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Mountaineer Morning Links: Thursday (8/28/14) Edition

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Alabama previews, white uniforms, we were guests on an Alabama podcast, WVU Pros update, 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 Rainier Beer.


What You May Have Missed:

Gold & Blue Now: Aug. 28 - WV MetroNews
senior quarterback Clint Trickett understands the challenge behind the Alabama’s defense. Also, senior running back Dreamuis Smith seems not to care whether who has been named the starter, just the one has the ‘hot hand.’

New Graphics Give Mountaineer Field a Facelift for 2014 - WVillustrated
WVU's home opener is more than a week away and fans can expect a new look when they walk inside Milan Puskar Stadium.

Men's Soccer Season Preview - WVU Athletics
Coming off a year that featured 15 underclassmen providing major minutes, the Mountaineers are hoping for a much smoother – and more successful – 2014.

News of Note:

United Bank Playbook - Alabama Preview - WVU Athletics
A preview of Saturday's season opener.

Mountaineer Insider Podcast - WVU Athletics (autoplay)
This week's inside look at Mountaineer sports features exclusive interviews with West Virginia University offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, ESPN college football expert Brad Edwards, Alabama safety Landon Collins and WVU associate athletic director for external affairs Matt Wells to discuss the new parking changes at Milan Puskar Stadium to accommodate new construction on going at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Trey DePriest to miss opener against West Virginia - Roll 'Bama Roll
Honestly, the effect of his suspension should be minimal given the fact that the HUNH WVU offense would force Alabama to play a lot nickle, meaning DePriest would spend most of the game on the side line.

Crook gets closer to setting o-line rotations - Charleston Daily Mail
Crook, set to begin his second season with the Mountaineers, has known his five starters since the end of spring practice, but hasn’t figured out what to do with his backups.

Casazza: WVU’s Bradley has seen plenty of Saban - Charleston Daily Mail
Dana Holgorsen and the eight other assistants have never prepared for a Saban team. Bradley has done it seven times before.

Wednesday Walkthrough: Alabama - WVU Sports with Mike Casazza
Alabama is Alabama, right? And Alabama is kind of green. Good green, but still green.

Hickman: Alabama’s easy to figure, harder to stop - Charleston Gazette
"There’s probably easier opening opponents out there,’’ Gibson said way back in March, when he was named to the position.

Gibson wants to bring stability to job - Exponent Telegram
"The one thing I don’t think anybody has talked about is that this program has had four coordinators in four years," he said. "These kids were freshmen every year, trying to learn the scheme."

Energy, Enthusiasm, Execution - BGN
West Virginia is showcasing as much energy and enthusiasm as it has at any time in the last 12 months. Now, as Clint Trickett and Nick Kwiatkoski note, it's time for the final phase: Execution.

Confidence levels key part of opener - Exponent Telegram
The question is whether or not that expected dominance is an edge for the Crimson Tide or simply a load of psychological baggage on its back.

WVU football: Many first-game tests face new, dueling coordinators - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Preparation has been a logistical nightmare for the West Virginia defensive staff, which has split its time between USC and Alabama game film and is trying to scout two quarterbacks with different styles who never have started a game.

WVU prepping for two 'Bama QBs - Register Herald: College Sports
Blake Sims or Jake Coker?

WVU will prove its worth — maybe - Martinsburg Journal
There’s much optimism surrounding the West Virginia football program this season.

West Virginia AD Luck wants improvement - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"We've got a bunch of guys who gained experience last year. I think the kids are excited. I think we've got a great group of coaches, I really do. What I need to see and what I want to see, and I certainly think it's shared by our fan base, is improvement."

Keys to West Virginia’s 2014 season - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Holgorsen insists it’s a "night and day" difference from last year to this one and, despite the Mountaineers’ gauntlet of a schedule, there is plenty of reason for optimism.

Matchup: Injuries, NFL departures force Tide defense to replenish - WV MetroNews
Guard Mark Glowinski says West Virginia can tire down the Alabama defense with a gutsy performance.

Depth on all sides for 'Bama - Daily Athenaeum Online
Heading into Saturday’s matchup against No. 2 Alabama, there are still several uncertainties as to what West Virginia should expect to see from the Crimson Tide’s offense.

Football: With Ishmael Banks suspended, Terrell Chestnut ready to step up for WVU - WVUPros
West Virginia redshirt junior cornerback Terrell Chestnut feels ready to start against the Alabama Crimson Tide for the recently suspended Ishmael Banks.

WVU’s Worley tasked with covering Tide’s Cooper - Charleston Gazette
On an Alabama team chock full of potential All-Americas — there are no less than eight on Phil Steele’s preseason first and second teams — perhaps the best of the lot is junior wide receiver Amari Cooper.

Dillon has no fear as Alabama awaits - Exponent Telegram
"They give me a little bit of everything, but I’m ready for it," the 6-1, 210-pound sophomore said.

Previewing the West Virginia 3-3-5 defense - Roll 'Bama Roll
How will West Virginia attack the Alabama offense using their newly installed 3-3-5 defense?

Several tailbacks likely to see action for Mountaineers - Exponent Telegram
Despite a logjam of five experienced players vying for playing time, Seider considers it the furthest thing from a problem.

Lambert to use confidence in 2014 - Daily Athenaeum Online
"At the beginning of last year, I was kind of iffy," Lambert said.

WATCH: WVU Player Interviews - WVillustrated
Watch full video interviews with West Virginia players as they look forward to this weekend's season kickoff game in Atlanta against Alabama.

Past makes opener even more intriguing - Exponent Telegram
Ssssssh! Don’t tell Alabama football coach Nick Saban this.

Manchin always roots for his pal Saban, except this week - WV MetroNews
The senator from West Virginia and the coach from Alabama have a friendship that dates back to childhood.

Must See Tweets:

Recruiting:

FURFARI COLUMN: If you don't think recruiting trips can be tough, just ask Don Nehlen - Times West Virginian
Recruiting student-athletes at the intercollegiate level, especially in football and basketball, can be very difficult and time-consuming on occasion.

Pro News:

NFL Preseason Week 4: What to watch for - WVUPros
Expect to see a flurry of action over the next four or five days around the NFL, and some of that could involve WVUPros.

Around the League (and Beyond):

"The Palace" - A Hype Video - Our Daily Bears

Rhoads looking to repeat a script - 2:00 Timeout

2014 Kansas Football Position Previews: Defensive Line - Rock Chalk Talk

Kansas State’s depth chart deep enough for revisions - Wichita Eagle

Bob Stoops embracing Steve Spurrier's ways? - ESPN

Could J.W. Walsh be better than Zac Robinson? - Cowboys Ride For Free

WR John Harris - 5th Year Texas Senior Ready For Breakout Season - Barking Carnival

Battle for TCU's starting QB job: Has Trevone Boykin gained edge over Matt Joeckel? - Dallas Morning News

Who's the fastest Red Raider of them all? - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Mandel's Mailbag: How Auburn, UGA make playoff, Alabama doubts and more - FOX Sports

What's On Tap:

Single Game Parking Passes Available - WVU Athletics
Parking passes in the Burgundy, Green, Gold, Purple and White Lots can be purchased in advance at WVUGAME.com or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME.

Updated Game Day Parking Information - WVU Athletics
With the home opener of the 2014 WVU football season scheduled for Sept. 6, the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is providing a guide to help fans, especially Blue Lot parking pass holders, with game day parking and tailgating information.

Single game tickets for the 2014 WVU football season are on sale now! Go to WVUGAME.COM or call 1-800-WVU GAME

Football Game Promotions Announced - WVU Athletics
Stripe the Stadium, Gold Rush and Family Day Promotions

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Tickets on Sale - WVU Athletics
Tickets for West Virginia’s appearance in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game are now on sale through the Mountaineer Ticket Office

WVU vs Alabama Game Watches Across the Country - BGN

BT Entertainment Presents WVU ATLANTA KICKOFF

WVU alumni group plans to welcome Mountaineer faithful to Atlanta - WV MetroNews
Events are scheduled around the Chik-fil-A Kickoff Game between WVU and Alabama on Aug. 30 at the Georgia Dome.

WVU’s Countdown to Kickoff: Day 2 Rasheed Marshall - WVUPros
The only Marshall that matters

Video of Interest:

Assistant coach Tony Gibson spoke to members of the media Tuesday night about defending against the Alabama offense. The Mountaineers take on the Crimson Tide Saturday night in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

Video of (Dis)Interest:


Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is a beauty from the former Soviet republic of Moldova. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Xenia Deli.