October 29, 2006

WVU kick game makes big plays

MORGANTOWN--One of the most important plays of last year's WVU 46-44 victory over Louisville in triple overtime here was what amounted to an onsides kick that the Mountaineers recovered. Tailback Steve Slaton continued on his record setting 6-touchdown pace and the rest is history.

The onsides play was controversial in that Mountaineers' coverage man Aaron Meckstroth, a senior this year, was at first ruled to have interfered with what officials first termed was a Louisville return man, then later reversed to rule as a U of L blocker. WVU was awarded the ball and then ultimately made its way to a Sugar Bowl.

Later, the play was reversed meaninglessly by the Big East office. A release from Providence, R.I., after the game said that the call should have stood. Meckstroth should have been flagged for interfering. The Cards should have been rewarded the ball, or at least the kick should have taken place again.

To this day, WVU special teams coordinator Bill Stewart stands by his--and the officials' --reinterpretation on the field. That the U of L player was indeed trying to block for the Cardinal return man and therefore, Meckstroth, again this year a head hunter on the Mountaineers" Big East-leading coverage team, had a right to "run through him."

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