By Mickey Furfari
For the Times West Virginian
West Virginia University wide receiver Stedman Bailey needs just seven more yards to break the school’s single-season record.
The 5-foot-10, 192-pound sophomore from Miami, has caught 57 passes for 1,037 yards and 10 touchdowns in 10 games. David Saunders set the yardage record with 1,043 in 1996.
Dana Holgorsen, WVU’s first-year head coach, admits that he is not surprised.
He said, “(Bailey’s) consistency was one of the things I questioned coming into year. You could tell that he had ability to make plays and be a good player.
“Last year he was very spotty in that. In fall camp, he was pretty consistent. But until you do it throughout the course of a season, you can’t really tell.
“So I’ve been happy with his consistency.”
Bailey hopes to break the record in next week’s regular-season home finale against Pitt, then build on the new standard at South Florida on Dec. 1.
The Mountaineers (7-3, 3-2 Big East) also are eligible for a bowl bid.
“We’ll get (Bailey) a year better (in 2012), and he’ll be even better consistently and more dynamic next year,” Holgorsen said.
Bailey’s biggest reception covered 84 yards. He had one for 56 yards in last Saturday’s 24-21 victory over Cincinnati away from home.
Bailey has set a record for most consecutive 100-yard games with five and now owns seven 100-yard performances.
While Bailey leads the Mountaineers in yardage and touchdowns, Tavon Austin is the leader in reception with 72.
But the 5-foot-9, 174-pound junior from Baltimore has gained only 907 yards and scored four times. His longest reception covered 72 yards.
Ivan McCartney, a sophomore from Miami, ranks third among the receivers. He has 43 catches for 556 yards and has scored three touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Geno Smith continues to lead the Big East in passing and ranks among the nation’[s leaders.
He’s also closing in on WVU single-season records.
Smith has completed 269 of 417 passes for 3,497 yards and 24 touchdowns.