NCAA FB

2003 PREVIEW: West Virginia Mountaineers

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It took a year for to come around under Rich Rodriguez as head coach finishing the season 9-4 and getting to a bowl game. Unfortunately, Virginia put a sour end to a great season and it might be a little while before the Mountaineers are that strong again. The 2002 team boasted a senior dominated line on both sides of the ball and a superstar running back in . Replacing Cobourne's production won't be too hard with a slew of great running backs in the stable, but the lines could be a problem. It won't be back to the days of the 2001 season, but this could still be a rebuilding year. Yes, beat in Blacksburg and in Heinz Field last year, so the thought might be that the Mountaineers can pull off wins over those two at home, but this isn't nearly the same team as last year. That's not to say those wins aren't possible, but it'll be tougher against stronger opponents. A season opening win over would do wonders to show that last year wasn't a fluke.

Team Information
Head coach: Rich Rodriguez
3rd year: 12-12
Returning O Lettermen: 19
Returning D Lettermen: 22
Returning ST Lettermen: 3
Lettermen Lost 25
Ten Best Players
1. LB , Sr.
2. RB , Sr.
3. QB , Jr.
4. FS , Jr.
5. OT , Sr.
6. CB Lance Frazier, Sr.
7. CB , Sr.
8. RB Kay Jay Harris, Jr.
9. WR , Jr.
10. OG , Jr.
2003 Schedule
8/30
9/6 at
9/13
9/20 at
10/2 at Miami
10/11
10/22
11/1 UCF
11/8 at Boston Coll
11/15
11/22 at
11/29
The Schedule: was almost dominant at home going 5-2 only losing a battle to Miami and getting blown out by . Pulling off the same feat could be tough with , and coming into Morgantown. Road trips to , Miami and could also be a problem. Best Offensive Player: Senior RB . Few backup running backs were as effective as Wilson was last year. He averaged 6.4 yards per run and tore off 901 yards even after only carrying the ball three times in the first two games. He could be a major Big East player this season. Best Defensive Player: Senior LB . One of the nation's best unsung players, the leader of the defense is a guided missile to the ball making 133 tackles last season recording a minimum of ten stops in every game. Key player to a successful season: The defensive line. With all three starters gone and almost no depth, Ben Lynch, and Fred Blueford have to become big time players. The season will be a success if: wins seven to eight games. A Big East title is pretty much out of the question, but the Mountaineers have to pull off a couple of wins over teams like and to get back to a bowl game.. Key game: Nov. 8 at . After facing power teams like Miami and , the Mountaineers will most likely be 1-2 in the Big East. With coming up the following week, has to beat the Eagles on the road. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Fourth quarter scoring: Opponents 84 - 64
  • Rushing yards per game: WVU 283.6 - Opponents 121.8
  • Lost fumbles and rushing attempts: West Va 6 in 714 - Opponents 15 in 453.


    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Kay-Jay Harris RB Jr. 6-2 240 Tampa, Fla./Garden City CC
    Harris is one of the nation¿s most highly sought-after junior college running backs after an outstanding two-year career at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kan. As a freshman in 2001, Harris rushed for almost 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns to earn second-team all-Jayhawk Conference honors. A preseason JUCO All-American pick last fall, Harris managed 808 yards and eight touchdowns on 122 carries in helping Garden City to a 7-3 record. Harris topped the 100-yard mark four times as a sophomore including a season-high 172 yards and three touchdowns on Oct. 5.

    James Alford LB Fr. 6-3 220 Metarie, La./East Jefferson
    Chris Bassler TE/LB Fr. 6-4 260 New Windsor, Md./Francis Scott Key
    *Vince Beamer DB Fr. 6-2 200 Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt
    Adam Bednarik QB Fr. 6-3 215 Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic
    Kevin Burke DE Fr. 6-4 270 Richmond, Va./Varina
    Milton Collins WR Fr. 6-1 175 New Orleans, La./O.P. Walker
    Keilen Dykes DL Fr. 6-4 270 Youngstown, Ohio/Chaney
    Andy Good K Fr. 5-11 170 Boardman, Ohio/Boardman
    Devin Kirkland OL/DL Fr. 6-7 300 Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa
    Antonio Lewis QB Fr. 5-10 190 Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone
    Marc Magro LB Fr. 6-3 220 Morgantown, W. Va./University
    Fernandez McDowell DB Fr. 6-3 200 Kenner, La./East Jefferson
    Michael Meggett WR/DB Fr. 6-1 200 Brooklyn, N.Y./Fort Hamilton
    Jules Montinar DB Fr. 6-1 195 Naples, Fla./Naples
    Zac Napier OL Fr. 6-4 285 Ellisville, Miss./South Jones
    Vaughn Rivers ATH Fr. 5-9 165 , Pa./Perry Academy
    Davanzo Tate RB/DB Fr. 5-11 185 Austintown, Ohio/Austintown Fitch
    Jubal Thomas WR Jr. 6-1 180 LA, CA/Los Angeles Harbor CC
    Mike Villagrana TE/DL Fr. 6-3 235 Youngstown, Ohio/Boardman
    Eric Wicks DB Fr. 6-1 195 , Pa./Perry Academy
    DB Fr. 6-1 180 Highland Springs, Va./Highland Springs
    Andrae Wright DE Fr. 6-5 260 Mobile, Ala./John Shaw
    *Potential Instant Impact Players

  • Tagged: Georgia Tech, Maryland, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Ohio, East Carolina, Cincinnati

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