Ivy Climbs to Top at WVU
Starr, Rick, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia linebacker Mortty Ivy doesn't mind the pressure of starting for a top-five team that attracts national television coverage almost every week.
He thrives on it.
"I like to hear my name called," Ivy said. "I like the coaches to call on me and say, 'We need a play, Mortty.' ''
Whether it's his background as a former Gateway High School quarterback, or his lengthy rehabilitation from knee surgery last season, Ivy said he dislikes standing on the sidelines.
"Just give me a chance, and I'll make a play," he said. "Get me in the game. That's all I ask. As long as I get a chance, I'll help out this team any way possible."
Ivy makes his fifth consecutive start at weakside linebacker when No. 5 West Virginia (4-0) lines up against No. 18 South Florida (3- 0) at 8 p.m. Friday at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium. The Big East matchup will be televised on ESPN2.
A 6-foot-3, 235-pound junior from Monroeville, Ivy ranks second on the defense with 29 tackles, including four sacks. He made another four tackles behind the line of scrimmage for 25 yards in losses.
One of nine WVU players who received his first chance to start this season, Ivy produced with a team-high 10 tackles including a sack against Western Michigan.
He showed consistency with five tackles and a sack at Marshall, and eight tackles plus another sack at Maryland.
Ivy recorded a sack and grabbed his first career interception in the Mountaineers' 48-7 non-conference victory over East Carolina on Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium.
"Mortty made a great play on the interception," Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez said. "He's a very instinctive player and a smart guy who knows what we want out of each defensive call."
West Virginia led just 3-0 in the first quarter when Ivy sat on a wheel route and intercepted East Carolina quarterback Pat Pinkney's pass to set up a 69-yard scoring drive. …