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CURRENT STORIES


Harris to see more time in WVU backfield

by Greg Talkington

SPORTS WRITER

West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said highly touted junior college transfer Kay-Jay Harris will see more playing time this Saturday against Cincinnati.

Harris rushed for 78 yards on eight carries in WVU's 48-7 victory over East Carolina Saturday night on the road in his first extensive action.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound running back seemed more excited about his contributions on special teams following the game, which didn't surprise Rodriguez.

"He's just been begging us to get on the kickoff team," Rodriguez said. "He just wants to contribute any way he can.

"Sometimes it's hard to live up to all of the hype, but Kay-Jay is a competitor."

Rodriguez said the No. 2 running back position behind Quincy Wilson is still up for grabs.

"It's still wide open," Rodriguez said. "I thought Kay-Jay ran harder and with his pads lower than he has in practice and he competed well.

"But he's still learning as far as the offense goes, but we're going to make an effort to get him on the field more because he can help us."

The Mountaineers played six different backs against East Carolina, with all showing positive results.

BIG WIN FOR BC: Following its disappointing loss to Wake Forest at home in the season's opener, Boston College bounced back with an impressive, 27-14 win over Penn State Saturday before 106,000 fans in Happy Valley.

The final score doesn't indicate just how much the Eagles dominated the Nittany Lions.

"We played much better and made tremendous strides," BC coach Tom O'Brien said. "It was impressive to go in there and beat a good team, especially coming off such a disappointing loss.

"I think the game was televised (ABC) to 75 percent of the country, so it does give us good exposure too."

TRIPLE TIME: For the third time in its last 10 games, Syracuse was involved in a triple overtime game.

The Orangemen rallied from a big deficit on the road to tie North Carolina in the final seconds of regulation, and then stopped a two-point conversion pass in the third overtime for a 49-47 win.

"Our offense kept us in the game," said Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni. "But in the fourth quarter, our defense never gave up a point and that allowed us to make the comeback.

"Then Kelvin Smith, a redshirt freshman, made a great play on tackling their guy on a shovel pass around the one yardline to stop them from tying the game. We were one foot away from being in four overtimes."

Last season, Syracuse lost at Auburn 37-34 in triple overtime while defeating Virginia Tech 50-42 in the Carrier Dome.

EMBARRASSING LOSS: One week after outplaying Penn State at Happy Valley in a 23-10 loss, Temple showed why it probably won't get an offer to stay in the league when it expands following the 2004 season.

The Owls were beaten by fellow Philadelphia school, I-AA power Villanova by a 23-20 count in double overtime.

"It's heartbreaking and very disappointing," Temple coach Bobby Wallace. "Whether it will hurt us in the long run, I don't know.

"We had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but a couple of penalties really hurt us."

The Owls had a first-and-goal at the seven, but ended up having to kick a field goal to tie the game because of the penalties.

Temple also had a long touchdown called back in the second quarter.

"We could have gone up 14-0 at that point, and you can't help but feel we could have gained control of the game," Wallace said.

THIS WEEK: In addition to Cincinnati at West Virginia, other games involving Big East teams include Miami (2-0) hosting East Carolina (7 p.m., ESPN2); Pitt (1-0) hosting Ball State (12:30 p.m.); Rutgers (1-1) at Army (3:30 p.m.); Syracuse (1-0) plays host to Louisville; Boston College (1-1) at future Big East foe Connecticut (noon); while Virginia Tech (2-0) and Temple (0-2) are idle.

Sports writer Greg Talkington can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at gtalkington@exponent-telegram.com