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Stewart: Louisville is explosive

November 17, 2010
By JOHN WICKLINE, Staff Writer

MORGANTOWN - To hear the conversations of Louisville coach Charlie Strong and his West Virginia counterpart Bill Stewart, it would sound like an echo.

"They have enough playmakers that they pose a lot of problems," Strong said about WVU.

"They're explosive. They make plays, and they're big-time game breakers," Stewart said about Louisville.

The two problem-causing offenses will take to the field at noon Saturday in Louisville.

The game, which is the final home game for the Cardinals, is a sell-out, and it will be televised on the Big East Conference Network.

The two teams need a victory for various reasons. Louisville, 5-5 overall, needs one to become bowl eligible, and the Cardinals have only WVU and a game the following Friday at Rutgers remaining.

WVU, 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big East, needs the victory to stay in the hunt for the conference title. It also needs to show it can win away from Morgantown, where the team is 1-2 this season. The only road win was a come-back victory in overtime against Marshall.

The Cardinals are led by senior running back Bilal Powell, who has run for 1,207 yards this season despite missing a game. He has recorded six 100-yard games, and he needs just 223 yards in his final two games to set the school's single-season rushing record.

"He's the heartbeat of that offense," Stewart said. "He's tough to bring down."

He and junior Victor Anderson will challenge a WVU defense ranked third nationally in terms of allowing points and seventh against the run. The Mountaineers have not given up more than 20 points in a single game this season, the only team in the country to lay claim to that accomplishment.

"(We can't) let someone else dictate what we do," Strong said. "We have to line up and block them."

WVU also has a player in pursuit of a school record. Coming off a game in which he caught a season-best six passes, Jock Sanders needs just three more catches over the next three games to pass David Saunders on the all-time receiving list.

Sanders has also caught at least one pass in 37 straight contests, the second longest streak in school history (behind Khori Ivy's 40) and the third longest in Big East history. Rutgers Brian Leonard holds that streak with 47.

"The catches he has made for us have been phenomenal," Stewart said. "How could that not put a smile on your face when one of your guys has success."



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