Stewart unsure about Devine or how to slow Bearcats

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Will Noel Devine play against Cincinnati?

The answer appears to be a definite maybe. West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said on his teleconference that he thought his star running back would play, but then he also said he didn't really know.

Devine sprained his ankle in the first half against Louisville on Saturday and spent most of the second half on the sidelines. Stewart said it is not a high-ankle sprain, which gives the junior a chance to be ready for Friday night. But he said it's hard to know how quickly it would heal.

"We will spend this week practicing as if Noel can’t play," Stewart said. "I hope he does, and I think he will."

If Devine can't go, slot receiver Jock Sanders would likely move to tailback and start, with true freshman Tavon Austin also getting more looks.

Stewart also said he watched Cincinnati's 47-45 win over UConn, in which the Bearcats piled up 711 total yards of offense. He said he didn't know how the Mountaineers would stop that powerful offense, and then he played up his team's role as underdog.

"There are probably a lot of people that aren’t going to give us a chance, so this is going to be another game that we are going to have to fight our way through," he said. "We are going to have to find some way to win. They are clicking and hitting. They are the media darling. They are an assaulting offense.

"I don’t know. We’ll probably be 20- or 30-point underdogs."

Yeah, right.