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What I Think About Paying Back 2012 and a Rivalry Trophy

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Well Saturday was a lot of fun. Let’s do that again.

West Virginia v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

I think Skyler Howard won over a lot of critics Saturday

I love Skyler Howard and how he epitomizes the state of West Virginia. - FS1 Announcer Joel Klatt

I do too Joel! Watching Howard truck a defender, outpassing Pat Mahomes and generally doing things that you expect of Dana Holgorsen and Air Raid quarterbacks do, was a joy. Howard was on point. His deep passes had arc and accuracy. His crossing routes were out in front of receivers allowing them to catch in stride. His sideline passes had arc over defenders and were catchable. Skyler, you had a day.

I think Welcome Back Jovon Durante

You saw that too? Durante has had the light come on since BYU. 17 catches for 182 yards and 1 touchdown in his last 3 games. Durante isn’t strong enough to block just yet but he has skills with the ball. He has moves, he has speed and he’s only a true sophomore.

I think pump the brakes

Yeah this is weird. Everyone came into the game saying “We’ll know more about this team after Texas Tech”. Then the team told Texas Tech “We’re going to hold you to 10 points” and then basically did. So why am I saying pump the brakes? Well honestly, who have we beaten? Missouri might not reach bowl eligibility. BYU dropped to 1-3 before they reeled off 3 straight. The Michigan State win by BYU is impressive but now the Spartans are 2-4. Kansas State and Texas Tech are now both 3-3. There isn’t a signature win. Yet. Those are on the schedule. Like most of you, I’m elated we are getting recognition but I’d much rather we continue to be underrated. A friend and I had a conversation “Don’t tell these kids how good they are in September, tell them in December and keep them hungry”. That’s how I feel. I love the ranking but I don’t want complacency, I want these kids to stay hungry. Give me that Big 12 Championship.

I think Texas Tech is a rival

Part of being in the Big 12 is that West Virginia has lost that regional rival that has defined fans’ memories for the last 30 years. So many people, including myself, harken back to the _____ game in _____. I was at the VT game in 2003 when the fans rushed the field, got pepper sprayed and there was mayhem everywhere. I was there for Miami 2002 when it was 30-23 in the 4th quarter and I thought “Holy _____, we’re actually kinda good”. I think Texas Tech solidified their status as one of our rivals on Saturday. Cheap shots (by both sides, even if I agree with Klatt that Fleming was a targeting 1 while the TTU player was egregious.), tough play and general dislike of each other, plus the status of being the two furthest teams in the conference makes for a fun rivalry. Here at the musket, we’ve floated the idea around of a trophy and our own John Radcliffe created the John Denver trophy.

Someone else suggested “The Battle for John Denver’s Guitar”. Either way, I’m good just give me a trophy because that beatdown on Saturday deserved one.

I think you finally see just how much Dana has grown

2012, the most prolific offense in West Virginia history, rolls into Lubbock thinking they were going to run through this Big 12 Conference. The first two games had been high scoring affairs but West Virginia had prevailed. The Red Raiders, who would win 8 games that year, were a good offense but not prolific. They would average around 36 points per game that year, while WVU averaged 39. Texas Tech would finish 97th in scoring defense that year. So they weren’t a world beater. What they did that day taught everyone on the WVU sideline a lesson. You can’t win with offense alone. Now, you see a team that has the playmakers to compete with that 2012 squad but with a defense that so far is light years ahead of 2012 and 2013 and even 2014. This squad right now, might be better than the 2015 senior-laden defense.

Not only has Dana grown, knowing he can’t win with offense alone, he’s grown as an offensive play caller. Against Texas Tech, it is simple to get sucked in and want to throw the ball all over the place. When your quarterback completes 67% of his passes for 10 yards per attempt and 15 yards per completion, its easy to say “THROW THE BALL!!!”. But Dana didn’t, he ran the ball. He ran the ball for 300 yards. We had 5 rushing touchdowns to 1 passing touchdown. That’s growth from your head coach.

I think Welcome Back Karl Joseph....err hey that’s Kyzir White

Joseph is wanted for murder in Austin, while White is wanted in Lubbock. Stop bringing the Mountaineers to Texas.

Hey line coach Ron Crook, what did you think of that hit?

I copied the Chris Brown and Jim Weber tweets together because yes, college football is more fun when Dana is relevant.