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WVU is back to basics

Paul Schofield
| Friday, Sept. 7, 2001

It has been back to basics for West Virginia this week, according to linebacker Kyle Kayden.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior captain said the Mountaineers defense, which was not prepared for the option offense at Boston College last week, will be ready for anything in Saturday's home opener against Ohio University.

Don't expect the Mountaineers (0-1) to be fooled again by the option, especially considering Ohio (0-1) runs an option attack. Kickoff at Mountaineer Field is slated for 1 p.m.

'We're getting ready for the option,' Kayden said. 'And we're getting Antwan (Lake) back. That should help.

'We have to be ready for anything. Ohio will run the ball four or five times in a row, and then throw. Our defensive backs have to be ready for their passing attack.'

The Mountaineers defense must contain Ohio's wishbone attack, which features quarterback Dontrell Jackson and running backs Chad Brinker and Jamal Patterson.

Ohio opened the season Aug. 30 with a last second 31-29 loss at Akron in its Mid-American Conference opener.

Kayden said the defense worked on the option before the Boston College game, but they didn't expect the Eagles to run it.

'We didn't play well in the second half,' Kayden said. 'We seemed to run out of gas after (William) Green's 67-yard touchdown run.

'They caught us in a couple bad defenses, and they broke through. Other than five plays for 170 yards, I thought we played.'

Losing defensive back Shawn Hackett and linebacker Grant Wiley also hurt the West Virginia defense. Without the Mountaineers' two leading tacklers, Green and his Eagles teammates rolled up some huge rushing numbers.

Kayden said with Hackett and Wiley missing from the lineup this week, other players must perform well.

'If someone goes down, someone else has to step up,' Kayden said. 'We're trying to pick it up for them.

'I think we have a real good defense. We didn't show it that much last week. We have to make plays and tackle better. We can't let them run in our secondary.'

He said as long as everyone reads their keys, they should be able to handle the tricky Ohio offense.

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