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WVU wanted to rest Terry

Nehlen planned to take Terry off kick teams, but didn't want freshman Brown under pressure

by Joedy McCreary


MORGANTOWN -- One question hovered over West Virginia University coach Don Nehlen on Tuesday: Why was Nate Terry retuning punts at all last Saturday?

Nehlen said last week that Terry wouldn't return kicks against Maryland. But Terry dislocated his clavicle near his wind pipe while returning a punt.

Terry is expected to be out 10-12 weeks, Nehlen said.

"I didn't want Antonio Brown to catch that first punt," Nehlen said. "That's why we went with Nate early."

Nehlen hoped to wean Terry off the kick-return team once the Mountaineers took a big lead. But he never got a chance.

"We were going to try to work him off of the kick return team," Nehlen said. "We hoped we would go ahead (of Maryland) and switch him off ... We wanted to get him out of the game so he would be fresher on defense."

Brown, Amos Zereoue and Alvin Swoope could see time in Terry's absence at kick returner, with Brown and Perlo Bastien returning punts.

Terry's injury is the third key injury to WVU's defense, joining linebacker Gary Stills (broken kneecap) and safety Rick Sherrod (torn knee ligaments) as early-season casualties.

Reserve quarterback Andy Keating still hasn't practiced this season, Nehlen said.

Keating missed the team's entire preseason camp after being hospitalized with a viral infection. Doctors still don't know what's wrong with Keating, who was expected to battle Brad Lewis for the back-up quarterback's job, Nehlen said.

"He hasn't put a pad on yet," Nehlen said. "When it comes to stuff like that, I don't even like to think about it."

VERSATILE PLAYER: Defensive lineman Greg Robinette played all three defensive line positions against Maryland. And Nehlen said he looked impressive at all three.

And Osa Nosa, a 300-pound freshman defensive lineman, is coming around. But Nehlen said not to expect too much out of him just yet.

"Osa's a big body, but you've got to remember, he's still an 18-year-old kid," Nehlen said.

TWO-WAY PLAYER: In addition to wide receiver, Shawn Foreman theoretically could play defense, too, Nehlen said.

That is, if the Mountaineers played a "traditional" opponent.

"If we played against a team that had a split end, tight end and flanker, he could play defense," Nehlen said. "But nobody does that anymore."