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Smith expected to have larger backfield role

The West Virginia running back who is third on the team in carries, but has the most yards per carry, the three longest runs of the season and a touchdown in four straight games could see more action next week against Kansas State.

WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen said at his weekly press conference Tuesday senior Dreamius Smith will “probably” be involved more with Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood after his play in Saturday’s game against Texas.

Smith ran 10 times for 100 yards and a touchdown in the 33-16 loss.

“He had his best game last week,” Holgorsen said. “Against TCU, I can’t tell you he had his best game. It wasn’t. He got one run on them, but he didn’t have his best game. Last week, he played his best game.”

Smith sparked a scoring drive against Baylor four games ago and scored on a 9-yard run as WVU outscored the Bears 27-7 the rest of the game. He closed the win at Oklahoma State with a 40-yard touchdown run, which then was the team’s longest run of the season. He eclipsed that against TCU with a 50-yard run on a drive that ended with his 5-yard touchdown run to put the Mountaineers ahead 20-14 in the third quarter.

WVU’s offense stagnated for much of the game against Texas, but Smith’s 9-yard touchdown run cut the Texas lead to 24-10 and his 62-yard run and his 11-yard reception a play later set up Smallwood’s 4-yard run to make it 26-16.

Smith was the fourth running back to carry the ball in the first half, where he had one carry for no gain. He was the first to carry the ball after halftime.

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