RB Kay-Jay Harris (Photo credit: All-Pro Photography by Dale Sparks)

2003 Statistics

Coach: Rich Rodriguez
20-17, 3 years
2003 Record: 8-5
at East Carolina WON 48-7
at Maryland LOST 7-34
at Miami FL LOST 20-22
UCF WON 36-18
at Boston College WON 35-28
at Syracuse WON 34-23
Maryland LOST 7-41

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Here we go, into head coach Rich Rodriguez' fourth season of his second tenure at the Mountaineer helm. Losing four of five to start '03 had most WVU fans flipping the calendar to September 2004. But winning their next seven and the Big East proved they have the right man as skipper and that 2004 is a year West Virginia will succeed, not struggle.

You could hopefully follow the logic Rodriguez utilizes to mastermind both his offense and defense - use unconventional approaches to actually put forth a rather conservative scheme that smacks of flare, but achieves helmet-to-helmet match ups that produce results. Miami could only muster a 22-20 win, and the one-dimensional Pitt Panthers never caught up to their creative schemes and dead-on execution. Only Maryland showed a pension for stopping the WVU squad on both sides, and this year they come into Morgantown for some sweet revenge (yes, I am calling this one right now a WVU win).

This will be a watershed year for WVU football. Extreme success will catapult the Mountaineers into enough national respect/recognition that recruiting classes for years to come will have their top stars be attracted to their program and coach. This is how powerhouses and dynasties begin. WVU has proven to be an upstart in years past, too, so the follow-through here is essential in 2004 so the momentum can continue for such exponential growth.

But, more over, the team will succeed in picking up right where they did as the regular season ended. Marshall and Harris will provide enough dimensional differences that defenses will be hard pressed in stopping each/both. Defensively, the unit will keep things just spiced up enough so opponents cannot get into any grooves. Only the secondary can keep the entire team from getting to those needed next levels. WVU classically ends strong, but this time they will start strong, too.

Projected 2004 record: 8-3
QB - 3.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Rasheed Marshall, 215-109-8, 1729 yds., 15 TD

Rushing: Kay-Jay Harris, 91 att., 524 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Chris Henry, 41 rec., 1006 yds.

Scoring: Brad Cooper, 11-18 FG, 46-48 FG, 79 pts.

Punting: Rasheed Marshall, 6 punts, 28.8 avg.

Kicking: Brad Cooper, 11-18 FG, 46-48 FG, 43 long

Tackles: Adam Lehnortt, 139 tot., 74 solo, 13 TFL

Sacks: Jason Hardee, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Brian King, 6 for 35 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Adam Jones, 33 ret., 26.3 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Adam Jones, 16 ret., 6.1 avg.


WR Chris Henry (Photo credit: All-Pro Photography by Dale Sparks)
OFFENSE: Travis Garvin-WR, Tory Johnson-TE, Quincy Wilson-SB, Moe Fofana-FB
DEFENSE: Leandre Washington-SS, Brian King-FS, Lance Frazier-CB, Grant Wiley-LLB, Fred Blueford-DE, Todd James-P

This is an area of key concern for any Mountaineer fan. QB Rasheed Marshall can be a real Jekyll-and-Hyde act. The ladder half of the season produced heroics and improvising that will again be seen, guaranteed. But his Hyde half comes out when he throws INTs at close to a 4% rate and has the entire passing offense ranked 105th, though the ladder fact is a misnomer when you see that he was the nation's 37th-best in efficiency. Marshall will again have those super-human days, but his 50% accuracy rate tells you how bad he must be when it goes south for him on a given Saturday. But he ran it over 100 times in '03 while only throwing it 202, so realize how often he scrambles/runs/takes off if all is covered, and watch WVU games carefully or risk being distracted during some amazing plays when he has the ball in his hands and improvises the needed things for success. Marshall was strong in the Miami loss, and then in the huge Pitt and Syracuse wins. He is a senior, so we expect much more consistency from Marshall for the entire slate. Defenses beware - this guy can make it happen quickly and effortlessly when all his skills are firing. His backup, Charles Hales is also a senior, meaning another backup will rotate in besides these two so 2005 can be covered. Hales, too, runs and passes well to fit perfectly into the offense, so nothing really changes as defenses must always have all guards up when facing either.

Running Back
Senior Kay-Jay Harris is an improvement from Quincy Wilson, period. This will be a debate for WVU fans, but answer any lingering questions now, for Harris will increase the backfield's output and have defenders crowding the box. His size and speed, along with his long jump abilities (won four state long jump titles, 247" best), validate why Kay-Jay rarely loses yards. His 5.8 yards per carry is proof of how Harris will compliment perfectly Marshall's ambiguities - LBs who want to stay home due to Harris will leave underneath areas open, and, if play-calling is executed well….well… A lack of swing and screen passes has much to do with why the air dimension in 2003 was ranked so lowly - the entire team could use the RBs to get more tosses their way. Look for fellow-long jumper Jason Colson to become more than just a third-down back, for this streamlined bullet is the heir-apparent to the rotating ball-carrying legacy at WVU.

Wide Receiver
This is another area of natural and complimentary talent, given West Virginia's passing results by volume. Ponder this wild stat: only one receiver had more than 20 catches, but the team averaged over eight yards per pass attempt and nearly 16 yards per catch! Chris Henry will again stretch defenses - his 24.5 yards per catch average led the nation for WRs with more than 40 catches. Two other starters are back, so look for the ability of this crew to achieve in Rodriguez' offense even better, especially if last season's second half is any indication. Look out for Kay-Jay out of the backfield - he averaged 22 yards per catch for his five grabs in '03. Use him more this way, please!!!

Tight End
Multi-talented Josh Bailey has the talent to snarl passes, but the three touches last season's starting TE got indicate this will not be a talent-position in the 2004 campaign. The junior Bailey could easily do the same as what we recommended the RB position could for the air game, and that is open it up for that much more effectiveness. Look for this position's players to be decoys at best for pass schemes, but impacting downfield blockers at least for the run.

Offensive Line
Besides Marshall, the entire line becomes the most valuable asset the Mountaineers have. The line may prove that Harris is the offenses' MVP, but that, cyclically, would just prove their worth that much more. All five guys are back from a line that plowed for 4.5 yards per rush and only allowed 14 sacks. The inside is as big as they need to be while still having that pulling ability to make roll-outs and sweeps big gainers. All dimensions on this WVU offense are better just due to these beef-eaters. Little is behind them, so all have to stay healthy for such levels to be achieved.

You can look for most any "option" when the center snaps the ball. Marshall will have an arsenal of personal acrobatics and effective cast-mates who can make all cylinders click at any moment. The bottom rankings for the air dimension are brought to conclusive ends when you realize their 105th-ranked passing offense was more realistically 31st in pass efficiency. These guys may not pile voluminous amounts of yards via passes, but defenses will be challenged to stop them for sixty minutes. In the three-receiver sets Rich Rodriguez employed in his previous three campaigns, more often the run was utilized. The only difference is the experience of Marshall, which will mean the 2003 12-to-5 ratio of running to passing will likely even off for a balance of closer to 60-40. If we are wrong, then it will be upon the extreme effectiveness of the run and that will be a good mistake on our part for WVU's sake, for it will mean they are winning and controlling the clock as they do.


QB Rasheed Marshall (Photo credit: All-Pro Photography by Dale Sparks)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Rasheed Marshall-Sr (6-1, 190) Charles Hales-Sr (6-0, 200)
Adam Bednarik-Fr (6-2, 220)
SB Kay-Jay Harris-Sr (6-1, 240) Jason Colson-So (6-0, 200)
Hikee Johnson-Sr (6-11, 200) (FB)
WR Chris Henry-Jr (6-4, 200) Brandon Myles-Jr (6-2, 185)
WR Eddie Jackson-Sr (6-4, 225) Dee Alston-Jr (5-11, 175)
WR Miquelle Henderson-Sr (6-2, 205) Rayshawn Bolden-So (6-4, 200)
TE Josh Bailey-Jr (6-5, 260) Ryan Thomas-Sr (6-7, 250)
John Pennington-Sr (5-9, 185) (H)
OT Mike Watson-Sr (6-4, 305) Josh Stewart-Jr (6-6, 300)
OG Dan Mozes-So (6-3, 290) Jeremy Moore-So (6-2, 255)
C Jeremy Hines-So (6-2, 285) Zac Napier-Fr (6-3, 295)
OG Jeff Berk-Sr (6-5, 280) Jeremy Sheffey-So (6-3, 285)
OT Garin Justice-Jr (6-7, 305) Tim Brown-Sr (6-5, 300)
K Brad Cooper-Sr (6-3, 180) Andy Good-Fr (5-10, 170)
Miquelle Henderson....me-QUEL Adam Bednarik....bud-NARE-ick
Hikee Johnson....HIGH-kee
Zac Napier....NAY-pee-yur



Defensive Line
The Mountaineers employ a three-man front. This proves worthy in occupying opposing linemen, but little for pressure applied purely from their linemen (only 17 sacks in '03). But effective they are! And the entire group, like their offensive brethren, is back. This group anchored a run-stopping approach that kept play in front of them, and penetrated as needed, too. The short version is this - they achieve what they set out to do. Each of the returners seems interchangeable, from size to stats. All three play as the competent unit that allowed the longest 2003 run from scrimmage to be only 43 yards and a mere 13 TDs. Expect more, and you will see it, trust us.

Here is another dimension that will be even stronger than the one preceding it. Two of the three starters return. This unit will again be the glue that keeps this side of the ball together. They are a mobile unit that stops the run well, even with its smaller stature. The scheme on D means they find the play as the line occupies opposing big men, meaning LBs get big number and are essential to everything for stoppage. The smallest of the bunch, senior Scott Gyorko, appropriately plays the biggest of them all. Each LB is balanced in approach, as all can tell whether run or pass innately and respond as a swarm. The parity amongst the front-four and the LBs will make for consistent results.

Defensive Back
The extra-backed WVU secondary is the team's weakest link for experience. But for how they will perform - marginally well - this is not that bad of a situation in which to be. Many teams will have many worse problems. Junior Adam Jones is good enough that he most always turns to the ball for the needed playmaking. Little gets by him. Similarly for his position, fellow-junior Mike Lorello will need to become the leader he has yet to be through the example of his magnet-like effect in being attracted to wherever the ball is. That mouthful is only proven through the stat line you will have to look up on him. The five-back approach will be effective, but will have to improve quickly so the Big East schedule will not hurt them early on in the '04 slate.

The '03 DBs that ranked 104th in pass-defense seem to have many of the same qualities, too, of their offensive WR-brethren. Their 45th-ranking in pass-efficiency defense translates more of what really happened on the field. This means that they prove what we claim from the other two defensive units, and that is, that all on this side of the ball keep the play in front of them for optimum results. Predictably, teams passed for modest gains when they failed enough on the ground. Think about this - teams passed at nearly twice the rate as the Mountaineers, yet WVU gave up merely 18 passing TDs and barely over 11 yards per completion. You will find similarly patterned results in '04. Opposing teams may succeed here and there, but WVU will use their creative 3-3-5 scheme to thwart opponent's offensive drives with more consistency and therefore even more successes will occur.


CB Adam Jones (PHOTO CREDIT - Pete Emerson)


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Ben Lynch-Sr (6-4, 265) Pat Liebig-So (6-3, 250)
Keilen Dykes-Fr (6-3, 260)
NT Craig Wilson-So (6-1, 275) Mike Villagrana-Fr (6-2, 260)
DE Ernest Hunter-Jr (6-3, 275) Jason Hardee-Sr (6-3, 280)
Warren Young-So (6-2, 285)
LLB Scott Gyorko-Sr (6-0, 210) Jeff Noechel-Jr (6-1, 220)
MLB Mark Magro-Fr (6-2, 230) Jay Henry-So (6-2, 225)
RLB Adam Lehnortt-Sr (6-3, 235) Kevin McLee-So (6-1, 245)
CB Adam Jones-Jr (5-10, 190) Davanzo Tate-Fr (5-10, 175)
CB Anthony Mims-Jr (6-0, 185) Larry Williams-Fr (6-0, 175)
Vaughn Rivers-Fr (5-8, 165)
BAN Lawrence Audena-Sr (5-11, 200) Mike Henshaw-Sr (5-10, 195)
Jules Montinar-Fr (6-1, 190)
FS Jahmile Addae-Jr (5-11, 200) Vince Beamer-Fr (6-1, 200)
Ridwan Malik-Fr (6-1, 190)
BS Mike Lorello-Jr (6-1, 200) Abraham Jones-So (5-11, 190)
P Eric Daugherty-So (5-11, 195) Phil Brady-Jr (5-9, 180)
Scott Gyorko....JERK-oh
Mark Magro....May-grow
Adam Lehnortt....lenn-NORT
Lawrence Audena....ah-DEE-nuh
Jahmile Addae....juh-mall ah-DIE
Mike Lorello....lore-RELL-oh
PAT Liebig....LEE-big
Keilen Dykes....KEE-len
Mike Villagrana....Vil-lah-gran-uh
Jeff Noechel....No-chull
Davanzo Tate....duh-vawn-zoe
Jules Montinar....MON-tih-nar
Ridwan Malik....mah-LEEK




Senior Brad Cooper will make for some sleepless nights before big games. He is consistent, going 10-for-11 from inside the 40, and 1-for-7 from outside the 40 in 2003. A game or two will be decided by such factors, so figure this to be a weakness until proven results show otherwise.

As of spring ball commencing, West Virginia has only one punter, Phil Brady, on their roster. We will try to tell more of this developing area, but little is know before more show their wares.

Return Game
Adam Jones and Kay-Jay are in line for these posts, but Kay-Jay is easily replaceable seeing he is the starting RB. Jones is strong from the running start, in other words, on kickoffs, but less strong on punts.


The Mr. Hyde (see quarterbacks section above) in Rasheed Marshall came out in the spring game as he and the first-team offense struggled considerably. Backups Charles Hales and Adam Bednarik were a bit more impressive in the passing game, making crisp throws and sound judgments in their reads and progressions. WR Chris Henry picked right up from where he left off - consistent highlights from his receiver spot make him the premier outside threat for WVU. As expected, the receivers were the strength of the offense this spring and this unit will maintain that status entering the fall. Kay Jay Harris gave on-lookers every reason to believe that WVU will have yet another all-Big East runner, as he reeled off 115 yards on 15 carries- that's not counting a 92-yard TD jaunt that was called back for holding. Placekicking was also a plus as Brad Cooper and Andy Good were impressive in their duties.

The defense had the upper hand all spring; gaining some needed confidence heading into the fall. RSF MLB Marc Magro is proving he's ready to play. The youngster was quite active around the ball this spring and solidified his starting role. Magro got help from his athletic defensive cohorts, who did a great job of keeping the offense out of their comfort zone. OLB Bobby Hathaway (a walk-on) opened a lot of eyes, showing much activity on the field, and great work ethic (well, he's a walk-on, so that should be implied). He's a guy who made big plays all spring and will give the Mountaineers a solid back-up or an extra body when they line-up in a four LB set.

WR Brandon Barrett (fr)
TE Louis Davis (fr)
OLB Bobby Hathaway (rsf)
DT Tyree Suber (fr)