Miscues plague slumping WVU, Cincinnati
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- After two straight losses and many miscues, West Virginia spent its week off working on fundamentals.
The Mountaineers' offense had seven fumbles in a loss to Connecticut a week after throwing three interceptions in a defeat to Syracuse. West Virginia (5-3, 1-2 Big East Conference) will try to eliminate those issues against Cincinnati (3-5, 1-2) at noon Saturday.
"They're Mountaineers, so they're practicing hard," WVU coach Bill Stewart said. "We've been working hard on fundamentals to try to get better. We haven't arrived yet.
"We're going to try to do the right things and cross out Ts and dot our Is. We want to finish with a stretch run."
Cincinnati is also stressing fundamentals. The Bearcats are also enduring a two-game losing streak and are ranked 116th in the country in turnover margin.
First-year coach Butch Jones said he has been proud of his team for its ability to keep a positive attitude despite the losses to South Florida and Syracuse.
"Our kids have been extremely resilient," Jones said. "They come to work every day, and you see the extra film study going on. Although they are all disappointed, we still need to finish strong."
Stewart said he sees similarities in the teams because of the turnover problems and inability to finish.
"Both teams need a win, and both teams haven't played to their potential up to this point, so it will be a very interesting matchup," Stewart said.\
Cincy QB returns
Jones expects his starting quarterback Zach Collaros to start against West Virginia after missing his team's game against Syracuse with a knee injury.
Jones said Collaros' knee is "much better," and he fully participated in practice Sunday.
"We fully anticipate that he's going to play Saturday," Jones said.
No fan of Stewart
Entrepreneur Vince Skolny, a 1995 WVU graduate in economics, sent a mass e-mail to 3,000 WVU students, placed messages on Facebook and bought additional advertisements on the Web on Monday morning in an attempt to sell T-shirts and other items he's made to support the firing of Stewart. The items pointed specifically at WVU athletic director Oliver Luck read, "Mr. Luck, 'Leave No Doubt' We demand better."
Stewart has been highly criticized by the Mountaineers' fans following two straight losses. Skolny said 25 percent of the profit he makes on the items sold will go to the Mountaineer Athletic Club.
"I expect to be accused of profiteering or being disloyal," Skolny said. "The fact is, (West Virginia) is completely out of the national picture, and if the program doesn't change direction that's just going to remain the case."
Skolny said he received one e-mail back from a student calling him "a traitor."
"He said I was no better than (former WVU and current Michigan coach Rich) Rodriguez," Skolny said.
Big East battle
West Virginia's game against Louisville on Nov. 20 will be played at noon. It is the Big East Network Game of the Week.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.