On Saturday the West Virginia Mountaineers went through what has become an annual rite of early-fall passage for them over the last 30 years. With relative ease and in straightforward fashion, they dispatched the Youngstown State Penguins by a score of 38-21. It was the latest in a long line of victories over teams WVU is expected to notch victories over. As far back as I can remember, WVU has never lost to either a MAC team or FCS (former D-1AA) team (Although they did tie Miami of Ohio in 1992). On it's surface this isn't noteworthy, but take a minute and think of those half-dozen times a year that a moderate to big name program loses to a team they have no business losing to. That has never happened to WVU, and that is about as quietly an impressive fact as I can remember. On that simple but meaningful note, let's get on with the Retweet!
Never forget. We will never be afraid pic.twitter.com/XrKBY2QBqS— Mountaineer Maniacs (@WVUMANIACS) September 11, 2016
Not much to add to this image. God Bless all those who serve and Never Forget. We'll get to our normal silliness, but when we get around this type of year it's only proper to take a moment and reflect.
Pitt, at least in its current state, is simply not good enough to be Penn State's rival. We deserve better. https://t.co/2o9M5VFKJ9— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 8, 2016
Ooooo doggie I bet this dude wishes he could have this one back. There aren't many things that can bring Pitt and WVU fans together, but a total disdain for the unearned arrogance of those Happy Valley jokers from Mt. Nittany is just the thing. Looking forward to getting another shot at these fools when I'm in my 40s....
Pitt PSU. So perfection in the masculine form wears WVU pjs, vapes and drinks Redd's. God bless everyone. pic.twitter.com/T5Omg76jNi— Craig (@cdauman8) September 10, 2016
This dude is like my Batman, Superman and Spiderman all rolled into one. I want to be him when I grow up.
As many of you know, the Fashion Corner is a mainstay of the Retweet.
BLUE HATS, BLUE SHIRTS AND YELLER BRITCHES I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY IT'S LIKE IT'S 1993 AGAIN!!! I've said it before, I'll say it again - this is Mountaineer Football the way the good Lord above intended it to be seen.
However I will allow these.
OK, let's get to the game. I'm gonna keep this pretty simple because it's late and honestly I just don't see the need for much consternation over a 17 point win against a quality opponent where your quarterback threw for 5 scores. That was a solid win. That was a boring win. I'll take it for two reasons:
a) Have you looked around college football lately? UMass only trailed Florida 10-7 in the 4th quarter of week 1. Nichols St. gave Georgia everything they wanted, eventually losing by just 2. Troy did the same to #2 Clemson, falling by just 6. Central Michigan beat Oklahoma State (more on that later). Tennessee needed overtime to beat Appalachian State. Michigan State needed all four quarters to take down Furman. Jacksonville State straight up BEAT Mississippi State last week and should have beat Auburn last year. Need I go on?
This ain't your daddy's college football. This isn't Nebraska rolling up 73-7 wins over Hofstra or Steve Spurrier hanging 80 on Coastal Carolina. Those still happen, but they are now the exception, not the norm. The proliferation of games across the TV spectrum over the last two decades has resulted in a proliferation of talent across the ranks. Everybody is at least kinda good and nothing can be taken for granted.
b) Here's the deal - every team looks really good once or twice a year and really bad once or twice a year. The other 7 or 8 games fall somewhere within the spectrum of "pretty doggone good," "not bad at all," or "meh, it's a win." Why waste one of those sharp performances rolling up yards against an overmatched opponent? Wouldn't that effort be better spent in Lubbock on national TV or when Baylor comes to Morgantown late in the year?
Point of all that is be happy with a solid win. Survive and advance.
Cause sometimes [stuff] happens.
23x last 2 yrs WVU D has hit the field following a turnover. They've allowed just 1 TD and, on avg, opponents have advanced just 9.7 yds.— Jed Drenning (@TheSignalCaller) September 6, 2016
Absolutely my favorite stat of the young season because it perfectly encompasses Tony Gibson's #DAWGS. They may give up yards, they may give up big plays, but when the chips are down and their backs are to the wall, these dudes deliver. His defense isn't so much a scheme as an attitude and it's why I don't break a sweat when they give up a few yards to Youngstown State. Glad they're wearing my colors.
I'm right here.— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxHolgorsen) September 10, 2016
Let's tweet today. https://t.co/WQ4DBa3VNn
I mean, isn't Mountaineer football just better with Not Dana? Glad he's back, retirement is overrated - just ask Jordan.
The ball deflects off of Jovon Durante's hands and into the hands of a YSU defender. YSU takes over at their 31— Blue & Gold News (@BlueGoldNews) September 10, 2016
I don't like giving up on guys 2 games into the season, but I'm pretty close with Durante. If you're scoring at home he's been in on 3 interceptions this year. The first wasn't his fault (Howard threw behind him, ball deflected off his hands, got picked) but these last two are. He made a horribly mistimed jump in the second half against Mizzou that negated what was a pretty well-thrown ball by Howard and then just missed this one against Youngstown. WVU is busting at the seams with talent at the wideout position and I'm sure Dana's in no hurry to burn reps on a guy who can't seem to make them count. Maybe he can catch a short cross and make something happen with it to get out of his funk. He's an immense talent, but right now it's just not happening.
Howard was dropping them in the bucket all day. I mean from purely a deep ball standpoint, I'd argue that's the best we've seen him look. And for a Mountaineer offense that continues to struggle in the red zone, that's no small thing. Big plays are going to be the way this team cashes in and Skyler needs to make the most of every opportunity. I just haven't seen anything from this offense to think they can reliably drive it up and down the field. But the more he can make teams pay deep, the more it opens things up for the rushing attack and the more WVU can control tempo, do what they want and keep their defense well-rested and mean. I don't think I'm overstating it to say the entire success of this year hinges on Skyler Howard's ability to connect on the deep ball 'cause woooooooo, buddy those WRs have some talent. And I feel better about that after Saturday than i did before Saturday.
And honestly there's not a whole lot more to say about that game. WVU played well and WVU won, just as they should. So let's move on and cast our gaze around the college football twittersphere for a little more fun before we wrap things up.
.@TonyGibsonWVU is one of the best at making halftime adjustments. We will be fine.— RIFLE SCHOOL (@EERSNATION) September 10, 2016
This week's "Exercise in Calm Prescience Award" goes to my man @EERSNATION.
That's 10 career touchdowns for Shorts, and each is a catch in the end zone. He's never run across the goal line with the ball.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) September 10, 2016
Seriously, why does this stuff happen to Okie State. They may be more snakebit than we are. Maybe.
So that's it for our week as we batten down the hatches and get ready for a bye in preparation for a monumental game against BYU. I've purposefully stayed away from that one because honestly this YSU game scared the bejeesus out of me, but now it's time to prepare for the Stormin' Mormins in earnest. Stick around the Musket as we evaluate the first 1/6th of the season and get ready for game 3 in two weeks (on my birthday no less!).