The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

September 6, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: Bruce, Sims ready for Oklahoma game

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University linebacker Isaiah Bruce thinks Oklahoma redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight poses problems in Saturday night’s Big 12 clash in Norman, Okla.

“He definitely opens the door for a lot of things, and makes us have to play more sound,” the 6-foot-1, 231-pound redshirt sophomore said. “We just have to stay disciplined and do our part. Since there are so many options that he can take, and since he is a dual threat, we must play sound football and do our jobs.”

Bruce, who played in all 13 games as a college rookie, emphasized that on defense, everyone must stay on the same page.

“If one person does his own thing, or doesn’t get the call, the other team can go the other way for a touchdown,” Bruce said. “Everyone is only responsible for so much; no one should be thinking about someone else’s job. Everyone just has to do his part and not think about it too much.”

During the week, he said the defensive players reviewed on film the breakdowns they had in the season-opening 24-17 win against William & Mary, and made many corrections.

Bruce added that they continued going over those every day, hoping to avoid making the same mistakes against the Sooners.

Reads on Oklahoma QB Knight will be vital, according to the Mountaineer linebacker.

“We need to keep an eye on him that much more,” he said. “We can’t just keep an eye on the receivers.”

That’s because the quarterback is so quick, and he can run very well with the football.

“We need to get a jump on the receivers and look back and see what he (Knight) is doing,” Bruce reasoned.

“Our reaction time has to be fast.”

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Charles Sims, WVU’s leading rusher against William & Mary, is confident that the running game can be competitive against Oklahoma, which is 16th in both major polls.

“We’re going to go off the flow of the game,” said the senior transfer from Houston. “We’ll go with the game plan the coaches set for us, and we’re going out to compete.”

Sims, who netted 120 yards and one TD on 23 carries, admittedly found his debut as a Mountaineer very exciting. He said, “Getting to play at Mountaineer Field for the first time, it was great.”

But he believes it will be a big challenge for the Mountaineers at Oklahoma.

Sims isn’t sure how many times he can be called on. But he stressed, “I think we have a great group of guys. When I come out, they come in, and we don’t seem to miss a beat.”

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Mickey Furfari
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