SI Vault
Gene Menez
August 21, 2006
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August 21, 2006

6 West Virginia

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Slaton is not the only one. Because West Virginia has proved to be so effective at running the ball out of the spread (last year the Mountaineers ranked fourth in the country in rushing offense with 272.4 yards per game), more than 400 high school coaches and 30 Division I staffs descended upon Morgantown in the off-season trying to learn a thing or two about the attack.

Any fact-finding mission in Morgantown starts with Slaton and quarterback Pat White, a fellow sophomore who finished second in that 60-yard dash. Their speed makes the running game difficult to defend, and how they perform could determine whether the Mountaineers will play for the national title or fail to meet expectations, as they did two years ago when at least one high-profile analyst picked them to play for the championship. ( West Virginia went 8-4.) "This year is totally different," senior center Dan Mozes says. "We have superstars in Steve and Pat, but those superstars have played for only one year. They're not worried about going to the next level yet. They have their heads in the right place."

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