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West Virginia And Virginia To Square Off In Clash Of Styles

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Normally, an early-season basketball encounter doesn’t carry the weight that West Virginia’s meeting with Virginia does at 7 p.m. today in the Jimmy V Classic on ESPN.

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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:

Wheels churning over Holgorsen’s status | Charleston Gazette-Mail
An 8-4 record would have made everything OK. A WVU victory last Saturday against an outmanned Kansas State team would have done the trick. All coach Dana Holgorsen had to do was give the ball to Wendell Smallwood on fourth-and-1. It was as obvious a call as that once facing Pete Carroll in the Super Bowl. Instead of Marshawn Lynch, though, Holgorsen had Wendell Smallwood. Then the Mountaineer coach, like Carroll, tried to be too clever. Gimpy QB Skyler Howard ran the ball. He lost 3 yards. WVU lost the game. And then the Mountaineer Nation lost its collective mind.

Taking stock of the Mountaineers’ loss to K-State | WV MetroNews
During the 26 days between now and West Virginia’s next football game, you can bet on  The Lunch playing the Snow Miser song a few hundred times and replaying even more frequently the unlikely scenario that led to a loss at Kansas State.

Smallwood reached new heights this year | The Daily Athenaeum
West Virginia has been a pass-first team since the departures of star running backs Steve Slaton and Noel Devine, but the Mountaineers may have found another gem in junior Wendell Smallwood.

Basketball:

Contrasting styles highlight WVU’s nationally ranked matchup with Virginia | Charleston Gazette-Mail
The nationally ranked men’s basketball programs at West Virginia and Virginia have contrasting defensive styles that yield similar results.

WVU, Virginia square off in clash of styles | The Exponent Telegram
Normally, an early-season basketball encounter doesn’t carry the weight that West Virginia’s meeting with Virginia does at 7 p.m. today in the Jimmy V Classic on ESPN.

Jimmy V becomes early-season proving ground for No. 14 WVU | WV MetroNews
West Virginia’s seventh consecutive win of the season, not necessarily one to be savored despite a 33-point cushion over Kennesaw State, only left the Mountaineers hungry for the next game.

No. 14 Mountaineers face huge test against Virginia | Beckley Register-Herald
On Monday, West Virginia jumped six spots to No. 14 in the AP Top 25 basketball poll. Tonight, the Mountaineers will get a chance to prove the move was justified.

Disrupting offenses a must for WVU | The Exponent Telegram
There was a time, several years back, when Bob Huggins was out scouting an AAU tournament in Detroit, sitting up high with the AAU coach who had delivered to Danny Fortson to Huggins, a big man who went on to become maybe the best player he ever coached at Cincinnati.

Watkins defies odds by returning from knee injury | The Daily Athenaeum
When WVU big man Brandon Watkins suffered a serious knee injury late last season, one might have been forgiven for writing the junior off for this year.

West Virginia Athletics:

Mountaineers No. 7 in Final TDS.com Poll | WVU Athletics
The West Virginia University women’s soccer team is ranked No. 7 in the final 2015 TopDrawerSoccer.com Top 25 Poll.

Around The League

Around The Big 12:

Expansion talk back on table in Big 12? | ESPN
The Big 12 got a team in the playoff without a conference championship game, but it's a matter of conjecture whether that will hold in the future.

Oklahoma vs. Villanova final score: Sooners roll to 78-55 victory | SBNation
A pair of unbeaten teams ranked in the top 10 each made an extreme statement at the Pearl Harbor Invitational Monday night. One positive, the other not so positive.

Baylor basketball can run you over or slice you apart | SBNation
Taureen Waller-Prince went for a career-high 30 as Baylor outlasted Vanderbilt in an entertaining game in Waco.

Kansas State's uncharacteristic postgame celebration was well-earned | ESPN
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder tells his team to act like they've been there before. He made an exception to that rule on Saturday.

The unanswered question lives on for Texas Longhorns | ESPN
The Longhorns' must address the elephant in the room. They should bring in multiple signees at quarterback as well as a veteran signal-caller.

Around The NCAA:

Only 3 Heisman Trophy finalists announced for 2015, despite a loaded field | SBNation
You can make a really strong case for any of these players to win, including several who aren't finalists.

Clemson's DC was the star of last year's bowl against his old team. Now they meet in the Playoff | SBNation
These two teams know each other, but they don't know the 2015 versions of each other.

The only thing keeping Nick Saban from another title game is the program he used to coach | SBNation
Nick Saban used to coach Michigan State. Now Sparty's just in his way.

SHUTDOWN FULLCAST 3.38: CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND REVIEW | Every Day Should Be Saturday
OH, AND FAMILY WE HAVE TO DISCUSS LYNX HAWTHORNE IMMEDIATELY

West Virginia Pros

Rams not sure whether Bailey will be able to return | Charleston Gazette-Mail
St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher says wide receiver Stedman Bailey was improving from two gunshot wounds to the head, but wasn’t sure if the 2013 third-round pick would be able to return to the NFL.

Kevin White's leg 'healed,' Bears await football shape | Chicago Sun-Times
Bears rookie receiver Kevin White's leg is "healed," coach John Fox said Monday, but that's no guarantee he'll return to games this season.

What's On Tap

(14) West Virginia Mountaineers vs (10) Virginia Cavaliers
Tonight at 7:00PM EST on ESPN from Madison Square Garden. The Mountaineers can make a statement with a win over the Cavaliers, who are 4 point favorites at this time.

Big Apple Meeting for WVU, UVa | WVU Athletics
WVU, UVa to meet for 17th time ever in NYC Tuesday night.

Video Of (Dis)Interest

Miss Throwdown

Today's Miss Throwdown is a model and entrepreneur who has started her own swimwear line . CLICK HERE for Pia Muehlenbeck's Instagram.