On the spot in a bowl: West Virginia

December, 16, 2010
12/16/10
2:40
PM ET
All the talk around Morgantown for the past week has understandably revolved around the coaching situation. But West Virginia still has a bowl game to play in less than two weeks.

I've been taking a look at which players need to step up and perform in the postseason for their teams to have success. And for the Champs Sports Bowl, that Mountaineer player who is on the spot is ...

Cornerback Pat Miller. There's virtually no chance that star cornerback Brandon Hogan can play effectively in this game, and with a torn ACL he really has no business even being on the field against NC State. That likely means Miller will make his second start of the year, unless the Mountaineers decide to go with Brodrick Jenkins.

Miller got the call for the suspended Hogan against Maryland, and though he played well early in the game, he was burned on 60- and 80-yard touchdown passes in the second half by the Terrapins.

You know Russell Wilson will be looking to test Miller early and often, and the West Virginia sophomore will have to keep receivers Jarvis Williams and Owen Spencer from getting behind him.

The Mountaineers' defense has been spectacular all year long but will almost certainly will be missing one of its key pieces. Miller needs to step up to keep the defense playing at its regular-season level.

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