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Skyler Howard Hopes To Impress In Home State Against Baylor

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The way Skyler Howard remembers the story is different, and that might just be a matter of convenience. Howard, of course, has mostly willed himself from a lightly recruited Texas high school quarterback through separate stops at FBS and junior college programs to become the starter at a Big 12 school. However, the West Virginia quarterback has not forgotten the beginning of his journey.

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Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions.

News Of Note

Football:

QB Howard hopes to impress in home state of Texas | Charleston Gazette-Mail
The way Skyler Howard remembers the story is different, and that might just be a matter of convenience. Howard, of course, has mostly willed himself from a lightly recruited Texas high school quarterback through separate stops at Football Championship Subdivision and junior college programs to become the starter at a Big 12 school. But the West Virginia quarterback has not forgotten the beginning of his journey.

Rest of season rests on Skyler Howard’s shoulders | The Daily Athenaeum
The emotion in Skyler Howard’s face and voice was apparent during interviews following the West Virginia University football team’s gut-wrenching overtime loss to Oklahoma State last week. The WVU quarterback was clearly disappointed over his performance and the outcome of the game.

West Virginia heads to Waco for No. 2 Baylor | The Daily Athenaeum
The West Virginia University football team is back on the road this weekend to take on the No. 2 Baylor Bears in possibly the biggest challenge it faces this season.

WVU won't back down from Baylor's offense | Beckley Register-Herald
Baylor is putting up points. It’s racking up yardage in chunks and it’s keeping fans on the edge of their seats for every play. But that’s nothing new. Robert Griffin III started the trend in 2010, and every year since it seems that the Bears get a little better when the football is in their hands. So just how good is the 2015 group? The numbers say it could be the best.

Generating pressure key in slowing Baylor down | Times West Virginian
College football historically goes in cycles. It begins with someone coming up with a new offensive idea … i.e. the split-T, the wing-T, the wishbone. That new offense dominates the game and as it does, sometimes running up unimaginable statistics, offensive coaches across the nation rush in to adopt it while defensive coaches spend sleepless nights figuring ways to stop it. To date, always the defense has caught up, which leads us to an interesting situation that West Virginia University faces this weekend when it travels to Waco, Texas, to take on Baylor.

Baylor’s passing offense a tall task for West Virginia | The Daily Athenaeum
Baylor’s offense is no joke. It’s the main reason the Bears have reached No. 2 in the AP Top 25 and 5-0 this season. The combination of Seth Russell, Shock Linwood and Corey Coleman make the Bears more dangerous than most college football teams this year, or any year, for that matter. West Virginia faces the daunting task of slowing down the nation’s top offense, particularly its passing attack, which ranks as one of the best ever in Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen’s book.

For WVU, explosive Baylor poses more than just offensive threat | Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Baylor's stark defensive transformation — combined with a prolific offense — helps explain the Bears' status among college football's elite.

Baylor Bears looking for revenge against West Virginia Mountaineers | ESPN
Baylor will be looking for payback in its meeting with West Virginia on Saturday, as the Mountaineers toppled the Bears in an upset last year.

Advanced Stats Preview: Baylor Bears vs. West Virginia Mountaineers | Our Daily Bears
Taking a closer look at Saturday's matchup through the lens of the Football Outsiders Advanced Stats.

Holgorsen: Douglas Will See the Field More | EerSports
The former four-star JUCO All-American will see the field in an increased role in Waco tomorrow.

Local rivalry fuels the revival of the Backyard Brawl in 2022 | The Daily Athenaeum
In most spheres of life, hate is not viewed positively. It’s become an almost universally held view that one should not despise others for being different from them. Hate is ugly, hate is mean, hate is something that should be fought against. Except in college football.

Basketball:

Big 12 coaches pick West Virginia 6th in preseason poll | WV MetroNews
How deep is Big 12 basketball? Deep enough that West Virginia was picked closer to the bottom than the top.

West Virginia Athletics:

Mountaineers gaining confidence ahead of Buffalo game | The Daily Athenaeum
Everything seems to be falling into place for Marlon LeBlanc’s squad. After starting the season 2-5, the West Virginia University men’s soccer team has won four of its last five games, adding major momentum heading into Friday’s conference affair at Buffalo.

WVU takes on Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech at home | The Daily Athenaeum
The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams are set to square off against Georgia Tech tonight in the first ever Big 12 vs. ACC Weekend Meet hosted at the WVU Natatorium.

Around The League

Around The Big 12:

The Big 12 By The Numbers After Week 6 | Land Grant Gauntlet
We're starting to get into the meat of the season, so it's probably time to start paying attention to a few stats.

Oklahoma State Cowboys have the ideal path to a Big 12 title | ESPN
The Big 12's reigning co-champions appear poised to do it again. No. 2-ranked Baylor is cruising, putting up eye-popping points and looking like the program that won back-to-back conference titles. No. 3-ranked TCU is maturing on a weekly basis, gaining valuable experience while finding ways to win. But neither of the Big 12’s highest-ranked teams has a better road to a conference title than No. 16 Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma hopes to get season back on track at Kansas State | ESPN
Oklahoma and Kansas State will meet Saturday with both coming off emotionally difficult losses. The Wildcats took TCU to the brink before falling in the final minute; the Sooners dropped the Red River Showdown, despite being 17.5-point favorites.

Around The NCAA:

Michigan State has recent history on its side, but Jim Harbaugh's had the better 2015 team | SBNation
Michigan State has won six of the last seven games against Michigan and still ranks higher than the Wolverines in the polls. But if the numbers are any indication, Michigan has a chance to swiftly create a new narrative.

USC did a horrible thing to Steve Sarkisian because it had no choice | SBNation
The Trojans put their football future over the health of a person they supposedly cared about. This was probably the best-case scenario.

Utah has the experience and scheme to keep its surprise Pac-12 title run alive | SBNation
With Devontae Booker and another strong defense, the sky is the limit for Utah.

SHUTDOWN FULLCAST 3.24: THE CHILIS TOO OF SHUTDOWN FULLCASTS | Every Day Should Be Saturday
IT'S LIKE THE REGULAR PODCAST, BUT IN AN AIRPORT AND SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE

The Solid Verbal: Sarkisian, Spurrier out + college football's Week 7 as a huge road upset week | SBNation
Ty and Dan speak with the LA Times's Lindsey Thiry about Steve Sarkisian's termination from USC, and then run through all of Week's biggest matchups and make their picks.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMBLING: Alabama, Ohio State and Week 7's 18 other best bets | SBNation
It's time to pick only the best wagers from the weekend schedule. This is our college football gambling column. It's called COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMBLING.

What's On Tap

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. (2) Baylor Bears
Saturday at 12PM on Fox from Waco, TX. The Mountaineers limp into Waco after an 0-2 Big 12 start as 21.5 point underdogs, and look to upset the Bears for the second consecutive year.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday at 12PM on Fox Sports 1 from Lawrence, KS. The Red Raiders are 31.5 point favorites over the basement dwelling Jayhawks.

(19) Oklahoma Sooners vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Saturday at 3:30PM on ABC from Manhattan, KS. Oklahoma looks to get back to their winning ways after losing the Red River Shootout, but will they succumb to Bill Snyder's wizardry? The Wildcats are 3.5 point underdogs on their home turf.

(3) TCU Horned Frogs vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday at 7PM on ESPN2 from Ames, IA. The Horned Frogs had a little bit of a scare last week, but should be able to roll over the Cyclones, TCU is 20.5 point favorites.

(10) Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Saturday at 3:30PM on CBS from College Station, TX. Alabama shut out the Aggies in Tuscaloosa last year to the tune of 59-0, and will try to do it again at Kyle Field as 4 point favorites.

(7) Michigan State Spartans vs. (12) Michigan Wolverines
Saturday at 3:30PM on ESPN from Ann Arbor, MI. The Wolverines are on a roll under Jim Harbaugh, and are 7.5 point favorites against their higher ranked rival.

(8) Florida Gators vs. (6) LSU Tigers
Saturday at 7PM on ESPN from Baton Rouge, LA. Florida is 7.5 point underdogs as the Gators have to go into Tiger Stadium at night, without their starting quarterback, to take on college football's top running back.

College Football Week 7 Game Schedule & How To Watch | The Smoking Musket
Here's your complete week 7 guide for watching college football.

West Virginia Pros

Kevin White seen practicing for the first time since August | Blue Gold Sports
If you read our update on Kevin White's injury from earlier this week, you might remember that his recovery from surgery to repair a broken shin is going well.

Adam Jones shines bright with the Bengals | Blue Gold Sports
Adam "Pacman" Jones is o the path to be a great contribution to the Bengals defense this season, as evidenced by seasons past.

Colts kicker/punter Pat McAfee bidding for perfect season | Indy Star
The brick house shook as he thundered soccer balls against it, but that didn’t alert Pat McAfee to the lightning in his right leg. The time he kicked the cover off the ball? That didn’t do it either. McAfee first understood what he had, what his future held, that day of soccer when the goalkeeper blocked his shot. And the ball snapped his arm in half. Pat McAfee was 12.

Pat McAfee goes off on 'kickers aren't football players' comment | Indy Star
NFL Network analyst Brian Billick may have picked the wrong football position to go after. "Kickers are people, too, but they're not football players," Billick said Sunday morning. Guess what else kickers aren't? Quiet. Guess what they are? Feisty.

Video Of Interest

I don't know about the rest of you, but I really don't like Baylor. I think we have the makings of a good rivalry in the Big 12. Let's turn that up a little bit more tomorrow.

Tailgate Recipe Of The Week

Green Chile and Frito Burgers

Ingredients

1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
2 fresh Hatch or Anaheim chiles (4 oz. total) or 1 can (7 oz.) Hatch* or regular green chiles, sliced
4 slices (4 oz.) pepper jack cheese
2 cups Fritos
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chipotle barbecue sauce
4 kaiser rolls, split

Directions

1. Heat grill to medium (350° to 450°). Mix ground chuck, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until just combined (do not overmix). Divide into 4 portions and form into 1/2-in. patties with a slight depression in the center of each to help them cook evenly. Brush with 1 tsp. oil.

2. Rub fresh chiles with remaining 1 tsp. oil. Grill over high heat, turning often, until blackened, about 4 minutes. Cover with a towel to steam, about 10 minutes. When cool, rub off skins, then stem, seed, and slice chiles into strips.

3. Grill burgers until cooked the way you like, about 7 minutes for medium. In last few minutes, lay a cheese slice on each burger and lay split rolls on grill.

4. Arrange burgers on bottom of buns and top with one-quarter of chiles and Fritos. Mix mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and dollop about 2 tsp. onto each burger. Set tops of rolls in place.

*Canned Hatch green chiles are available in some grocery stores.

Reprinted from MyRecipes.com

Video Of (Dis)Interest

Back To The Future, updated for the actual future!

Miss Throwdown

I was going to take a shot at Baylor and make Seth Russell's girlfriend, Ashleigh James, today's Miss Throwdown, but then I found this fitness model that graduated from Baylor University and her abs scared me into giving her the honor instead. CLICK HERE Rachel Sheer's Instagram.