MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s football team is ranked No. 20 in both major polls this week.

The 46-44 come-from-behind upset of 19th-ranked Louisville on Saturday evening obviously was the springboard that attracted voters’ attention.

That also enabled the Mountaineers to remain atop the Big East standings with a 3-0 league log. Their overall record now is 6-1.

UL, which was picked to win the conference crown, slipped to 4-2 and 0-2. In the process, it lost Top 25 status.

“Ranking is good for the program,” WVU coach Rich Rodriguez admitted Sunday afternoon.

“This year we had a lot of questions about our youth. But so far our guys have answered the challenge.

“Our goal still is to win the Big East championship. We’re right in the middle of it. So we’ve got to take the next step.”

WVU’s next hurdle is South Florida next Saturday night in Tampa. The Bulls are 3-3 and 1-1 following Saturday’s 31-17 loss at Pitt.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez announced that Pat White more than likely will make his first start at quarterback. Adam Bednarik left the Louisville game with a sprained foot early in the fourth quarter.

“I have to wait and see how Adam is (Monday),” the coach explained. “But it looks like he’s going to miss a lot of work this week.”

The coach does have some hope that starting nose guard Ernest Hunter may be able to play after missing one game.

“But the trainer is not optimistic,” Rodriguez noted.

Pat Liebig replaced him in the starting lineup against Louisville. Warren Young also saw action at the nose guard position.

“We didn’t play great up front, but they did OK,” Rodriguez said.

The Mountaineers, behind 17-0 at halftime, traded touchdowns with the Cardinals in the third quarter, then caught up with a 17-0 fourth-period burst.

WVU wound up winning in triple overtime.

After watching the game tapes, Rodriguez said his staff could see, as they had thought, that the team was closer to having things happen going into the second half.

“We were hurting ourselves a lot more than Louisville was doing a great job,” he observed. “We just had to stay patient.

“We needed possessions to get some momentum on offense. We got it in a hurry, and just in time...”

Rodriguez recalled that WVU had a couple earlier games in which it did not have very many possessions. It was because the opponent had long drives.

“That’s frustrating,” he said. “It’s hard to get into a rhythm offensively, especially for us, if you don’t have the ball for seven or eight minutes.

“When we got into a rhythm, it was nice. We just needed the ball a few more times then.”

Rodriguez revealed that tailback Steve Slaton, who scored a record six touchdowns, logged 80-some plays without relief. Too, fullback Owen Schmitt had 45 plays on offense and 15 with special teams.

“They were running pretty good,” the coach said. “What we were hoping to do was get the game going back and forth, then see in the fourth quarter which team would be able to pull it out.

“We learned that our guys will keep hanging in there, keep battling, and not panic. We’ve been down in a couple of games this year and came back.”

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