"You have to overcome adversity and understand that there's going to be struggles in college football,'' Woods said. "It's not always going to be how you want it. The only thing I can do is, when they call my name, go in and make plays.''
Thus raises the other issue that Woods has to address now, which is making plays consistently enough to earn a spot in the receiving rotation. He's never had trouble doing that on occasion, but he also has never been able to do it consistently. In three seasons, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound fifth-year senior has caught just 25 passes for 272 yards.
"If he continues playing like he's playing right now, he'll definitely make us better,'' Dawson said. "But that's up to him. He has to prove he can maintain that level. The last few days have been extremely positive, but he's got to continue doing that.''
For his part, Woods seems to know that. He talks repeatedly about making plays and doing so not just every once in a while, but all the time.
That's hard, of course, on a team with two legitimate national stars at wide receiver, Austin and Bailey, and another highly touted freshman, Thompson. Sure, West Virginia throws the football a lot, but there are still only so many catches to go around.
"The only thing I can control is what I do and how I work out there on the field,'' Woods said. "If I can just continue to make plays when they call my name, I can't do much else. I can run my route the best I can and catch the ball the best I can.''
There does seem to be a spot for Woods if he can grab it. After playing both inside receiver and outside receiver at times during his career, he's been moved to the outside more or less permanently in recent days because that's where the opportunity is. No one is playing ahead of Austin at one of the inside spots, and Thompson has the early stranglehold on the other. On the outside, Bailey is locked in at one spot, but the other is pretty much a revolving door with Ivan McCartney, Ryan Nehlen and others.
For Woods, though, inside or outside doesn't matter. He's just happy to be back in the mix.
"I just like playing in between those lines and making plays,'' Woods said.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.