MORGANTOWN - Doug Rigg should have finished the first game of his junior season fairly well satisfied, and to a certain extent he did.
After all, West Virginia's 6-foot-1, 246-pound inside linebacker had a couple of tackles, two assists and was a part of a ridiculously easy opening-game win over Marshall.
He even got his hands on the ball, intercepting a tipped Rakeem Cato pass and running 46 yards to the Marshall 3-yard line to set up WVU's 10th touchdown early in the fourth quarter. That one made the score a laughable 69-20.
That the Herd scored two late touchdowns to make the final score 69-34 wasn't even that big a deal to Rigg and the Mountaineer defense. After all, isn't there a natural tendency to let up leading by seven touchdowns?
"Yeah, I think so,'' Rigg said. "People started cramping up, too. It was really humid out there. It's not like we gave up, but I think we did take our foot off the gas a little bit.
"It won't happen again. It was a first-game thing - 'Hey, we're up big.' I think we just let up.''
Then why, 30 minutes after the resounding romp, was Rigg sitting in a theater chair in the team's meeting room almost embarrassed by what had just happened?
It was because that 46-yard interception return wasn't a 49-yard touchdown.
The fact that Rigg fell short wasn't the issue. It was why he fell short.
"He did more than tackle me,'' Rigg said, embarrassed but still able to laugh about it. "He slammed me.''
Now, had the "he'' been, oh, one of Marshall's four 300-pound offensive lineman, that would have been one thing. Had it been 240-pound tight end Gator Hoskins or 193-pound tailback Travon Van or even 200-pound receiver Aaron Dobson, fine.
But it wasn't. The guy who slammed Rigg to the ground was Cato, giving up an inch and 60 pounds to Rigg.
"It actually kind of hurt,'' Rigg said. "I didn't want to tell anybody that, but it hurt.''