Mountaineer Morning Links: Thursday (4/3/14) Edition

Football & baseball reports, football recruiting updates, WVU Pros update, Big 12 roundup & more

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Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's nationally recognized best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Lannister Gold, a Casterly Rocks Premium Beer, in preparation for the return of Game of Thrones this weekend and today's Miss Throwdown.


What You May Have Missed:

Gold and Blue Now: Thursday, April 3 - WV MetroNews
Tony Gibson tells fans what he likes about his defense this spring. We also hear from Fox Sports Southwest Anchor David Ubben who feels the Big 12 is without an elite team in football or basketball right now.

Gold and Blue Now: Wednesday, April 2 - WV MetroNews
Juwan Staten shares his reaction to the departure of Eron Harris. We also hear from WVMetroNews.com’s Allan Taylor as he gives his overall take on the WVU wide receivers unit this spring.

Another Step Forward in WVU's Facility Plan - WVU Athletics
Facility Sub-Committee OK's athletic facility plan.

Confidence riding high for WVU after Pitt win - Daily Athenaeum
There’s a good feeling going around the West Virginia dugout right now. It’s a team that is sweating, bleeding and oozing confidence. The current aura around the program is well deserved as the Mountaineers ride high on a current four-game winning streak.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Baseball in summer would drive in fans - Times West Virginian
College baseball didn’t take the hint and now Randy Mazey, the coach who is reinventing baseball at West Virginia University, believes it’s time that they do. He is pushing to have the sports season changed from spring to the summer, a revolutionary idea that makes so much sense that it’s almost certain the NCAA would never accept it.

2014 Women's Soccer Slate Announced - WVU Athletics
"The schedule coach Nikki Izzo-Brown has put together is a terrific challenge for the two-time defending Big 12 champions," says Luck. "I am excited to watch this team battle for its third straight conference title this fall."

Rifle Duo Closes ISSF World Cup - WVU Athletics
Two from WVU rifle competed in prone at the ISSF Fort Benning World Cup.

News of Note:

Mike Casazza: Smallwood impresses West Virginia coaching staff - Charleston Daily Mail
"I’m hard on myself," Smallwood said. "I did a lot of good things, but I think I could have done much better. Coach said I sold myself short when I gave my evaluation, but I think I could have done much better. I didn’t finish the year good."

Smallwood brings versatility to WVU offense - Times West Virginian
No one really understood, however, just how versatile and talented he was, almost defining what coach Dana Holgorsen was looking for in what can only be labeled the running back of the future.

Dave Hickman: Pankey finally ready to contribute - Charleston Gazette
Certainly this guy that the coaches wanted on the field so badly had something special going for him, right?

Top-10 football players spring update: West Virginia Mountaineers - ESPN
This week, we continue breaking down the 10 best players at the moment on every team in the Big 12.

Battle for top running back spot heating up leading up to Gold-Blue Spring game - Daily Athenaeum
With just a few days remaining before West Virginia’s annual Gold-Blue Spring Game, most of the battles over positions are still in full-swing, including the particularly heated competition in the Mountaineers’ crowded but talented backfield.

WVU offense full of question marks - Daily Athenaeum
With just over a week until West Virginia’s annual Gold-Blue Spring game, it’s safe to say head coach Dana Holgorsen will not name a starting quarterback in time.

Holgorsen Talks Multiplicity of WVU Defense - WVillustrated
Four coordinators in four years can create confusion, but the Mountaineers are hoping a simplistic approach will put the team back on track.

Holgorsen will implement new defensive scheme - Daily Athenaeum
In implementing a multi-scheme defense, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen believes the Mountaineers have finally found a solution to the offensive onslaught the defense has been subject to for the last two seasons.

Re-energize Fan Interest - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Willie Nelson said it best when he coined the phrase - "On the road again."

Recruiting:

Charlotte NFTC DL MVP Joshua Brown waiting for first offer - SBNation.com
A threat off the edge as a rusher, Brown is a West Virginia native who wants to hear from his home-state Mountaineers, as well regional power Clemson.

Spring Game Visitor List Growing - EerSports
Along with the thousands of Mountaineer fans in attendance next Saturday, numerous top recruits will be there for West Virginia's spring game.

Pro News:

JD Woods works out for Miami - WVU Pros
While at West Virginia, JD Woods may have played third fiddle in a pass-happy band but still displayed some top-level skills. Now, in what would be his second NFL season, Woods is testing the markets once again, stopping in Miami today for a workout.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Bears’ fresh crop of receivers welcomes high standard - Waco Tribune

Behind The Scenes With DeAndre Kane - CYCLONES.com

KU WR Coleman breaking out this spring - Lawrence Journal World

Five things to watch as K-State starts spring football practice - Kansas City Star

Oklahoma Sooners MBB | Expectations Vs Reality: Cameron Clark - Crimson And Cream Machine

OKLAHOMA STATE SPRING FOOTBALL POSITION REVIEW: Linebacker - Cowboys Ride For Free

Texas Longhorns Football Insiderishness: Spring Edition - Barking Carnival

TCU football notes: Little clarity at QB with only two spring practices remaining - Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Who Replaces Jace Amaro's Production? - Viva The Matadors

College Football Mailbag - Stewart Mandel - SI.com

What's On Tap:

Baseball Travels to TCU for Big 12 Series - WVU Athletics
The West Virginia University baseball team is set to meet TCU this weekend in a three-game conference series at Lupton Baseball Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.

USA Football’s Hallenbeck to Speak at WVU - WVU Athletics
As part of the Don Nehlen Lecture Series, USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck will visit West Virginia University on April 16 to present his topic on "USA Football and Healthy Youth Sport Development." The free presentation is open to the public and will take place at 7 p.m. in the Touchdown Terrace of Milan Puskar Stadium.

Video of Interest:

WVU Baseball completes the season sweep of the Pitt Panthers with a 6-4 win at Cost Field in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, April 1st.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

SPOILER WARNING: DO NOT WATCH THIS IF YOU AREN'T CAUGHT UP

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a lovely British actress who is featured on Game of Thrones. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Natalie Dormer. Click HERE for a BONUS VIDEO where she attempts to spoil season 4 of GOT.


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