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West Virginia holds Powell to worst performance of season

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Tony Dobies
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010
 

• West Virginia held Bilal Powell , the nation's fifth-leading rusher, to 0 yards on four carries in its 17-10 win over Louisville on Saturday. It was by far his worst performance of the season. He had gained at least 64 yards in every game he had played this year. Louisville coach Charlie Strong said Powell was battling sickness, and he believed the senior was fatigued. "Anytime with that type of defense, it will get you a lot blockers to run through," Strong said. "We are a zone team, so they were able to run from the backside and not allow the seams to open up."

• Strong defended his decision to go for it on fourth down at the West Virginia 46-yard line with five minutes left, his team down by a touchdown and three timeouts remaining. The pass was dropped by receiver Josh Chichester. "At that point, we had nothing going on, and I didn't want to send our defense out there with five minutes to go and try and get a stop," Strong said. "Then, we didn't get the first down, and the game was over. So, it was (fourth-and-6), and we made the throw. We just didn't make the catch."

• West Virginia coach Bill Stewart called punter Gregg Pugnetti the Mountaineers' player of the game. He punted seven times for an average of 44.9 yards despite heavy block attempts. Louisville kicker/punter Chris Philpott could be considered the Cardinals' player of the game. He led Louisville in rushing with 21 yards on a fake punt that yielded a first down. He also punted eight times for an average of 45.9 yards; he had a long of 73 yards and dropped four inside WVU's 20-yard line. He also made a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter. "We recruited Chris," Stewart said. "He's a good guy."

• West Virginia receiver Jock Sanders tied the school's career receptions record with his two-catch performance. He has 191, matching David Saunders (1995-98). He has caught a pass in 38 straight games.

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