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Several players get chance to shine in WVU's blowout win

by Dan Shrensky

CORRESPONDENT

MORGANTOWN -- A 59-0 lead, one would imagine, would be enough to allow even Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly to relax.

But WVU freshman linebacker Shane Graham admits his extensive playing time in the Mountaineers' 80-7 rout over Rutgers was anything but stress free. Graham, who has played mainly on special teams this year, was on the field almost the entire second half.

"I knew I couldn't screw up a 66-0 lead so I wasn't as worried but I was still real nervous. I don't know why," Graham said. "I was shaking out on the field. I guess that's natural. It was my first game."

Graham, who had three tackles and a fumble recovery -- one of eight Knights' turnovers -- wasn't the only reserve to benefit from the blowout.

On defense, true freshman Jahmile Addae, who debuted in the Mountaineers' loss to Miami 10 days ago, also received a long look while defensive backs James Woodruff and O'Randai Cox, linebackers Adam Lehnortt and Quentin Swain and lineman Ben Lynch were given late opportunities.

"It gives you a lot of confidence for next year to see a guy like Jahmile Addae go in there and make plays," Graham said. "We've got a lot of hope for the next few years."

On offense, four WVU players scored either their first touchdown of the season or of their career. They included wide receiver Miquelle Henderson and running backs Cassell Smith, Cooper Rego and Quincy Wilson.

Henderson, a true freshman, caught a 4-yard pass from Brad Lewis to give the Mountaineers a 52-0 lead in the second quarter. A Rutgers breakdown left Henderson, who had had one catch on the season, uncovered.

"It was just a recognition," Henderson said. "We were going to run a play to my side but when Brad saw that nobody was covering me we looked at each other and we knew right then it was a quick pass."

Smith, a sophomore who has moved up the depth chart to become the No. 2 superback, scored on a 2-yard run and a 27-yard pass from Lewis in the first half.

Late in the third quarter, Rego rambled for a 51-yard score. Wilson matched that gain on the Mountaineers' next possession but didn't make his way into the end zone on that play. That came a few minutes later when he broke free for a 60-yard TD, his first of the season.

Wilson's knee appeared to hit the ground just before the goal line but the run was ruled a score.

"I saw the replay and it could have gone both ways but I'll take the touchdown," said the sophomore, who missed last season with a knee injury.

Wilson had not scored since 1999, when he took in a 19-yard run against the Knights.

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