Coach Rich Rodriguez doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with West Virginia University’s potent running attack that fundamental improvement wouldn’t cure.

In Saturday’s 27-10 victory at East Carolina, the fourth-ranked Moun-taineers (4-0) were limited to a net of just 153 yards rushing. That reduced their average of 348.7 yards for three games to 299.8 for four outings.

Rodriguez certainly is aware that future foes might try a similar scheme to contain tailback Steve Slaton after seeing the game tape.

“But I’m not overly concerned,” he said Monday on the Big East coaches’ weekly teleconference. “People have been playing us for several years and they know what system we’re going to run.

“Maybe they’ll incorporate some of that stuff in their game plan. But I think a lot of times schemes are overrated.

“Yeah, we can make adjustments here and there on either side of the ball. But, to be honest, I don’t think we need to do a whole lot of adjusting.”

Rodriguez thinks it’s more about players making plays on both sides of the ball. He noted that WVU had more first downs (22) than ECU and completed 17 of 24 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns.

“So it was a lot of execution issues at times that really stopped us in certain places in that game,” the Mountaineer mentor said. “But you’ve got to give (the Pirates) credit as well.”

With an open week before its next game at Mississippi State, WVU has plenty of time to work on what may be needed to offset what ECU did against the run.

Rodriguez said, “I just think we need to become fundamentally better.”

That’s essentially what the coaches will stress in this week’s practice sessions.

“We’ll tell them: Just get fundamentally better on both sides of the ball,” he said. “If we do that, then we will become a better football team.”

While running still is the staple of the WVU offense, quarterback Patrick White and a stronger receiving corps are proving that passing remains a key part.

Rodriguez praised the big-play production of Darius Reynaud, who returns kicks as well as catch passes.

He raced 60 yards with a screen pass early in the fourth quarter against ECU. That widened the lead to 24-10.

“Darius has been outstanding and made some big plays this year and last year,” he said. “He’s made some nice catches and he’s made some nice runs.

“He helps us on kickoff returns, too. He’s becoming more of a complete player. But he’s gotta get better without the ball. He’s a competitive guy.”

In reply to a question, Rodriguez said he’s never concerned whether his team measured up to its ranking in any particular game.

“I don’t worry about the rankings at all,” he emphasized. “I’m never going to get to the point where I think you have to look a certain way just because you’re ranked.”

He thinks early polls are premature anyway and get an opponent fired up for a highly ranked team.

After grading the ECU game tape, WVU coaches named these weekly award winners:

Ryan Stanchek, offensive champion; Reed Williams, defensive champion; Pat McAfee, special teams champion.

Scout team champions — Sam Morrone (offense), Justin Blankenship (defense), Anthony Leonard (special teams).

Hammer Award — Maxwell Anderson.

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