I Think I am excited about College Gameday
I love it when the Gameday crew is at a West Virginia game. This game will be different, as the Mountaineers will be the visitor for the first time on Gameday. Still, I’m excited. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Gameday is a useful tool in recruiting. At best, 26-28 teams a year get to be featured on Gameday. Most years, that number is reduced because Gameday will visit one or two schools twice. 20-24 schools get to say Gameday featured them out of 130 schools in FBS. To be a part of those 20 schools is something special. It is one more exposure for the school to recruits. It is one more chance to get your name in a national spotlight.
It is also something special for the players. The last time Gameday featured the Mountaineers, in 2014 when the Horny Toads visited the Mountaineers in Morgantown, Al-Rasheed Benton finished the year with 6 tackles as a backup. Kyzir White wasn’t even on the team. Neither were any of the cornerbacks. Will Grier was redshirting at Florida. Gameday is a once in a college career opportunity for kids on the team. For them, this is their chance in the spotlight and I think it’s absolutely a dream come true to be featured. They deserve this. This is why I always welcome a chance to be featured on Gameday.
“We have a little chant about those guys, you wanna hear it?”
“Well I have the same thing but it’s mostly because I hate them” - Brad Paisley
“You hear so much about night games in Baton Rouge, they’ve never been to Morgantown” - Bob Huggins
I Think we all are right to be concerned with TCU
Watching Darius Anderson pile up 160 yards against Oklahoma State is extremely concerning. Okie State, by the numbers, has a much better rush defense than the Mountaineers. On the year, State has allowed only 3.4 yards per rush compared to West Virginia’s 5.9 (!!!). Through four games, Anderson has compiled 422 yards on only 68 attempts, good for 6.2 yards per carry while scoring 6 times. The Mountaineers have struggled this year with teams running the ball and their competition has been lackluster to say the least.
TCU’s rush offense is scary good. They come into the game averaging almost 48 carries a game for over 225 yards. That offensive line and running back are able to generate nearly 5 yards per carry.
I Think it might not matter though....
While the rush offense is scary for TCU, their passing game is Bill Snyder-esque. They are attempting to take the ball out of the hands of Kenny Hill, for good reason. Hill, despite all of his electric playmaking ability, is interception prone. The more you ask him to throw it, the greater the chance the other team gets the ball. So Gary Patterson and Sonny Cumbie are emulating the Bill Snyder approach. Run the ball. Run the ball effectively. Run the ball a lot. Then throw when necessary and do it for big gains.
There is a problem with this approach and it begins with the West Virginia offense/TCU pass defense. The Mountaineers come in with one of the two or three best quarterbacks in the Big 12 in Will Grier. Grier has lived up to every expectation thus far for the team. He loves to throw the ball and he loves to throw the ball deep. TCU on the other hand, has struggled against the pass. Their pass defense allows 8.5 yards per completion and nearly 300 yards per game. Those are numbers the Mountaineers should be able to exploit. If Grier and company can do what they’ve done the past few games and get going early, they are going to force Kenny Hill to beat them. I like our chances if Hill has the ball in his hands and is having to throw.
I Think Virginia Tech’s embarrassment to Clemson hurts the Mountaineers
That opening weekend lost to the [C]Hokies still stings, doesn’t it? You just have this feeling of, if Simms gets to play that game or if that game happens in Week 2. Still that loss remains on the schedule and pollsters and the playoff committee will see that L every time they look at the Mountaineers. So WVU needs Virginia Tech to at least look like a solid team.
When the Hokies took on Clemson, I can’t root for them. Deep down I wanted Clemson to humiliate and destroy them. 66-3 would have felt good, but it wouldn’t have helped West Virginia. West Virginia needed the [C]Hokies to play a close game with the #2 team in the nation. West Virginia needed the playoff committee to have to say “Well Clemson needed overtime to beat Virginia Tech by a touchdown and West Virginia lost a close game on a neutral field to VT in week one. Maybe the Mountaineers are also a good team”. There is still a lot of football left to be played and the Mountaineers still control their own destiny in the Big 12. Still, every loss on your schedule needs to be quality and VT didn’t hold up their end of the bargain against Clemson.
I Think don’t be triggered by Western Virginia
Yes, I saw the whole “Western Virginia” thing going around Twitter and over at Frogs’O’War.
Y'all. I'm so excited to see all these Western Virginia signs on Saturday.— Geography Expert (@FrogsOWar) October 2, 2017
I laughed because I know it is what rivals do. Don’t be angry and mad at the writers at FOW. Enjoy the fact that you now have someone to direct all your football animosity towards. It felt good to hate Virginia Tech in week one, right? You and I missed that vitrol, that anger, that my week is so much better just because we beat you that comes from playing a rival in college football. We weren’t going to get that feeling again until 2020 when Maryland finally comes back to Morgantown. Even then, given how poorly Maryland has fared against WVU in the past 10 years, does that feel like a rivalry game to you? Does it feel like a rivalry game to Maryland?
The next chance at redemption vitrol would be 2021 when the Black Diamond Trophy is up for grabs again, then comes to the year we all want. 2022 with Pitt and VT both on the schedule at the same time.
Although, can you really wait 5 more years for that feeling again? That isn’t want college football is about. This indescribable, guttural, necessary feeling that only comes from college football having to wait half-a-decade? No. That good folks over at Frogs’O’War who represent Texas Catholic University have given the fans of West Virginia, aka Best Virginia, an opportunity to relish in that feeling again this year. They have sent up the flare, hoisted the flag and said aloud to the world, “We welcome the opportunity to stoke the flames of college football and wish to indulge in your piece of the pie.” So Mountaineer fans, I say enjoy it. I say cherish it. And I say give them hell, but know they are doing it to get your reaction. So do it the right way, the college football way and tell them you love Tennessee Christian Academy and can’t wait to see the Horny Toads this weekend.