Mountaineer football coach Bill Stewart liked the way his team fought back at the end of the 24-21 overtime win at Marshall last Friday, but said his West Virginia University team needs to find a way to get a good jump out of the starting blocks.
"It was great comeback for our youngsters," Stewart said during Monday's Big East Conference coaches teleconference. "They hung in there when things didn't go their way early."
WVU, 2-0, faces unbeaten Maryland in Morgantown at noon Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Maryland enters the game following a hard-fought victory over Navy and what Stewart called "a dismantling" of Morgan State.
"They are hitting on all cylinders," he said. "It will be a real chore for us."
WVU officials announced the series between the border-rival schools will be continued for two more years beyond next season's game in Maryland. The series will be a home-and-home venue.
"It's a good rivalry, and they have been a nemesis for us since 1980," Stewart said.
WVU running back Noel Devine was named the Big East Conference's Offensive Player of the Week after his 112-yard rushing performance that included a touchdown against Marshall. It was the 17th game in Devine's career in which he eclipsed the 100-yard barrier. Linebacker Najee Good was listed on the conference's Honor Roll for his defensive performance that saw him make 10 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage.
Rutgers safety Joe Lefeged turned in a double-double performance in the Scarlet Knights' dramatic win over Florida International. Lefeged was named as both Defensive and Special Teams Player of the Week, marking the first time the same player has won both awards in the same week. Syracuse's Diamond Ferri was named the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 29, 2004.
"Joe played a tremendous game, and thank goodness he did," said Rutgers coach Greg Schiano on Monday. "It allowed us to stay in the game and win at the end."
A three-year starter in the defensive backfield, Lefeged was credited with six tackles and an interception. He also separated two runners from the football and blocked two punts, one of which set up Rutgers' game-winning touchdown.
"He created plays," Schiano said. "The plays weren't just plays setting on the table that came to him. He stripped two players of the football himself."
WVU athletic department officials also announced Monday that the Sept. 25 game at LSU will be televised by ESPN2 at 9 p.m.