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Mountaineer Morning Links: Thursday (12/27/12) Edition

Pinstripe Bowl - media day, practice notes, interviews galore; WVUPros update on Steve Slaton, 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 Skawork Orange Cream Stout, in preparation for Saturday's opponent.

What You May Have Missed:

Best BCS bowl moments: Sporting News ranks the 25 best - Sporting News
20 & 25

Substantial void to fill at center - Charleston Gazette
The loss of Madsen could be crucial because of the type of defense West Virginia will face from Syracuse on Saturday.

Smith Confident in Braun Playing Center - WVillustrated
Mountaineers must replace Joe Madsen, quarterback says he believes his current right guard it up to the task.

Mountaineers coach Holgorsen ‘disappointed’ in Madsen - Charleston Daily Mail
"The expectation for our guys is to go to class, get good grades, leave West Virginia with a good, quality education and a degree."

WVU loses senior center Madsen - Register-Herald

Familiar foe awaits West Virginia in Pinstripe Bowl - Bluefield Daily Telegraph
It’s likely that Yankee Stadium — either one of them — has ever seen scoring like it will see on Saturday.

Steve Slaton gets Physical with the Tennessee Titans - WVU Pros
With their backfield depleted, the Tennessee Titans have called Steve Slaton to come in for a physical.

News of Note:

Day One in the Books for WVU - WVU Athletics
Poor weather forced the Mountaineers indoors on Wednesday.

WVU shifts practice to team hotel - WV MetroNews
The Hilton New York has 151,000 square feet of meeting space — some of which will be used to host Wednesday's WVU football practice.

WVU football: Ballroom practice making perfect? - Charleston Daily Mail
players and coaches were pretty satisfied with the way practice went and how the unusual circumstances didn't affect effort

Mountaineers Turn Hotel Ballroom to Gridiron - WVillustrated
Team forced inside, says mental preparation outweighs physical drills at this point in game week.

West Virginia players have a ball at practice - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"It was room temperature ... 75 degrees. Ballroom setting. High ceilings. We were able to throw the ball around. It was neat."

Bad weather in NYC? What a surprise - Charleston Gazette
"We woke up to a blizzard and that's not cool,'' Holgorsen said. "But we'll deal with it.''

Smith learned from SU’s blitz barrage - WV MetroNews
“They’d send five guys off one side at times. It’s really unsound football, but it’s the way they play.”

Watch: Smith discusses Braun moving to center for Pinstripe Bowl - WV MetroNews
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith will work with a new center in his final college game after Joe Madsen was ruled academically ineligible.

Watch: Holgorsen likes facing a familiar opponent - WV MetroNews
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen jokes about the weather that forced Wednesday’s practice into a hotel ballroom, and he reacts to a non-joking matter —...

Watch: Bailey says WVU driven by revenge at Pinstripe Bowl - WV MetroNews
West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey says his team has a long memory, recalling how Syracuse beat the Mountaineers the past two seasons.

Watch: Tavon Austin doesn’t want a snowy Pinstripe Bowl - WV MetroNews
West Virginia’s Tavon Austin discusses the weekend forecast, his Christmas break and how WVU will combat Syracuse’s blitzes.

Video: Pinstripe Bowl Media Day - BGN
HCDH, Coach Patterson & Geno

VIDEO: WVU Football Interviews - WVillustrated
HCDH, Geno, Stedman, Coach Patterson, Will Clarke & Tavon

Photo Gallery: Pinstripe Bowl Media Day - BGN
Photos from Pinstripe Bowl Media Day at Yankee Stadium

The Eye in the Sky Doesn't Lie - WVU Athletics
Jed Drenning takes a closer look at Syracuse.

Syracuse tight ends are ready for WVU - Charleston Daily Mail
The Orange riddled WVU's defense with its tight ends in last season's 49-23 victory at the Carrier Dome.

Quick Hits: Syracuse Notes from First NYC Practice - WVillustrated
Chatting with Orange players as they open their practice at Columbia prior to the Pinstripe Bowl.

Video: Syracuse Interviews - BGN
Coordinators and Nassib

VIDEO: Syracuse Players Discuss WVU, Pinstripe Bowl - WVillustrated
A select group of Syracuse football players met with the media prior to their first Pinstripe Bowl practice in New York City.

VIDEO: Syracuse Football Interviews - WVillustrated
Watch video interviews with Syracuse Coaches and Players prior to the 2012 Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Holiday Bowl Eve: Pre-Game Blitz - Our Daily Bears

Whirlwind Liberty Bowl week awaits Cyclones - Des Moines Register

Countdown to the Fiesta Bowl: Grading Oregon’s, Kansas State’s wide receivers - Daily Emerald

Hudl allowing Sooners to study more quickly, effectively - Oklahoman

Quarterback Clint Chelf reflects on his path from third-team to bowl starter - Oklahoman

Alamo Bowl notes: Dorsey out, update on Ash rib injury, more - Burnt Orange Nation

A Closer Look: Michigan State - Frogs O' War

Emptying the Notebook: Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders - Viva The Matadors

Jeff Withey's Pursuit of the Kansas Career Blocks Record - Rock Chalk Talk

Video of Interest:

MSN's Tony Caridi breaks down the Mountaineers first full day in New York which included a trip to a children's hospital and media opportunities at Yankee Stadium.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Some good, some bad, but these are some of the moments of 2012 that brought us together:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a Spanish model who's recently been doing work for Freddie's (see below). CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Diana Morales.