The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

October 12, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN - Stewart wary of ‘team from down south’

MORGANTOWN — Bill Stewart has been around long enough to remember how Woody Hayes treated Ohio State’s rivalry with Michigan.

No matter what, Hayes would not mention Michigan.

To Hayes, they were “that team up north”.

Well, this is Marshall week at West Virginia and Stewart, it appears, has vowed not to mention the school’s name, preferring instead when they were brought up to refer to them simply as “that team down south.”

Now he didn’t call Auburn “that team down south”, even though the good folks down in Huntington are Yankees compared to an Auburn team that hales from way down south in the land of cotton.

Auburn, you see, is “a team” down south, not “the team”, which is Marshall.

Oh, the Marshall people have made things tough on Stewart, for their best player is a Darius Marshall, who went into this weekend’s game against Tulane as the nation’s leading rusher. Stewart, rather than calling him “that running back down south”, which I guess he could have done, did refer to him as “Marshall.”

Stewart left no doubt that “that runner down south” who plays from “that team from down south” has captured his attention.

Asked about him, he offered the greatest praise he gives any opposing player.

“Wow,” he said.

That can be translated any of a number of ways, but in the “Stewartese” dialect it means “We’ve got to do something about him.”

Marshall, who failed to reach 100 yards Saturday, is now second in the nation, averaging 147.40 yards a game. West Virginia’s Noel Devine is third, averaging 126.60 yards a game.

But put them side by side per carry and each averages a healthy 6.4 yards per attempt.

Just because I know you are going to ask, Fresno State’s Ryan Mathews leads the nation with 148.20 yards a game while averaging 6.68 a carry, a scant inches more that Devine and “that runner from down south.”

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Bob Herzel
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