It certainly wasn't pretty last Friday night -- well, not for the first 52 minutes, anyway. And based off that lackluster performance, the sports media (and Maryland fans, too) have started to predict the quick demise of the Mountaineers' 2010 season.
Pat Forde's Forde Yard Dash gives a quick summation of the public sentiment:
Maryland at West Virginia (31). Both conferences (ACC and Big East) have stunk so far, and both need a team to get excited about. A conundrum for the Terrapins: They haven't thrown it worth a darn yet this year, but isn't there a temptation to try it against an opponent that has yet to record a sack? Will also be interesting to see whether the Mountaineers are energized by their great escape against Marshall or flat after an overtime battle with an in-state rival. Dash pick: Maryland 19, West Virginia 17.
If you're scoring at home, Forde just picked a real upset, choosing a double-digit road underdog to escape Morgantown.
Mountaineer fans have long believed that our team best responds when painted as underdogs. And although Vegas sees us as a TD + FG favorite, the media is starting to believe otherwise. This could be a moment to capitalize on the stirring comeback of Friday night, or it could be a time to prove the journalists right. Either way, it should be a major turning point in the season.
Win (and win convincingly) and the team can take a ton of momentum into Baton Rouge.
Lose (or squeak out another win) and suddenly Baton Rouge looks like the Battle of _____________. Note: I tried to find a famous battle where the French win, but alas, one doesn't exist. Just assume the simile above means WVU loses.
What are your thoughts on the game? Will losing Hogan distract the Mountaineers? Can we finally put a total effort together? Aren't crabcakes delicious?