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The Shotgun/Throwdown: Orange Bowl (1/4/12) 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 Beck's Chilled Orange, in preparation of tonight's game.

GAMEDAY!! After just over a months break, the Mountaineer football team is set to take the field again tonight in the Orange Bowl against Clemson. We have a mega edition for you today with lots of previews, features, interviews, videos and the usual gameday prep that we do to help you tailgate. It's a busy day for WVU athletics because, along with the football team participating in the Orange Bowl, both basketball teams are on the road in action tonight at 7. Those are previewed as well. All of this and more await...

LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What You May Have Missed:

Gold And Blue Now: Wednesday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
Hoppy Kercheval and Jeff Jenkins preview today's Orange Bowl game against Clemson, Mountaineer fans arrive in South Beach and the men's basketball team takes on Rutgers

No, Brad Nessler, West Virginia Is Not A City In Virginia - Deadspin
This just in from the Allstate Sugar Bowl featuring Michigan vs. Virginia Tech: In tomorrow night's Orange Bowl, the Clemson Tigers will "take on another team from the state of Virginia: West Virginia."

Discover Orange Bowl Head Coaches Press Conference - YouTube
The full hour+ long presser

WVU ads will expose school to nation - Charleston Daily Mail
"The marketing opportunities that a BCS bowl offers are tremendous in terms of student and faculty recruitment, affinity building among alumni and friends, fundraising and general public awareness about WVU," said Becky Lofstead, assistant vice president for communications.

Orange Bowl caps year to remember - Times West Virginian
WVU works through turmoil and adversity to reach this evening’s battle against Clemson

Bracketology - ESPN
#10 East & on the rise

Women's Basketball: WVU Travels to Connecticut - MSNsportsNET.Com
Collegiate teams with little experience often prove to be the most entertaining collegiate teams to follow. They tend to win games that shouldn’t be won, and lose games that shouldn’t be lost.

News of Note:

Mountaineers Take on Rutgers - MSNsportsNET.Com
Bob Huggins is looking for a little more energy and enthusiasm from his basketball team when the Mountaineers return to the floor to face 8-6 Rutgers Wednesday night at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.

WVU Preps For Knights - BGN
West Virginia senior forward Kevin Jones, who sprained his ankle in a loss to Seton Hall last week, practiced on Tuesday, according to head coach Bob Huggins.

WVU tries it again in North Jersey - Charleston Gazette
The New Year aside, West Virginia's basketball team is hoping not to suffer any hangover when the Mountaineers jump back into Big East play tonight.

WVU youth not to blame for everything in Seton Hall loss - Charleston Daily Mail
The defeat to the Pirates didn't hurt the Mountaineers' RPI - they still sit at No. 26 - but they can ill-afford to let the Seton Hall defeat turn into a losing streak.

WVU looks to bounce back tonight - Times West Virginian
"I would think the jelling should be over," he said.

Orange Bowl:

Orange Bowl Preview: Clemson Tigers vs. West Virginia Mountaineers - Big East Coast Bias

Orange Bowl Preview: West Virginia vs. Clemson - Shakin The Southland

Game Day Arrives, WVU Closes Football Season in Miami - WVillustrated
The temperatures may have dropped, but the Mountaineers are hoping to heat up the scoreboard in Miami and deliver West Virginia its third BCS bowl win.

WVU's opportunity arrives - Charleston Gazette
Today, first-year coach Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia have a similar opportunity against Clemson in the 8 p.m. Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium - with a twist. That twist is pulling off this upset shouldn't be as difficult.

It’s time for the Main Event - Register-Herald
LB Goode excited about the big stage

With fun over, Orange Bowl is focus for West Virginia - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
West Virginia's had its share of distractions in Florida for the Orange Bowl, but has turned its focus toward Clemson.

Sides with WVU in bowl game - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
The biggest question West Virginia University fans are asking themselves as their beloved Mountaineers prepare to take on a heavily-favored Clemson team at 8 p.m. today in the Orange Bowl isn't whether WVU will win, but rather which WVU team will show up.

Mountaineers, Tigers Face Off in Orange Bowl - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
''They are similar to us.'' WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. ''I think they are incredibly similar to us.''

Offense aplenty is anticipated for Orange Bowl - PPG
WVU, Clemson offenses are prepared to throw caution to the wind in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair

Orange Bowl: A shootout could be looming - Charleston Daily Mail
For two teams with stats so similar entering tonight's Orange Bowl here at Sun Life Stadium (8 p.m., ESPN), they sure do things differently.

Video: Orange Bowl keys - Big East Blog - ESPN
Andrea Adelson takes a look at one key to watch in the Discover Orange Bowl between Clemson and West Virginia.

Video: West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen - Big East Blog - ESPN
Andrea Adelson talks to West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen before the Discover Orange Bowl.

Question of Timing - BGN
There's a stop and start pattern to football practices between the end of the regular season and January bowl games which can throw teams out of their normal routines. Coaches try to minimize that effect as much as possible, but the fact that the next game is often a month and not a week away means that there are differences in preparation.

Is WVU stack defense key vs. Clemson? - Big East Blog - ESPN
Love it or hate it, the unique 3-3-5 stack defense West Virginia runs is something that has worked pretty well for the majority of the time coordinator Jeff Casteel has been with the Mountaineers.

Offense just part of the equation - Register-Herald
But likely, tonight’s 2012 Orange Bowl matchup between Big East champion and No. 23-ranked West Virginia (9-3) and ACC champ, No. 14 Clemson (10-3), will turn on a defensive or special teams play.

Orange Bowl notebook: Mountaineer defense will focus on star wide receiver - Charleston Daily Mail
West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen called Watkins "one of the faster players in college football ... He is a difference-maker."

QB showdown - Times West Virginian
Clemson’s Boyd, WVU’s Smith have a history together

West Virginia’s Geno Smith at home in Sun Life Stadium spotlight - Miami Herald
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith will be one of the main attractions in the Orange Bowl.

Orange Bowl: WVU quarterback could make big impact in Big 12 - Charleston Daily Mail
It is an end, but it also may be a beginning.

WVU tandem's route comes full circle - PPG
Orange Bowl notebook

Big game needed from WRs - Charleston Gazette
To listen to Shannon Dawson for most of West Virginia's 2011 regular season, one would have thought he was coaching a wide receiver reclamation project and not a group that included two of the most productive players in college football.

West Virginia's Austin doesn't minimize opportunity - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Dobies' Notebook

Tavon Austin zooms to the top - Big East Blog - ESPN
He needs 62 yards to end up as the No. 1 all-purpose player for 2011.

Orange Bowl: Austin, the punt returner, can be an enigma - Charleston Daily Mail
And yet big games and big moments this season were marked by what can be best described as Austin's creative indifference on punt returns.

Bailey finds sometimes home is better than you remember - Register-Herald
But there was a lot right outside his doorstep that Bailey had never seen. And, at the time, probably didn’t care about anyway.

Video: West Virginia WR Stedman Bailey - Big East Blog - ESPN
Andrea Adelson talks with West Virginia WR Stedman Bailey.

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU’s Alston ‘ready to go out and play’ - Times West Virginian
"I don’t feel no pressure on my back," Alston would say. "I’m ready to go out and play and show what I can do."

Running Back Shawne Alston - Mountaineer TV
Running back Shawne Alston talks about taking over the starting role on Wednesday night against Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

2012 Discover Orange Bowl Television Special - WVillustrated
Watch this very special program from the beaches of Miami, Florida! We bring you all the action surrounding the West Virginia Mountaineers as they prepare for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Louisville Tallies First Big East Win With 73-58 Triumph Over St. John's - Card Chronicle

Seton Hall Basketball: Seton Hall 75, UConn 63; Pirates Mop Up Huskies to Halt Streak at 11 - South Orange Juice

Team ball key to UC success - Cincinnati Enquirer

Orange Scouting Report: Syracuse at Providence - Post Standard

Pitt vs. SMU: Keys to Victory - Cardiac Hill

Why Is Darrell Scott Leaving For The NFL? - Voodoo Five

Mohamed Sanu declares for NFL draft - On the Banks

What's On Tap:

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (2) Connecticut Huskies - ESPN
Women's Basketball, 7 pm tonight from the XLC.

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights - ESPN
7 pm tonight from the LBAC on ROOT Pittsburgh, SNY, MASN and ESPN3.

Orange Bowl

(23) West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (15) Clemson Tigers - Preview - ESPN
8:30 pm tonight from Miami on ESPN. Clemson is giving 2.5.

Tailgate Recipe of the Week:

Super Nachos by Rachel Ray


  • 2 bags corn tortilla chips in 2 colors or different flavors, such as blue corn, red corn, yellow corn, lime flavored, chili flavored or black bean chips -- pick 2 favorites

Pico de Gallo Salsa:

  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped, for medium to hot heat level
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup, 2 handfuls, cilantro leaves, finely chopped -- substitute parsley if cilantro is not to your liking
  • Salt

Beef and Beans Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dark chili powder
  • 1 1/2 ground cumin, half a palmful
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce, giving you medium to hot heat level
  • 1 can black beans, 15 ounces, drained

Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 pound pepper jack cheese, shredded, about 2 1/2 cups

Additional toppings to choose from, optional:

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped black olives
  • Diced pimento
  • Sliced avocado, dressed with lemon juice
  • Hot pepper sauces


Arrange a mixture of 2 varieties of corn chips on a very large platter or use your broiler pan as a platter.

Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside for flavors to marry.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and saute 2 minutes, then add meat and crumble with wooden spoon. Season meat with salt, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper sauce. Cook meat 5 minutes, then stir in beans and reduce heat to low.

In a medium sauce pot, melt butter and add flour to it. Cook flour and butter 1 to 2 minutes over moderate heat, then whisk in milk. When milk comes to a bubble, stir in cheese with a wooden spoon. Remove cheese sauce from the heat.

Pour cheese sauce evenly over the massive spread of chips and top evenly with beef and beans and the pico de gallo. UBER NACHOS! Serve immediately as is or, garnish with your choice of extra toppings from the toppings list.

Reprinted from

Video of Interest:

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Rich Rod thinks this is the sequel and will be quoting it for the next ten years:

Hump Day Video of the Week:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is the future Mrs. WVUIE97. Enjoy the video and click on the picture for a gallery of South African Victoria's Secret model Candice Swanepoel.


Beck's Chilled Orange image via