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Mountaineer Morning Links: Friday (12/26/14) Edition

Liberty Bowl previews galore, including matchups & interviews, recruiting notes, WVUPros feature, Big 12 roundup & more.

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Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Leftovers Ale.


What You May Have Missed:

Mountaineer Football Player Victim of Shooting - EerSports
West Virginia wide receiver Jacky Marcellus was one of three victims of a shooting, according to WINK, the local CBS station in southwest Florida.

News of Note:

Liberty Bowl Digital Fan Guide - WVU Athletics
get ready for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl with WVU's first-ever Digital Bowl Guide.

Bowl Prep Philosophies Run the Gamut - WVU Athletics
Bowl prep is one of the great mysteries of college football.

Drenning: 2014 Liberty Bowl Breakdown - WVU Athletics
Jed Drenning breaks down the Xs and Os for the 2014 Liberty Bowl.

Boone County native, WVU defensive coordinator, has come a long way - Charleston Daily Mail
Gibson is WVU’s fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons, and it’s fair to say he was not a popular pick to follow Jeff Casteel, Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson.

Gibson’s new deal brings stability - Charleston Gazette
Through it all, however, Gibson did a remarkable job

Defensive mission - Exponent Telegram
WVU looks to cap rebound season with Liberty Bowl victory

Mountaineers healthy going into bowl - Charleston Gazette
If nothing else, West Virginia’s football team seems to be healthy as it prepares for Monday’s Liberty Bowl matchup with Texas A&M.

Rose has blossomed out of spotlight - Charleston Daily Mail
Kyle Rose ranks ninth on the team in tackles. He didn’t force or recover a fumble this season and he never sacked the quarterback. And that’s pretty much what’s expected of West Virginia’s nose guard.

With Joseph expected back, defense flaunts experience for 2015 - WV MetroNews
Tony Gibson says nine returning starters will be more fluent for their second season in the 3-3-5.

WVU’s Henry making a name for himself - Exponent Telegram
Seeing Dravon Henry’s name pop up on freshman All-America lists should not come as a huge surprise.

Glowinski took slightly different path to starting spot - Exponent Telegram
He’s looking at the NFL and the NFL is looking at him, and a good game against Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl at 2 p.m. December 29 in Memphis can do nothing, but help him.

Musings, Match-Ups and More: WVU vs Texas A&M - BGN
We've reviewed the video, talked to the participants, and played armchair QB. Now it's time to break down the key battles in the Liberty Bowl as WVU faces Texas A&M.

More WVU Bowl Preview: Mitchell and Crook - BGN
As West Virginia continues its preparation for the 56th annual Liberty Bowl, cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell and offensive line mentor Ron Crook face widely varying challenges. But both have a common ground in having a fully healthy assortment of players, as well as improving depth headed into the bowl game.

Liberty Bowl Preview: Player's Perspective - BGN
West Virginia's player's admit the program has taken a step forward this season, but is not yet back to where they'd like it to be.

Bowl Breakdown: Texas A&M OL vs WVU DL - EerSports
EerSports continues our Bowl Breakdown series, this time taking a look at the matchup between West Virginia's defensive line and Texas A&M's offensive line.

Bowl Breakdown: WVU OL vs Texas A&M DL - EerSports
EerSports continues our Bowl Breakdown series, this time taking a look at the matchup between West Virginia's offensive line and Texas A&M's defensive line.

Mountaineers Bowl Bound - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
West Virginia will face Texas A&M in Liberty Bowl Monday

A&M Not Good Against The Run - Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
The big discussion leading up the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is which quarterback Dana Holgorsen should start.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl primer: West Virginia vs. Texas A&M - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
Teams who endured turbulent seasons seeking positive ending to jump-start their offseasons.

Liberty Bowl Preview and Prediction: West Virginia vs. Texas A&M - AthlonSports.com
Prediction: West Virginia 38, Texas A&M 34

Holgorsen says WVU not 'very far off' from championship - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"I don't view us and TCU as much different. A year ago we were both 4-8. Both competitive and lost close games (in 2013), both improved. They were able to finish about three games that we were not able to finish. And that's the difference in (winning) the Big 12 championship."

Memphis bowl game offers opportunities for WVU fans - Charleston Gazette
A drivable location, a big-name opponent, a host city with a reputation for partying

Recruiting:

EerSports Christmas List - EerSports
EerSports takes a look at West Virginia's top remaining targets, gives the "Naughty" and "Nice" scenarios for each, and share's Santa's pick on which scenario is most likely.

Pro News:

Feel Good Friday: Keith Tandy Hospital Visit Brightens Holiday Spirits - WVUPros
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone. So is the NFL season. That didn't stop Keith Tandy from taking a day to visit Florida Hospital Tampa.

Around the League (and Beyond):

Baylor fans — Look on bright side of Cotton Bowl - Waco Tribune

Why playing faster helped Custer put together his best ISU performance - Ames Tribune

KU hopes to make strides following break - Lawrence Journal World

K-State constructing bowl plan for UCLA - Topeka Capital Journal

What To Expect From The Oklahoma Offense - Crimson And Cream Machine

Zac Veatch's move to tight end bolsters Cowboy offensive line - Oklahoman

Arkansas vs Texas Advanced Stats Preview: Texas Delenda Est - Arkansas Fight

TCU running back B.J. Catalon out for Peach Bowl - Star Telegram

Texas Tech Hoops | Home Court Advantage - Viva The Matadors

Video of Interest:

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is an American model turned actress who rose to fame after her appearance in the Blurred Lines video and then appeared in Gone Girl and the SI Swimsuit issue. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Emily Ratajkowski.