By Colin Dunlap | 2:15 p.m. Monday
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. --
With the Backyard Brawl being a Friday night kickoff, the weekly routine for Bill Stewart was pushed up a day, as the press conference for the head coach was moved up to this afternoon, as opposed to his normal Tuesday 1 p.m. timeslot.
He went through a variety of topics (as expected) but it seemed that no matter where he, or the questioner, tried to veer, everything came back to this: Friday night's game is huge for the Mountaineers on a number of levels.
Here is a thumbnail of some of the stuff Stewart had to say:
- Noel Devine, although Stewart failed to really elaborate, seems as if he more healthy than not healthy. I predicted the running back would be about 80-85 percent with a lingering ankle injury for this game and, after hearing Stewart today, i am sticking to that number.
- This game does a whole lot in terms of what happens in the recruiting battle in Western Pennsylvania.
- Bill Stull, as everyone knows, has overcome a ton of adversity. This much is not lost on Bill Stewart. He had some very nice things to say about the Pitt quarterback. Stewart seemed genuinely upset that Stull's home fans booed him at one point this season.
- Stewart knows how good Pitt's defensive front is, but understands you cannot deviate from your entire planned course of action. In short, you have to play your game as much as you have to worry about what the other team will do.