game we hung in there probably better than anyone thought we would. Playing a Top 10 team so tough meant a lot to as we look at the remainder of the season.”

He has made eight tackles this year, including two tackles for lost yardage. One of those stops was a quarterback sack.

Miller, who’s a member of the Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll, was a starter in all 13 games last season. He also appeared in 13 games in 2008.

Coming into this season, he had a two-year collection of 74 tackles, including 41 solo stops. He had 12.5 sacks for 96 lost yards. He also forced a fumble and recovered one.

Miller made the All-Big East second team after last season. He also recorded several preseason honors this year.

He started as an All-Ohio defensive end at Columbus Beechcroft High and was named MVP as a senior when he made 53 tackles including seven sacks and 13 stops for minus-yardage.

Miller concluded: “We all thought we were the better team (at LSU), and had an opportunity to win, but we shot ourselves in the foot.

“We just know this: Throughout the rest of the season, we’ve got to keep playing hard and try to win the Big East Championship.”

He is being counted on to provide a huge helping hand toward reaching that goal.

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