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Pastilong: Students will be back

by Joedy McCreary

SPORTS WRITER

MORGANTOWN -- About 7,000 seats reserved for West Virginia University students at Mountaineer Field went unclaimed Saturday.

But WVU athletic director Ed Pastilong said that's because of the opponent, lightly regarded Tulsa, not a backlash against a new seating policy.

"We didn't anticipate a large turnout of students because they

always choose the bigger games to attend," Pastilong said.

"The students I talked to were very complimentary of the plan."

WVU changed its student seating policy after last week's penalty-marred 42-20 win over Maryland, in which four golf balls and a whisky bottle were thrown onto the field.

The Tulsa game marked the first time in school history that students were assigned seats. To gain admission, students had to validate their IDs at the Coliseum.

As far as Pastilong is concerned, the policy is permanent.

"We plan on validating for the rest of the year," Pastilong said.

Students were seated in three upper-deck sections between the 30-yard lines, as well as two lower-level sections near the end zone. Five student sections were empty.

WVU reserves 11,500 seats for its students.

All students with valid IDs may attend home games.

Pastilong is confident that those seats will be full for the Oct. 24 Miami game.

"Overall, this is very accommodating for the students," Pastilong said.

"It's accountable and manageable. And they have the best seats in America. So long as (the students) work with us and cooperate, they'll be their seats."

CALL THE DOCTOR: West Virginia's injury report has become a "Who's Who" on the Mountaineer team.

The story of the season so far, injuries claimed two casualties Saturday.

Fullback Anthony Green and nose guard Charlton Forbes left Saturday's game prematurely.

Green left with a sprained ankle, and Forbes had a problem with his knee, coach Don Nehlen said. The extent of the injuries was not yet known, Nehlen said.

Wes Ours played the entire game at fullback, primarily in a blocking role.

RECORD-BREAKER: Jay Taylor set a WVU record with his 86th consecutive extra-point during the third quarter Saturday. He broke Paul Woodside's record of 85.

Taylor has not missed a conversion kick in his three years as WVU's kicker.

He also kicked field goals of 22, 31 and 40 yards.