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WVU's Brown practices, status uncertain

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By Tony Dobies
Friday, Oct. 23, 2009

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia starting quarterback Jarrett Brown will be a game-time decision Saturday against Connecticut.

Brown suffered a mild concussion against Marshall last Saturday.

After sitting out practice Monday, Brown practiced at full speed in all drills Tuesday.

"Jarrett Brown practiced both Tuesday and Wednesday and did well," WVU coach Bill Stewart said. "We will continue to evaluate him the remainder of the week and make the decision about his status on Saturday morning."

While he has practiced, Stewart still is taking precautionary measures to make sure Brown doesn't hurt himself further.

"I just asked him to trust me as I wanted to trust him, and that we needed to be truthful with one another," Stewart said. "I want him to, first and foremost, protect himself at all times. Number two, I want him to manage this offense. Number three, and most importantly, I want him to have a clear head when he is doing this."

Brown said he felt good following Tuesday's practice.

"I feel like I can play, but I don't know if I can take a hit," Brown said after his first practice back.

Brown said he watched the hit on tape earlier this week. It was his first concussion.

"It's kind of weird seeing myself out there like that," he said. "It was a crazy feeling, crazy experience. It was a little scary, but it wasn't as painful as I thought."

Brown has completed 96 of 140 passes this season for 1,209 yards and eight touchdowns. He also is second on the team in rushing with 209 yards and one touchdown.

Freshman quarterback Geno Smith took all snaps with the first unit in Brown's absence Monday, but Smith was moved back to the second team on Tuesday. Smith came into the game against Marshall when Brown went out with the concussion.

After struggling on his first four possessions, Smith and the offense came alive en route to a 24-7 victory.

He completed 15 of 21 passes for 147 yards including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Alric Arnett. It was Smith's first career collegiate touchdown.

"He is a good student, and he is also very sharp, and had he been here in the spring, then he would have been even sharper," Stewart said. "He is a film guy and a gym rat, and that is very good."

Note s: Stewart said running back/fullback Ryan Clarke will play Saturday. Clarke sat out the Mountaineers' game against Marshall for precautionary reasons because of a pinched nerve in his neck. ... West Virginia players will wear No. 6 on their helmets to honor slain Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard on Saturday, and the Mountaineer Maniacs are distributing thousands of blue ribbons. Other students are making white cotton armbands to distribute.

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