We learned many things on Saturday, but there was really only one thing we learned that mattered: West Virginia is good. Really good. Now we get to spend the next 6 weeks finding out how good.
This was a fun one for me personally, because I got to enjoy a true big game atmosphere in Morgantown for the first time since 2012 Baylor. And all that driving was absolutely worth it. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to remember a more stress-free Mountaineer win.
Hey guys, yesterday I went to the game with my boyfriend, but left with my fiancée! pic.twitter.com/mAtghOPaQX— Laura (@lalaohsogood) October 23, 2016
The Retweet tips the cap and sends you hearty congratulations. May your marriage always feel like you're comfortably up 3 TDs in a conference game and may you grind the challenges of life into dust with a power run game and stingy defense.
Man, did those #DAWGS have a day or what? Complete and utter domination for the second straight week - this group is special.
And now comes the part where I ask for your help. I never ask for anything, but I'm asking for this. My buddy Don showed me this video over the weekend and I'm still laughing about it. It's only a minute, and absolutely worth your time:
"We don't need a bunch a cats in here 'MEEEEEWWW.....do I look good....I got enough arm bands??.....got my other shoooooes?"
"We need more DAAAWGS."
I love every single thing about this video, from the description of the screen door to the cat noises. The best part is there's actually a somewhat discernible point buried in here, and it fits Gibby's #DAWGS perfectly. This absolutely needs to become a video board thing. Please. I beg of you, anyone who reads this with any relationship all to someone at Milan Puskar Stadium please let this become a thing. It's freaking brilliant. You could edit it down to a 20-30 second clip and play that early in the game, and then 2 or 3 times when there's a big defensive series just pop in with "we need more DAWGS!!"
Let's change the world, people. Let's make this happen.
No place better than Morgantown WV........love the fans love the DAWGS #stayhumblestayhungry#DAWGS— Tony Gibson (@TonyGibsonWVU) October 23, 2016
@SolidVerbal TCU had 72 second half yards 39 came down 24 with under 2 minutes left— David Hartley (@dhartle1) October 22, 2016
West Virginia has allowed 11, 16, 17, and 10 points vs Power 5 teams.— The Solid Verbal (@SolidVerbal) October 22, 2016
I can't talk enough about how fulfilling and satisfying I find it to win games like this. For 4 years all we heard was that the Big 12 was all about offense and the only way to compete was to play their game. Giving up 30 a game? Oh, that's just the cost of doing business. Defensive football doesn't work, power football doesn't work, just get all the speed you can and do your damndest to put up 40 a game and pray it's enough.
Listen, I enjoyed the Orange Bowl 70 and that first 5 games of 2012 as much as anyone. I loved having a top tier QB Heisman candidate in Geno Smith and watching Tavon have the greatest offensive day of anyone in the last quarter century against Oklahoma. That was all well and good.
But that's simply not who we are. It's never been who we are.
Still hard to believe West Virginia plays defense like this now. Great rush, motor https://t.co/4mRFqYNP1L— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) October 22, 2016
Actually no, it's not. Because that's the type of football West Virginia played for years. Play solid defense, dominate the line of scrimmage. This is how you impose your will, limit variables and grind an opponent into dust. When you can defend and run you don't care about wind or any of the 20 other things that can interrupt your mojo. And when you beat someone, they're beaten. You pound the ball and watch that clock run and by the time you hit the 4th quarter, all they want to do is hit the road.
My favorite part of that game? The 15 play, 7:30 field goal drive. You could see TCU fold and you knew they knew it was over. And I did some digging and found it's pretty consistent with what we've seen from this WVU team all year. Here are the combined scores over the first 6 games by quarter:
Second Quarter: 45-36
Third Quarter: 50-12
Fourth Quarter: 54-35
Look at that third quarter number. It's beautiful. WVU has come out of the locker room and absolutely had their way with folks. With the exception of the Kansas State game, when they battled to a 3-3 tie, the third quarter has often been when they've created real separation (yes I know they gave that most of that back against BYU, be quiet I'm trying to make a point). They extended the lead against Mizzouri from 13-3 to 23-3. They outscored Youngstown St. 17-0 to break the halftime tie. Even against Kansas State they held the rope until the offense was able to find traction in the 4th.
This is what a quality team looks like and it's time to wrap our heads around the fact that WVU may be built for the long haul. And the best part about it? We're winning playing Mountaineer Football.
"Why does 21 up still feel like anxiety ?"— Mary Power (@poweronyourVCR) October 22, 2016
"We're WVU fans." - @JRumer13
I felt the same way but you know what eases anxiety? A 7 and a half minute 3rd quarter field goal drive and not throwing a pass in the 4th quarter.
OK, mea culpa time from me. In my season-opening Retweet, I essentially gave up on Durante. I thought WVU had too much talent at wide receiver to waste touches on a guy who clearly wasn't getting it done.
With a nod to Bill Simmons, "The lesson as always - I'm an idiot."
Durante has been fantastic in conference play, making the biggest catches of the game. It's been so great to see a guy who was clearly frustrated finally break through and contribute. And impossibly we have another weapon for Skyler Howard.
(I'm holding off on the Rushel Shell mea culpa for a week. But it's coming - he's been an absolute force.)
I see you @WVUfootball. Don't think we don't see you. Impressive. Wow.— Lee Fitting (@leefitting) October 22, 2016
That is Lee Fitting, and he is a producer for College GameDay. Submitted without comment.
And in a related tweet:
Bob Stoops on the defense at Tech: "The odd thing, we weren't out of position. We didn't make mistakes." That is the scary part...— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 24, 2016
In case you were wondering, Oklahoma beat Texas Tech 66-59. Also in case you were wondering, that 59 is 16 more points than WVU has given up in all 3 of their conference games combined, one of them being on the road against the aforementioned Texas Tech squad.
(hey Bob, if you don't think you made any mistakes please don't let me tell you otherwise. No film study required. Can't wait to see you in a few weeks.)
Guys stop worrying about what the talking heads in media say. Just keeping winning and it takes care of itself! #HailWV— RIFLE SCHOOL (@EERSNATION) October 23, 2016
Maybe I got old and just grew out of it, but I can't remember a time when I cared less about media or polls. Maybe it's because it clearly doesn't matter. At this point WVU is in the top 10 only halfway through the season - no small feat considering they were on the outside of the poll looking in after their 3rd game. Point being no pollster or talking head is going to keep WVU from doing what they want to do. Half a dozen teams can do that, but nobody in an ESPN blazer.
The past 2 wks (TTU & TCU) marked the 1st time since joining the Big 12 that WVU had consecutive league games w/out turning the ball over.— Jed Drenning (@TheSignalCaller) October 24, 2016
It's amazing what sharp, clean football can do for you. I'd be curious to no how many teams period have been able to string together a couple turnover-free games. With all the plays they run, I'd guess that's not a long list.
Stop worrying about when the other shoe will drop and enjoy the ride.— Smoking Musket (@SmokingMusket) October 23, 2016
We're good. This is fun.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
This fun y'all. We're approaching late October and the Mountaineers are in the thick of it. Don't get caught up in when the ride will end, just throw your hands up and enjoy the ride. The longer you do this the more you appreciate that these seasons are few and far between, so don't waste them waiting for something bad to happen.
That's what cats do. We don't need no cats.
WE NEED MORE DAAAWGGS!!!