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The Shotgun/Throwdown (8/31/18): West Virginia prepared to face an early test from a rebuilding Tennessee

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One more day! LET’S GO!

NCAA Football: Delaware State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions.

Football

No. 17 West Virginia faces early test vs. rebuilding Tennessee | ESPN
West Virginia is never shy about taking on a legitimate Power 5 opponent to open the season and the No. 17 Mountaineers get their wish on Saturday when they face rebuilding Tennessee at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tennessee QB starter still unknown | WV News
West Virginia’s quarterback will be Will Grier. Tennessee’s will be … Jarrett Guarantano? Keller Chryst? A dark horse? The bigger question — does that really matter? Let’s go to the chalkboard to figure it out.

Hot Reads: Rocky Thoughts | West Virginia Athletics
They were the most dominant team in the South. They took on all comers, traveling the country by rail and dismantling opponents by scores like 105-0 and 100-3. They captured a dozen conference titles in a 21-year span and still claim a stake in two national championships during that run. This football factory of the early era wasn't from Alabama or Georgia. Instead, they hailed from Tennessee.

They were the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Belk College Kickoff Alerts Fans of Counterfeit Tickets | West Virginia Athletics
The Charlotte Sports Foundation, operators of the Belk College Kickoff, reminds fans who haven't purchased tickets already to beware of possible counterfeit or stolen tickets.

West Virginia-Tennessee: Matchups and storylines to savor | WV MetroNews
Will Grier tries to back up the hype, Dylan Tonkery tries to man the Mike and WVU running backs try to sort things out.

Will Grier’s remember-when moment swamped Vols’ 2015 title hopes | WV MetroNews
That fourth-and-14 play will live in Tennessee infamy, but even three years later, playing at another school, Will Grier can’t help but glow at the fourth quarter’s retelling.

College Football Experts Predict WVU-Tennessee | EerSports
West Virginia and Tennessee will face off on Saturday to begin the season for both teams. Fans on both sides have certainly given their input on how the game will turn out, but what do the experts have to say?

In new setting, grad transfers Bigelow, Robinson earn their place | WV Illustrated
As graduate transfers, Kenny Bigelow and Jabril Robinson followed similar paths to WVU. When they arrived, defensive line coach Bruce Tall knew they’d bolster a position group that lacked depth and experience.

WVU offense has chance 'to do something special' | Charleston Gazette-Mail
The high expectations for WVU’s 2018 football season rest squarely on what Mountaineer fans hope is brewing: a perfect offensive storm.

‘Huge’ recruiting opportunities in North Carolina | WV MetroNews
Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen was honest enough this week to second-guess himself over decisions made four years ago. If he could turn back time to July 2014, when the Belk College Kickoff pairing between West Virginia and Tennessee was cemented, Holgorsen would have marketed this game more emphatically to North Carolina recruits.

WVU adds to 2019 football recruiting class | Charleston Gazette-Mail
West Virginia added another major component to its 2019 recruiting class on Thursday as Osita Smith, an athlete for Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland, pledged to the Mountaineers over fellow finalists Maryland, Rutgers and Indiana.

West Virginia Athletics

WVU looking for more scoring opportunities against American | The DA
The West Virginia men’s soccer team opens their home schedule tonight at 7 p.m. against American University.

Home Season Begins Friday | West Virginia Athletics
The West Virginia University men's soccer team plays its first home game of the regular season on Friday, Aug. 31, against American. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET.

Career-First Goals Deliver Victory | West Virginia Athletics
A trio of career-first goals pushed the No. 17-ranked West Virginia University women's soccer team to its first win of the 2018 season, a 3-0 victory over Xavier in the Mountaineers' home opener tonight at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.

First-timers strike as West Virginia women handle Xavier, 3-0 | WV MetroNews
Freshmen Addison Clark and Issy Sibley scored their first career goals and No. 17 West Virginia finally claimed its first win of the season, 3-0 over Xavier in women’s soccer Thursday night.

WVU Falls to No. 9 BYU | West Virginia Athletics
The West Virginia University volleyball team fell to host BYU, 3-0, in the first match of the BYU Nike Invitational on Thursday evening, held at Smith Fieldhouse, in Provo, Utah.

Around the Big 12

Recap: Cowboys Take Care of Business Against Missouri State With 58-17 Win | Cowboys Ride For Free
There are still some things to improve on, even with a dominating win

How many points can Lane Kiffin score on Mike Stoops? | SBNation
Oklahoma’s probably gonna win, but let’s see whether FAU can turn this into a shootout.

No. 23 Texas looks to avenge last year's loss to Maryland | ESPN
Maryland and No. 23 Texas tangle in Week 1, a rematch of one of the best opening weekend games of 2017. This time, the Longhorns are headed to Maryland, playing at FedEx Field Saturday at noon, and looking for atonement after last season's 51-41 loss in the first game for coach Tom Herman.

After dropping 2017 opener, Texas shouldn’t overlook underdog Maryland | Burnt Orange Nation
The Horns are aiming to avoid the last season’s fate at FedEx Field on Saturday.

2018 Game I: Iowa State vs. South Dakota State Football Preview | Wide Right & Natty Lite
It’s BACK! ISU Opens up 2018 versus the Wascally Wabbits from SDSU

KICKING THE TIRES: South Dakota Coyotes | Bring On The Cats
K-State gets a visit from the South Dakota Coyotes to open the 2018 regular season.

Around the NCAA

Most entertaining teams in 2018 | ESPN
Which teams will provide the most fun and drama in 2018? Mark Schlabach uses a scientific formula -- involving Paul Finebaum, Nicolas Cage, Steve Spurrier and Lee Corso -- to rank the top 10.

Spread picks for every college football game in 2018’s Week 1 | SBNation
There are a whopping 86 games on the FBS docket. A few of them might even be good!

Louisville has talked an extraordinary amount of trash before facing Bama. Can the Cardinals score more than twice? | SBNation
The first goal for Bobby Petrino should be scoring more than two times against a Nick Saban defense.

Louisville vs. Alabama 2018 odds: Heavy betting line favors the Crimson Tide in Orlando | SBNation
The Alabama Crimson Tide clash with the Louisville Cardinals in Orlando this Saturday night, with the defending national champions clear betting favorites at the sportsbooks.

San Jose State becomes 2018’s first FBS-to-FCS loser, getting humbled by UC Davis | SBNation
The SJSU defense got destroyed.

Purdue iced a loss to Northwestern with this pointless personal foul | SBNation
You could argue about the call, or you could just not do this.

Move over Miami, Tulane has a Mardi Gras-themed turnover chain | SBNation
Allow the Green Wave to introduce you to the turnover beads.

The NCAA isn’t punishing Michigan State, but *actual* authorities should | SBNation
The NCAA’s incompetence shouldn’t just give it a pass, but other organizations can deal with MSU more effectively.

Spencer Hall gets his own category because I’m in awe of his talent

TIGER | Every Day Should Be Saturday
Spencer Hall tells a story about the theft of a live tiger.

VOLUNTEER | Every Day Should Be Saturday
A warning: This gets confusing.

GAMECOCK | Every Day Should Be Saturday
Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world.

ELEPHANT | Every Day Should Be Saturday
Alabama had an elephant on campus once. They had it in the 1940s, long after having elephants was a thing for extravagant Americans looking for an easy spectacle.

#17 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday at 3:30PM ET on CBS from Charlotte, North Carolina. Will Grier’s Heisman campaign starts off against a traditional SEC power that has suffered from a 20-year slump. The good guys are favored by 9.5 points.

FAU Owls vs. #7 Oklahoma Sooners
Saturday at Noon ET on Fox from Norman, Oklahoma. Former West Virginia receiver Jovon Durante teams up with Lane Kiffin and Clint Trickett for a showdown that will be more fun than the final score will likely indicate. Oklahoma is favored by 21 points.

#23 Texas Longhorns vs. Maryland Terrapins
Saturday at Noon ET on FS1 from College Park, Maryland. Is “TEXAS BACK!” going to be a thing we hear endlessly for the first month of this season, or will a Terps program in disarray knock off the Longhorns for a second year in a row? Texas is favored by 13.5 points.

Ole Miss Rebels vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Saturday at Noon ET on ESPN from Houston, Texas. Y’all wanna watch a game that’s just going to be pure stupidity for three and a half hours? If so, this is the one for you. Texas Tech is somehow favored by 2.5 points.

#6 Washington Huskies vs. #9 Auburn Tigers
Saturday at 3:30PM ET on ABC from Atlanta, Georgia. This is a NICE matchup. If you like to fill your Saturday with as much football as possible and roll with a dual screen setup, you might as well throw this one on the second screen. Auburn is favored by 2 points.

South Dakota Coyotes vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Saturday at 7:00PM ET on ESPN3 from Manhattan, Kansas. I’m not sure why you’d watch this, but I guess if you want to scout our future opponents this is an option. There’s no spread listed, because FCS, but let’s just say it’s Kansas State by 31 points or something.

#14 Michigan Wolverines vs. #12 Notre Dame
Saturday at 7:30PM ET on NBC from South Bend, Indiana. If you’re looking for something to put on TV after West Virginia boatraces Tennessee, I guess this is probably the best option. Notre Dame is a 1 point favorite.

Louisville Cardinals vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday at 8:00PM ET on ABC from Orlando, Florida. I’m not sure why the time on this one wasn’t switched with Washington/Auburn but if you’re looking to see a snuff film, here ya go. Alabama is favored by 24 points.

Let’s just watch this next one and enjoy


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