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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Monday (12/12/11) Edition

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 Maui Brewing Company's Mama Wheat.

Well, according to my calendar that the Alumni Association sends me each year, it's finals week (it also said that Pearl Harbor Day was on Dec. 6...seriously) which means not much in the way of athletic contests will be happening this week. But that doesn't mean the sportswriters (and bloggers, for that matter) stop producing. Today we have the presser with Coach Holgorsen in which he gave his bowl prep philosophy, player interviews and some other Orange Bowl bits. After his big weekend, Truck gets some feature love to go along with a few basketball features. Also of note, WVU received two safety commitments over the weekend for the football team. All of this and more...

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Monday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Mountaineer basketball team gets ready for a few days of rest, Chip Fontanazza profiles Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins and two more recruits commit to the Mountaineer football team.

Conference Power Rankings: Big East - ESPN
She has WVU at #7 Video: Dana Holgorsen
After a week off for his players, Dana Holgorsen got them back on the field for a pair of workouts before finals.

Coach Dana Holgorsen News Conference - MSNsportsNET.Com

WVU tries to keep suit alive - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
West Virginia University asked a judge Friday to keep its lawsuit against the Big East alive, calling the conference's motion to dismiss the case in Morgantown a "poorly veiled" effort to escape the proper jurisdiction and pick its own.

Cook expects end to Backyard Brawl - Register-Herald
Beano Cook thinks the Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pitt might well be a thing of the past.

WVU must improve quickly - Daily Athenaeum
By looking at the score of the West Virginia women's basketball game against North Florida, a game which the team won by 56 points, you might think head coach Mike Carey and his team have everything figured out by now. You'd be wrong.

Familiar Face to be Speaker - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Former WVU QB Pat White will highlight Purple Banquet

News of Note:

WVU men's basketball team excels after turnaround - Charleston Daily Mail
In 48 hours, West Virginia evened its record against teams in the RPI top 100 and rarely was it easy for the Mountaineers, who avoided losing a third game earlier than any season since 2005-06.

Upperclassmen lead WVU to success in toughest part of non-conference schedule - Daily Athenaeum
Upperclassmen are expected to step up and make plays. That's especially the case for the West Virginia men's basketball team.

Extra Work Paying Off For WVU's Bryant - WVillustrated
Truck Bryant walked into a nearly empty gym in Wichita, Kan. and began putting up shots hours before his team would join him to warm up for a game against Kansas State.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Freshman duo slowly coming on - Times West Virginian
From the start, this was going to be an interesting year for Huggins.

Time off likely to benefit some ailing Mountaineers - PPG
Holgorsen said the team will practice 10 times in Morgantown, then break for Christmas, and practice five times in Miami.

Holgorsen in no hurry to start Clemson prep - Charleston Gazette
Indeed, if Holgorsen were to begin inundating his players with specifics about Clemson now, more than three weeks in advance of the Orange Bowl, there is the definite possibility of overkill.

West Virginia begins preparations for Orange Bowl - Daily Athenaeum
"Making sure that you've got a pretty good plan and you get a lot of work done prior to leaving. Once you get down there, it is a reward and you want (the players) to enjoy it, but you don't want to them to enjoy it so much to where they're tired and wore out and bored. It's a tricky balance, and I think we've got a pretty good idea."

Smith excited to be going home - Inter-Mountain
Quarterback and other WVU gridders from state of Florida looking forward to bowl trip

Orange Bowl Adds Intrigue With Boyd, WVU Matchup - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
Told you so

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU proves worth down the stretch - Times West Virginian
There are those who would argue against West Virginia’s participation in a BCS bowl, a game with the prestige that the Orange Bowl carries.

Mountaineers were comeback kids - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Of all the roads to take to a BCS game, West Virginia probably took the most challenging.

Video: WVU Football Interviews - BGN
Geno, Barclay and Coach Casteel

VIDEO: Mountaineer Player Interviews - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Rader. Barclay, Coach Casteel, Garrison, Stedman, Geno, Eain, Julain, Najee and Bruce


Two Safeties Commit To WVU - WVMETRONEWS.COM
The West Virginia Mountaineers receive two more commitments in the 2012 recruiting class in safeties Sean Walters and Kimlon Dillon, according to - Includes video highlights

Sean Walters Commits to WVU, Plans Early Enrollment - WVillustrated
Sean Walters came to the WVU Coliseum Saturday night knowing that in just over a month, he'll be able to attend Mountaineers games in the student section.

DL Christian Brown Enjoys Visit, Has WVU in Lead - WVillustrated
Mountaineers emerge as top contender for 6-foot-3, 280-pound lineman following weekend trip to Morgantown.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Boise State Joins The Big East - The Specifics On Buyout, Television Contract, BCS Status - Big East Coast Bias

Xavier Musketeers 76 Cincinnati Bearcats 53 | Disgraceful Fight Ends Crosstown Shootout - Down The Drive

Yancy Gates, Octavius Ellis, Cheikh Mbodj, and Ge'Lawn Guyn Suspensions Announced - Big East Coast Bias

What's Up With UConn's Basketball Facility? - Hartford Courant

The Not So Morning After Recap: #11 Marquette 79, UW-Green Bay 61 - Anonymous Eagle

Easy win for Louisville against Fairleigh Dickinson, 80-58 - Courier-Journal

USF Bulls defeat Florida A&M Rattlers 83-59 - St. Petersburg Times

Pitt 74, Oklahoma St. 68: Panthers Show Solid Defensive Effort at the Garden - Cardiac Hill

Winning Ugly: Georgetown Defeats Howard 62-48 - Casual Hoya

Temple Downs Villanova in Big 5 Showdown - The Nova Blog

Seton Hall Basketball: JP's 5 Thoughts- SHU 68, Wake Forest 54 - South Orange Juice

Syracuse 85 - George Washington 50: A Win Worthy Of No. 1 - Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician

Why would Nurideen Lindsey transfer from St. John's? - Rumble In The Garden

NCAA College Basketball Power Rankings - ESPN

Rutgers' D.C. Jefferson on the mend from knee injury after missing UConn game - Star Ledger

Top 10: RG3, upsets and Hail Marys highlight 2011 - Sporting News

What's On Tap:

Finals week...which usually means not much in the way of games.

Video of Interest:

West Virginia football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen takes some time to speak with Orange Bowl's Noah Sharfman at the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl Kickoff Party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Video of (Dis)Interest:

I wish we and/or our students would come up with something this creative:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is model and blogger Cameron Russell. Click on her picture for today's gallery.

Maui Brewing Company's Mama Wheat image via