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West Virginia shifts safety Porter to WR

Sherrod to get first start on defense; Bulger still out

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

By Ray Fittipaldo, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

West Virginia (1-4) is off to one of its worst starts in the past 20 years, and Mountaineers Coach Don Nehlen has made some changes on the depth chart for Saturday's game against Rutgers (0-5) at Mountaineer Field.

Jerry Porter, who had been the starter at free safety since last season, has moved to receiver and will see significant playing time there. Nehlen said Porter, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior will be on the field in West Virginia's three- and four-receiver sets.

Taking his place at free safety will be sophomore Ricky Sherrod, who will be making his first collegiate start. Sherrod (6-3, 190) is coming back from reconstructive knee surgery after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the 1998 season opener against Ohio State.

West Virginia's defense is giving up 30.2 points and 433.2 yards per game.

Nehlen does not expect to have senior quarterback Marc Bulger back for the Rutgers game. Bulger sustained a broken right index finger at Syracuse three weeks ago, and sophomore Brad Lewis started in his place in a 31-28 loss against Navy two weeks ago.

Bulger was to have more X-rays taken this morning.

"I'm guessing he's out for this game," Nehlen said. "He hasn't been able to throw a football since the injury. He was throwing the whiffle balls with the splint on last week. Unfortunately, we don't play with whiffle balls. Hopefully, he'll be back next week [for the Temple game]."

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