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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Thursday (8/18/11) 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 Polar Pilsen, in honor of today's Miss Throwdown.

The basketball European tour is winding down. While the men struggled a bit, the women avenged their loss to the Dutch nationals. WVU basketball also got some good news on the eligibility of one of the freshman. Back on the football front, there's some news/features on the defensive backs. Several freshman are making a impact on the team already, both at defensive back and running back. And for those of you not familiar with new QB Coach Jake Spavital, there's a bit of a spotlight in his direction today. All this and more...

What You May Have Missed:

Big adjustment for Holgorsen - PPG
Offensive-minded coach eyes defense

WVU Football: Questions That Need Answers - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
These all don't necessarily need answers...some are curiosities

HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘The Warden’ leaves WVU - Times West Virginian
After 32 years of service, Mike Kerin is stepping aside

Conference Expansion: Is WVU on SECs Radar? -
WVi re-hashes basically the same arguments posted over at Team Speed Kills that we've been discussing the last few days.

WVU BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Men Entertain Troops, Women Win -
The men struggled a bit against Illinois, while the women won their game against the Dutch

Illinois Highlights - Mountaineer TV
Highlights from today's entertainment session for the troops with Illinois.

Browne Declared Eligible - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Freshman point guard Gary Browne has been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center and will be eligible for the 2011-12 basketball season.

Dual Benefit - BGN
Huggs' Fish Fry has also announced that Randy Moss will be in attendance

News of Note:

WVU football: Spavital may have found a home - Charleston Daily Mail
Coaching is in the Spavital family blood

From chauffeur to driving the offense - Charleston Gazette
QB's coach Jake Spavital has been following Holgorsen around since he was at Houston

Spavital On Smith: "The kid's very good" - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Caridi gets Spavital to talk about the Junior quarterback (video)

The Next Newton Or Fairley? No, But ... - College Football News
They are looking at the possible "Next Big Thing" and check out #2

Battling it Out - MSNsportsNET.Com
Coach Casteel breaks down the different position battles in the secondary

The Big East's best: No. 9 - Big East Blog - ESPN
The Tandy

WVU football: Eain Smith working to improve his run defense - Charleston Daily Mail
Terence Garvin is of the opinion that Smith is as good as a returning starter

Youth Served - MSNsportsNET.Com
Tony's Take

Shaq Petteway Makes Case for WVU Bandit -
Another true freshman making an impact already

Garrison provides punch for WVU at 180 pounds - Register-Herald
He's already gained 20 pounds since arriving and working with the strength staff

Freshman Buie ready to battle - Charleston Gazette
Another of the three freshman vying for the lead role at RB


Brooklyn guard opens eyes -
Doudmy Saint Hilaire is hearing from WVU, South Carolina plus now Cinci and Syracuse

Around the League (and Beyond):

Big East preview: Looming TV payday could lead to big changes -
As the college football world turns, it's inevitable that the sun will soon rise in the Big East. Brett McMurphy says major TV deal on the horizon has the conference set up to be a major player in realignment talks.

The NCAA would like a word with Clint Hurtt - Card Chronicle

Alex Hoffman at heart of UC's offense - Cincinnati Enquirer

Miami and how it could affect USF - Voodoo Five

Syracuse University football backfield receives a needed infusion of speed - Post Standard

Rutgers DE Ka'Lial Galud and LB Jamal Merrell make an immediate impression - Star Ledger

Mason's recovery stunning - PPG

What Will It Cost To Make Jeff Hathaway Walk Away From UConn? - Hartford Courant

College Football Mailbag - Stewart Mandel -

For NCAA to survive, it can't give Miami death penalty -
The NCAA doesn't control college sports, not really. The NCAA is more like a snake-charmer, trying to keep the cobra at bay without getting bitten. One wrong move, and the cobra lashes out. Goodbye, snake-charmer. Give Miami the death penalty? Goodbye, NCAA.

What's On Tap:

Football: Single Game Tickets on Sale - MSNsportsNET.Com
Tickets can be purchased on-line at, by calling 1-800-WVU GAME or in person at the Mountaineer Ticket Office in the WVU Coliseum.

Football: Fan Day Set for August 21 - MSNsportsNET.Com
The Fan Day activities will begin at 1 p.m. in the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility. Gates will open at 12:45 p.m. Coach Dana Holgorsen, assistant coaches and WVU players will be signing autographs and visiting with fans until 3 p.m.

Football: Walk-on Tryouts Aug. 22 - MSNsportsNET.Com
The workout will be held on August 22, 2011 at Milan Puskar Stadium. Registration will take place from 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and the workout will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

'Countdown to Kickoff' celebration to welcome alumni, friends and families - WVUToday/Press Releases
The kickoff will take place on Aug. 28 from 5-8 p.m. at The Erickson Alumni Center. The event will feature appearances by the WVU Pep Band, cheerleaders, Mountaineer Mascot Brock Burwell, and coaches, as well as food, drinks, raffles and games for children of all ages.

Kick Off Coal Bowl Weekend By Having A Fish Fry With Bob Huggins - The Smoking Musket
Bob Huggins will hold his first annual fish fry the evening before the kickoff off WVU's 2011 football season against Marshall. On September 2nd at the Waterfront Place Hotel, Huggins will host a fish fry to raise funds and awareness for The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, The Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Fund, and Remember the Miners Scholars Program. There will be players on hand from the 2010 Final Four team as well as other past Mountaineer greats.

Video of Interest:

1984 WVU hosting Penn State

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is the gorgeous Venezuelan model Aida Yespica. Her picture links to today's gallery.

Polar Pilsen image via