The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sports

September 22, 2009

WVU getting ball to speedy playmakers Devine and Sanders

West Virginia has had success with its two playmakers on offense, Noel Devine and Jock Sanders.

Devine had 128 yards rushing and three touchdowns in last Saturday’s 41-30 loss at Auburn, one fewer than he had all last season. His five through three games is one more than the four he had in 2008.

And Sanders is catching the ball at an alarming rate, with 29 in three games, and he is well on pace to break the record for receptions in a season (77 by David Saunders in 1998). His 12 against Auburn tied the game mark, last done by Saunders that same year.

“The other night, (Devine) flat ran over two or three guys,” WVU coach Bill Stewart said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. “He is a tough man. I think if you spread the defense out and give the ball to seven (Devine), there are lanes and creases and he can hit them. I am so impressed with his burst. When the ball touches his hands, watch how fast his feet turn.”

As for Sanders, his ability to get open has been taken advantage of early and often.

“When we get the ball to him, he is exploding,” Stewart said. “We are trying to spread the wealth. We are trying to spread the defense and Jock has the innate ability to get open and make catches, and he doesn’t drop the ball very often.”

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Injury update: Quarterback Jarrett Brown has a contusion underneath his shoulder, Stewart said.

“I guess it would be determined as a bruise/sprain from what I’ve been told by the medical people,” the coach said. “He has been getting treatment pretty much nonstop.”

Defensive lineman Scooter Berry and linebacker Reed Williams are also progressing.

“”Scooter has shown some good signs of mobility,” Stewart said. “Reed is making great headway. I think he would have been ready this week, and now that we have that extra time (WVU is off until Oct. 1 when Colorado visits), I don’t foresee any problems with him.”

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