October 11, 2006

Rod focuses on penalties and special teams in PC

MORGANTOWN--Penalties and special teams review were the keystones of head coach Rich Rodriguez's media remarks Tuesday afternoon at the Puskar Center.

Off its 11-flag, 132-yard penalty excursion at Starkville's Scott Field Saturday, WVU now ranks dead last in the Big East Conference with an average 83.4 yards in flags in its 5-0 season.

Rodriguez made a deal about the costliest of the infractions coming at Mississippi State on third downs, which permitted the Bulldogs (1-5) with six first downs, by his count, on arguably football's most important snap. He said the Mountaineers (ranked 4th in the Coaches Poll, 5th in the AP) gave the Bullies seven first downs in all by flag.

Yet while Rod has hammered away in three days at a costly hold and pass interference, his thoughts Monday turned to questionable calls.

One in particular he questioned was a personal foul of middle linebacker-SWAT team defensive end Marc Magro, maybe the first ever for the Morgantown junior. He said tape of the foul was sent to Big East league offices in Providence, R.I., for review. Requesting review of questionable calls is routine for all league coaches. Analyzing a decision on a call by an officiating crew hopefully gives coaches like Rodriguez a better analysis of why a crew made a call.

The coach admitted that every officiating staff in the Big East has its own set of interpretations. Big East refs were at Starkville and obviously will be on hand Saturday, noon, in Morgantown when 3-3 overall, 0-1 Syracuse comes to town on the Big East televised game of the week.

"Penalties -- there's some of them, like Marc Magro. He's not the kind of guy . . . he's a smart guy. He had a personal foul penalty. The roughing the quarterback one (on Magro); that's close and so we want see what the Big East thinks about it. Should he have done it? No, but it wasn't malicious. He's close enough you think, 'OK, Marc, you gotta be careful.' I don't question his ability to get that corrected if that was truly a penalty.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!