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WVU Notebook - Oklahoma Week

The raucous scene in Norman has become a hot topic this week, and redshirt freshman center Tyler Orlosky recognizes that the noise will play a big factor in how the offense moves.

Orlosky says communication will be key on Saturday.

"(Communication) is going to be big," he said. "As the center, I'm going to have to rely on my guards and tackles to really help me make my calls. The quarterback has to have good communication with the o-line. It means a lot this week."

To help combat problems the offense might have, Orlosky says the Mountaineers have not only been replicating situations in practice, but also looking into alternative forms of communication.

"That's our typical routine, to have the speakers on and have the crowd noise going (during practice)," he said. "We're also doing a few new things this week with our communication."

Not surprisingly, details were not given.

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Another freshman - this one of the "true" variety - got his first action last week in the form of wide receiver Daikiel Shorts.

"I feel I did pretty decent, but I still have a lot to work on," said Shorts, who caught seven passes for 63 yards. "I could have finished a couple more blocks, but that comes in practice."

West Virginia's new slot receiver says practice will not only help him get better, but his jump start with early enrollment - and the extra 15 spring practices - is why he is in the starting lineup today.

"That was very important," he said. It really helped out a lot, just to build a bond with the guys already, and I knew the plays already. Going through spring ball really helped out a lot."

He wasn't alone enrolling early, though. His teammate and best friend, Wendell Smallwood, did the same, and the true freshman running back has reaped similar rewards, scoring the game-winning touchdown on Saturday.

"I'm very proud," said Shorts. "When he scored, I had the biggest smile on my face. Wendell is like a brother to me."

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Junior running back Dreamius Smith expects the running back rotation to continue this week, but he admits that Houston transfer Charles Sims is something special.

"He's a great back," said Smith. "He does things that you wouldn't see out of a normal back. We're going to keep feeding him the ball."

Smith says he and the rest of the Mountaineers know that Oklahoma will be a tough test, but that they just have to go out there and do what they do best.

"We know in the back of our mind that we got to be more physical than them and give more effort," he said. "Well just go out there and play West Virginia football."

He and the rest of his teammates will do so wearing a white-on-white-on-white jersey combination on Saturday, says Smith.

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West Virginia fans have been talking for almost a year now about how to "fix" the Mountaineers' defense, but defensive tackle Shaq Rowell says the answer is quite simple - and it should result in a victory on Saturday.

"If we can all do our job and listen to the assignments that Coach (Keith) Patterson gives us, I guarantee we'll beat them," he said. "It's that simple. If we can do our job, we can win."

EerSports' Alissa Hudak contributed to this article.

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