I'm not much into video games anymore. Not because I'm too "mature" or too "busy," but mainly because I don't live in a dorm or college apartment anymore with constant access to friends who play. One of my favorite games, of course, was always EA Sports' NCAA College Football. And while I don't own this year's version, their commercials for the new Heisman mode where you select a Heisman winner from a rival team to play for your school has me slightly intrigued.
I just can't picture Eddie George in a Michigan uniform, or Cam Newton throwing passes to Julio Jones. Something in my being prevents those images from forming within the depths of my medulla oblongata. But it did get me thinking about which former Heisman winner I would most like to have seen in a WVU uniform. I mean, obviously every single one of those players was outstanding in college and would likely have helped WVU in one facet or another. But how do I pick which one?
Most Heisman winners have been quarterbacks and running backs and, truth be told, WVU hasn't always been hurting in those areas. We're no USC or Ohio State, sure, but I don't think a Heisman winner at either of those positions would have made a difference most years...except one: 1996.
That 1996 team had a ridiculous defense that was among the best in the nation and basically shut everyone down. The running game was serviceable enough, with a young Amos Zereoue rushing for 1035 yards on 222 carries, backed up by Alvin Swoope who carried 61 times for 297 yards. The receiving corps was just fine as well, thank you, with David Saunders setting the then-school mark with 76 catches for 1043 yards and 5 TD, Rashaan Vanterpool with 31 catches for 421 yards, and Shawn Foreman with 25 catches for 415 yards.
What that team needed was an elite quarterback to make the offense really go. Someone who could take hold of a game and lead the team to a game-winning drive, to steady things when necessary, or to jump start the team to a comfortable lead and then let the defense take over. Someone like Heisman trophy (and national championship) winner Danny Wuerffel.
In his one-loss 1996 season, Wuerffel completed 207 of 360 passes for 3625 yards and 39 TD with 13 interceptions. Chad Johnston? He completed 167 of 334 passes for only 1958 yards and 12 TD with 8 interceptions. WVU certainly could have used Wuerffel's accuracy, arm strength, and poise in its excruciating home loss to Miami, which precipitated losses to Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina the rest of the way. All those games were more than winnable with a proven leader at quarterback and without the sting of the Miami loss lingering in the players' heads. Call me crazy (maybe?), but I think with Danny Wuerffel under center in 1996, that team has what it takes to win a national championship.
This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.
EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13 TV: "Son" (via EASPORTS)