I think you fans are amazing
61,000+ of you packed Milan-Puskar Stadium and made that place as loud and as intimidating as it has been in years. The TCU game in 2014 was highly anticipated and the Oklahoma game was too but the energy felt different. I could see and feel it from my house in southcentral Pennsylvania. It came through the television like a bolt of lightning. Kudos! Now, you have to show up again in two weeks against Kansas. It is easy to show up against TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor. You have to show up against Kansas now. These boys need you.
I think Rushel Shell has proved me wrong
I said way back in the spring previews that Rushel Shell would eventually get outplayed and would lose his starting job. I fully expected it around this time to start seeing fewer carries for Rushel and see Crawford as the starting back. Well Rushel is finally running the way I’ve felt he needed to run. Angry. Mean. Determined. He still dances as times as he finds the hole, but now you can see him find the hole, plant his foot and get positive yards. He can wear a defense down. Rushel’s positive running on first down required the Horned Frogs to bring extra defenders down in the box to defend him. This meant our receivers were left one-on-one and those receivers are confident enough to win those matchups.
I think Skyler had some words for fans
Mike Casazza of the Charleston Gazette-Mail ran a piece on Friday that included a quote by Skyler that broke my heart.
Ya’ll, this ain’t cool. Skyler took the brunt of criticism last year for WVU’s 4-game slide against the toughest stretch the Mountaineers have ever faced. I understand fans were frustrated last year losing and the fact we didn’t beat a ranked team. Yet, the starting quarterback of this school feels like the fans do not support him. He is a kid. He’s not Ben Roethlisberger, someone who has been in the NFL for 13 years and has made millions upon millions. He isn’t a professional athlete.
Skyler Howard is an unpaid college athlete who exemplifies everything fans typically love about their school, their state, and their players. He is gritty. He is tough. He is hard-nosed and works tirelessly with kids doing great humanitarian work around the town. During the Missouri game, pockets of fans cheered when he left the game with an apparent injury and the backup quarterbacks entered the game. Skyler has three more games left at Mountaineer Field. Show him the love.
I think David Ubben has nailed it
Been saying it for weeks: WVU's biggest strength is it has no major weaknesses. Not excellent in many places, but very good everywhere.— David Ubben (@davidubben) October 22, 2016
This is 100% true. We don’t have the best quarterback in the Big 12, but we have a top 3. We don’t have the best wide receiver in the Big 12, but we might have the next 3. We don’t have the best running back in the Big 12, but we might have the best compliments. We don’t have the best offensive line, but they’ve played for years together now. We don’t have the best of any single group but we have a collection of guys who are pretty good.
How are you going to attack the Mountaineers? Are you going to dare WVU to beat you through the air and refuse to let the team rush the ball? Ok, we have 4-6 receivers who all compliment each other so well that we can do that. You put Shelton Gibson one-on-one and the ball is going DEEP.
Do you play zone coverage and make WVU earn every yard? West Virginia has been tested by teams that dared us to be perfect on drives and the team responded by being methodical. Are you going to sack/hit/rush Skyler Howard, thinking he’ll eventually crack? TCU did just this and Skyler went 16-for-21. He wasn’t the one with turnovers.
West Virginia isn’t dominating any one particular stat. That makes the team even that much dangerous. When you watch TCU you know they are passing. When you watch TCU, you know the offense rolls through Kenny Hill. Bill Belichik is famous for taking away what you do best and making your #2 or 3 option beat him. Most times the depth isn’t there. WVU doesn’t have that issue this year.
I think some national reporters are trolls
Jason Sehorn and Joey Galloway have infamously stomped their foot down, throwing a tantrum on twitter and national TV, declaring the Mountaineers unfit for the College Football Playoffs, no matter the outcome. “Who have they played” has been their decree.
They aren’t totally wrong in their statement. These wins are nice but we haven’t beaten anyone of relevance. Yet. That said, don’t fall into the Skip Bayliss trap. Certain talking heads on TV want to rile fan bases up. How do you do that? You take the current hot team and you dismiss them no matter their accomplishments. You declare some middle of the road team the best in their division/conference/league. Then you sit back and watch it burn.
Don’t fall into their trap. It is what they want. They want ratings. They want to incite fan bases because then you’ll click on their idiotic articles and message them on twitter. They don’t care what you have to say. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Just let them know every time West Virginia wins a game they say will prove how good the team is, that you remember. Or be like Joel Klatt.
I think fans got some great photos
I asked on Twitter and on Facebook for you to send me your pictures. Here are a few that I received of the game.
This photo was taken by my friend Nicole. I don’t know who’s car this is but whoever’s it is, you win Saturday. Just beautiful.
The lights are on at Milan Puskar. Fun things happen when the lights come on and sun goes down.
This photo comes from my friend and neighbor Tim Naylor. Probably the biggest Mountaineer fan I know. Just seeing the state outline makes me want to be at the stadium again.