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West Virginia's Schmitt gets kicks through contact

By John Helsley Published: January 1, 2008
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — West Virginia fullback Owen Schmitt seeks out defenders with one simple quest.

"Every time I hit, I want to make that guy feel dizzy,” Schmitt said.

There's no official stat for that, but the Mountaineers have added a unique category that speaks to Schmitt's effectiveness: Broken facemasks.

Schmitt's total: 10 — and counting, entering Wednesday night's Fiesta Bowl.

"It's kind of blown up bigger than it really is,” Schmitt said. "It's not like I actually broke the facemask in half or anything. Maybe it's a fault in the steel.

"I guess I can take pride in it. They thought it was important enough to make their only little stat category on me. That's kind of cool.”

Schmitt is a 6-foot-3, 260-pound load one columnist labeled a "beer truck with a broken parking brake.”

The Mountaineers use him in a variety of ways, with him occupying as many as four positions as well as taking his turn on special teams. Schmitt gets few carries on a team that features quarterback Pat White, Steve Slaton and Noel Devine in the running game. But he has 208 yards and three touchdowns, along with 121 yards receiving.

Still, his reputation is built on his blocking.

If there's any doubt, Schmitt leaves a calling card with every crushing block.

"He's a monster,” White said. "He loves contact like a brick wall.

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