Miller Back On Track?

Miller Back On Track?

More than a week ago, West Virginia cornerback Pat Miller was being booed off the field – his home turf – after a poor performance vs. Baylor.

As he walked off Mountaineer Field, you could hear it loud and clear from the press box and even more so from the T.V. speakers, too.

Miller heard those boos. He knows they were directed at him.

"I heard criticism, but that's just how it's going to go. One minute if you're doing good, everybody is going to be keeping you up. The minute you do bad, everybody will be criticizing you. Then you do good again, and people will be back in your corner," Miller said. "You just have to keep that going in one ear and out the other."

For a cornerback especially, much of his job is to forget. If he has a bad play or a bad game, he must keep moving forward – otherwise he'll just get beat again.

That's what Miller did.

Versus Texas, on fourth-and-13 with more than eight minutes to play and WVU up three points, Miller broke up a pass from Texas quarterback David Ash intended for receiver Mike Davis.

On the next defensive series, Ash and his center had a miscommunication, and the snap flew by Ash. That play ended in a 16-yard sack by Miller that forced a missed field goal, which would've tied the game.

"Eventually, you know, it's going to come your way. That's why you're trying to be in the right position on every play, because when it comes your way, you have to be ready for it," Miller said.

The Mountaineers went on to win the game 48-45 and have since moved into the top 5 in the country. After the game, people were touting Miller's prowess in that fourth quarter.

"He performed well. I was excited for him at the time, but we're on the next one. I told him after the game, ‘it was a great game, we were very pleased with the performance, but nobody is going to remember that this Saturday at 2 p.m.," said cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts. "He just made a play. I told our guys that at some point as we develop as a unit, we're not going to be elated at every play we make. It's going to be an expectation. Honestly, we're pleased, but we want to get to the point where it is a routine play."

It was a week and a few hours after they were booing him.

Oh, how things change.

"I feel like I needed a play like that, and the few plays that followed that," Miller said. "That can build some confidence in me, and confidence goes a long way. If you don't have confidence, it would be hard to play at this level."

Miller said the reaction to his two performances – Baylor and Texas – were much different as expected. The Sundays, he joked, were about as different as you can get.

"I'm still going out to practice to try to do everything right, still doing extra work after practice, still watching film," said a now more confident Miller. "We can make plays like that, but we just have to be more consistent. Once we show consistency, those plays will come all the time. We are good enough to make plays like that."

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