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Tandy has been dandy for WVU

November 30, 2010

MORGANTOWN - The best pass defender in the Big East Conference?

Try none other than Keith Tandy of West Virginia University's football team.

Going into Friday's Backyard Brawl at Pittsburgh, the junior cornerback had broken up seven passes and intercepted six others in 10 games.

Tandy's total of 13 knockdowns and picks is two more than runner-up Johnny Patrick, a senior of Louisville.

The 5-foot-10, 198-pound native of Hopkinsville, Ky., also led in interceptions with his six. Sophomore Jerred Holley of Pitt was second with five.

With a combined collection of nine interceptions, the Mountaineer marvel has a shot at the WVU career record of 20. That is held by Steve Newberry, an all-time great from Peterstown (1980-83).

"It would be nice to come up with more interceptions," said Tandy. He has two more games to play this year and 12 or 13 as a senior in 2011.

He also has 43 tackles to tie Julian Miller for fifth place among WVU tacklers.

Tandy, who had three interceptions as a sophomore, said teammates in the secondary tipped the ball to him on four picks. "I guess they keep throwing the ball my way," he said.

He is one of the most athletic performers on the squad. He was a quarterback who also excelled in basketball and baseball in high school.

Head coach Bill Stewart said, "Keith is a remarkable young man. He's a student of the game. Sidney Glover tipped the ball that he intercepted to steal the victory at Louisville."

Tandy said the entire defensive unit, which ranks high nationally as one of the best in WVU history, had been trying hard to force more turnovers. One here or there could decide a close contest.

"Every interception feels great," he said. "But it's not easy to get one."

All-America Aaron Beasley (1992-95) has been back to see WVU play and Tandy has talked to him three or four times. Beasley also played cornerback as a Mountaineer.

Tandy, whose home is in the Louisville area, recalled that West Virginia was the first college to offer him a scholarship. "And I have no regrets whatsoever," he added.

"I'm very happy here. I feel I'm in a great situation. I'm having a lot of fun playing on a great defense. We all get along so well. We have a lot of playmakers."

He also sees some action on special teams and has good speed to go with his good size. He's a member of the Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll.

Tandy has appeared in the Fiesta and Gator bowls.

He was an all-around athletic standout at Christian County High School and earned All-Kentucky recognition. He set school records as a passer with career totals of 8,609 yards and 32 touchdowns.

He rushed for 1,007 yards as a senior.



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