MORGANTOWN -- Just how good is Idaho?
West Virginia coach Don Nehlen isn't sure. But he's warned his team not to overlook the Vandals, who invade Mountaineer Field this Saturday.
"If our football team doesn't line up and play as well as it can, we'll get one stuck in our ears, that's for sure," Nehlen said. "I do know this, Idaho has by far the best schemed offense we'll have seen so far."
Thus far, the Mountaineers have played teams much like themselves -- balanced offensively.
But the Vandals, led by quarterback John Welsh, will likely throw the ball 40-to-50 times.
"This team does everything you can think of," Nehlen said. "And if you don't have a great quarterback, you can't do what they do.
"They might come out with three, four or one wide receiver, one tight end, two tight ends or three tight ends, one back, two backs or no backs.
"And you don't know what they're going to do until they break the huddle and while you're trying to line up your defense, they're snapping the ball."
The Vandals bring a two-game winning streak into Saturday's clash.
Two weeks ago, they defeated PAC-10 foe Washington State and last week, Welsh threw six touchdown passes in a 56-7 win over Montana State.
The Vandals also played Washington tough for a half before succumbing 44-20.
"It's hard to get a gauge on how just good they are because they don't play anybody we play," Nehlen said. "But if they can beat Washington State and hang with Washington, then they must be pretty good."
On the other hand, Nehlen says Idaho is in the same predicament.
"They're probably having a hard time figuring out how good we are too, because they don't see Maryland or Boston College or Temple very often," Nehlen said. "And they'll probably come and arrest me for giving them misleading information.
"They probably thought we stuck a high school team in our uniforms against Temple, we made so many mistakes."
Another problem facing Nehlen this week is the availability of tailback Avon Cobourne. The sophomore runner reinjured his ankle against Temple last week.
"I really don't know right now what Avon's status is for this week," Nehlen said. "I don't honestly know.
"We've been giving Josh McMillen a lot of reps this week and I've seen a lot of improvement in him over the past few weeks."
McMillen rejoined the team this fall after concentrating on baseball for a few seasons.
"When you don't play for awhile, I wasn't sure how good he could be," Nehlen said. "But he's really coming a long fast.
"Who would have thought our second team tailback would be someone who wasn't even on our team this summer."
Cooper Rego, who has been outstanding in Cobourne's stead, will likely start.
Greg Talkington can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at email@example.com.