MORGANTOWN - West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart said it seems like it's been an eternity since his Mountaineers have played a game, and he is anxiously awaiting kickoff for Saturday's contest against Nevada-Las Vegas.
"After a loss, it seems like an eternity," Stewart said Monday. "These players want to get out there in the arena and make amends."
The Mountaineers, 3-1, have not played since the Sept. 25 loss at louisiana State.
The time off has allowed some nagging injuries to heal, especially the toe of running back Noel Devine.
He suffered a bone bruise to his big toe in the loss to LSU, and he will now be wearing a specially fitted pad in his shoe to alleviate the pressure.
"He wants to get healthy as much as the next guy," Stewart said. "We're going to run him enough to win the football game. If he can't go, we have to go with Plan B. I want to win the football game as convincingly as I can, and Noel needs the work."
Stewart said Plan B, at least as of now, does not consist of moving receivers Jock Sanders or Tavon Austin to running back. Stewart said freshman Tre Johnson has had some solid practices of late, as has Shawne Alston. Ryan Clarke could also see action as a running back, with Matt Lindamood seeing more time at fullback.
Injured offensive lineman Josh Jenkins is still a question mark, Stewart said. Jenkins, who had work done on his knee, could be ready to play by Saturday. But Stewart knows the Big East Conference opener against South Florida looms a mere five days afterward. The coach has stated he would prefer to have his starters fully healthy when South Florida comes to town.
Kickoff for the UNLV game is set for 3:30 p.m., and the game will be televised by the Big East Conference network.