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Mountaineer Morning Links: Thursday (11/15/12) Edition

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Sooner previews, homegrown player features, Smith finalist, Sugar Bowl, 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 Oklahoma Suks Amber Ale, in preparation of this week's opponent.

What You May Have Missed:

Gold and Blue Now: Thursday - WVMETRONEWS.COM
defensive coordinator Joe DeForest and receiver Connor Arlia talk about the upcoming Oklahoma game, and WVU basketball commitment Nathan Adrian discusses how his game has improved.

Smith named Unitas Golden Arm Award Finalist - WVU Athletics
Geno is one of five finalists for the award.

ESPN Reaches 12-Year Agreement with SEC and Big 12 for Sugar Bowl - ESPN MediaZone


News of Note:

Clay, Arlia fill critical positions - Charleston Daily Mail
"Those were three of the most disappointed kids in our locker room after the game," he said. "We need more of that to exist."

Homegrown Players Step Up - WVMETRONEWS.COM
The in-state kid sure proved he could play last Saturday at Oklahoma State, capitalizing on his rapid promotion after the departures of freshman receiver Travares Copeland and junior Ivan McCartney.

Running game a 'huge issue' - Charleston Daily Mail
"We did a poor job of establishing the line of scrimmage," Holgorsen said.

Good time for WVU to get ground game going - Charleston Gazette
Oklahoma defense designed to shut down passing attacks

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU close to running on empty - Times West Virginian
“That is combination of just not controlling the line of scrimmage up front and not having good enough running backs to be able to get the yards that we need,” he said.

West Virginia looking to find balance on offense, find success on ground - Daily Athenaeum
"(The defense’s) goal is to make offenses one dimensional; they feel like if they can get you one dimensional, they have you where they want you, so running the ball is important," he said.

Special teams latest debacle for WVU - Charleston Gazette
Several gaffes on special teams have diverted some attention away from weekly breakdowns on defense during what has become the Mountaineers' longest losing streak in 11 years.

Bitancurt looks to put past behind - Times West Virginian
“It’s very disappointing and frustrating, when one side of the ball makes mistakes and you get them fixed and the other side isn’t focused.”

Sooners toughest test yet for WVU - Register-Herald
The Sooners, ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press poll, have been installed as 10-point favorites.

Like MU, all WVU can do now is make bowl game - Herald Dispatch
"We just want to make sure we get to a bowl game," said redshirt junior wide receiver Stedman Bailey.

Rolling the Dice on 4th Down - WVU Athletics
Dana Holgorsen has gone for it 29 times so far this year.

Video: On the Spot - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
David Ubben is putting Oklahoma's secondary on the spot this week against West Virginia.

Video: Oklahoma-WVU preview - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
No. 12 Oklahoma heads to West Virginia this week to face the Mountaineers, losers of four straight games.


Around the League (and Beyond):

The Big 12 Primer: Week 12 - Big 12 Blog - ESPN

Sooners Heading Into A Potential Snake Pit In Morgantown - Crimson And Cream Machine

Thoughts on Baylor's Loss to Oklahoma in Norman - Our Daily Bears

Cyclones' focus is on winning two more games - WCF Courier

Kansas vs. Iowa State: Charlie Weis Previews the Cyclones - Rock Chalk Talk

TCU Game Analysis - Bring On The Cats

Top 5 Lies Told About the OSU Uniforms - Cowboys Ride For Free

Has Texas DC Manny Diaz done enough to save his job? - Burnt Orange Nation

Gary Patterson denies Arkansas coaching search rumors - SBNation.com

Point of Attack | Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma St. Cowboys - Viva The Matadors

BCS standings: Imagine if Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame all lose - Sporting News
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Video of Interest:

This week's United Bank Playbook, with Dana Holgorsen and Amanda Mazey, sitting in for Tony Caridi, previews Saturday's Oklahoma game.


Video of (Dis)Interest:

This is who we're dealing with this week:


Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is an American professional surfer and bikini model. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Alana Blanchard.