Not fazed by bad game

WVU running back Steve Slaton heads for the end zone in the Mountaineers’ win over Maryland earlier this season.

That he rushed for only 80 yards and failed to score a touchdown in the 28-10 victory at East Carolina didn’t really bother West Virginia University’s Steve Slaton.

“The way people look at that, it’s a bad game for me,” the 5-10, 190-pound sophomore tailback said this week. “But everyone has a bad game here or there.

“You’re lucky if you have good numbers in every game. Looking at the ‘W,’ I do what I need to do to help us to win.”

Despite that rare sub-par showing, Slaton is still averaging 145.75 yards rushing per game to rank fourth in the nation. He’s also tied for 19th place in scoring with an average of 9.0 ppg.

He’s eager to get back on the field for Saturday afternoon’s game at Mississippi State (1-4). He admittedly feels refreshed after the bye week.

“Any time you can let your body heal, it’s good for us,” Slaton said. “The break also gave us more time to prepare for Mississippi State.

“I thought I ran well against East Carolina. But I missed on a few reads, and my coaches went over that with me. I think I now have everything straight.”

Slaton thought the ECU defense’s enthusiasm helped it slow him down.

“They really came to play,” he said. “Without that enthusiasm, I don’t think they would have been so effective against the run.”

But he agrees with coach Rich Rodriguez that perhaps he tried to do too much.

“I think that’s what I did in the last game, and that will hurt you,” he said.

Slaton was the subject of a big feature story in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated.

“I had read it before, and I appreciate the article,” he said.

“Playing against an SEC team definitely is challenging, just as Georgia was in the Sugar Bowl,” he noted. “I respect (the Bulldogs). I could see on film that they have a lot of talent.”

Slaton believes it’s important that the fourth-ranked Mountaineers (4-0) get off to a strong start against MSU.

“I don’t think the cowbells will be a problem,” he said.

“I think I’ll be rolling again on Saturday.”

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