A Tale of Two Games
By Michael Miller
Hoo boy, y’all. We got ourselves a home opener this weekend, but if you’re like me you’re finding it hard to get excited - as a fan - about the Mountaineers playing a team that just lost to a program without a single scholarship player on their roster.
Yeah, it’s Bo Pelini. Yeah, they played us kinda close in 2016. But to look back at how fun last week’s game was, and then look ahead to next Saturday’s showdown with the Wolfpack in Raleigh, this game is just kinda sandwiched in there like it’s a reverse Oreo. We’ve got all the good stuff on the outside, and are left with the boring cookie in the middle. I’m not holding anyone at fault for that, everyone schedules an FCS team. Who would’ve possibly known that a team that was supposed to be one of the better FCS programs would lose to what is basically a club team?
I’m positive the team doesn’t feel the same way I do about this game. I expect them to come out fired up and ready to play. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Tennessee Volunteers, the N.C. State Wolfpack, the Oklahoma Sooners or the Youngstown State Penguins on the other side of that line of scrimmage, the Mountaineers will be prepared to go to work.
Speaking of the Penguins, here’s a little trivia for you:
Those yellow penalty flags that drive us crazy every Saturday? Those were invented, for a lack of better word, at Youngstown State back in 1941. Prior to the introduction of the penalty flag, referees used whistles and horns to signal penalties, making it difficult for fans and media to follow what was happening on the field.
It wasn’t until Youngstown State head coach Dwight Beede asked his wife to sew scraps of their daughter’s Halloween costume together that the penalty flag was born. The flags were first used in a matchup against Oklahoma City University, and it just kinda steamrolled from there.
On Saturday, Youngstown State will be introducing another flag to college football - the white flag.
Pummel the Penguins.
West Virginia: 55
Youngstown State: 10
Cast of Characters
No one will be asking where Kennedy McKoy is this Saturday. After being used sparingly in the win over Tennessee last week, McKoy will see his number of carries increase dramatically - mostly because the starters will be sitting for the last 25 minutes of the game.
Tony Gibson is a smart man, and realizes what advantages he has on his side in this matchup with the Penguins. Gibby said that despite Exree Loe being listed as the starting SAM linebacker on the official depth chart, the job belongs to Shea Campbel, a walk-on - Youngstown State’s kryptonite.
“Montgomery VanGorder.” If I said that name to 100 random people, I bet at least 75 of them would think he’s a character from The Simpsons. VanGorder transferred from Notre Dame after spending three seasons in South Bend as a holder, and threw for three touchdowns against Butler.
I’m not going to crack wise about Tevin McCaster, because he’s a legitimately good running back. McCaster rushed for over 1,000 yards for 13 touchdowns in 2017, and was named a FCS Preseason First Team All-American this year.
Let's Have A Statgasm
Elsewhere in the Big 12
Saturday at 5:00PM ET on FOX
For those out of the loop, ¡El Assico! is the name of the annual matchup between the Iowa State Cyclones and Iowa Hawkeyes. You may hear some people call it the “CyHawk game,” but those people are severely uninformed.
¡El Assico! is a Week Two staple of college football, and brings out the worst in both teams. If you want to watch a game that just devolves into a comedy of errors nearly every year, this is it. Our dear friends Spencer Hall and Ryan Nanni did a wonderful piece explaining ¡El Assico! a few years ago.
Yes, I am aware that ¡El Assico! will overlap the largest portion of our game, but this game should be mandatory second screen viewing.
By The Smoking Musket Staff
Every week, the Smoking Musket staff will test out our sure to be less-than-stellar gambling skills, as we make picks in four categories: straight-up, against the spread, over/under, and a special prop bet to be determined each week.
We will each start with $500 in Musket Money™, and each bet will be worth $100. We will also be joined by a guest picker each week, all of whom will share the same initial $500 pot.
Because Vegas doesn’t take bets on FBS vs. FCS games, we’ve used the projected margin according to BillC’s S&P+ to get our spread and are going with a SECOND SPECIAL PROP BET! Also, we’re punting on the guest picker this week since there’s no real betting odds.
Best Case/Worst Case
Will Grier’s Heisman highlights includes all 7 throws from this game. Playing all of one quarter, Grier throws 5 touchdowns (again), for another 400 yards (again) for a perfect QB rating. Bo Pelini quits coaching to open a Christmas card factory that only takes pictures of him stroking cats, and Youngstown State is so demoralized they change their mascot to Will Grier and become the Youngstown State Big Daddy Throws.
Will Grier has to play the entire half. Trying to not embarrass the Penguins, Jake Spavital calls a lot of run plays, which makes Grier play 30 full minutes in the game and we never get to see Trey Lowe. David Sills V only catches one touchdown which means voters will write him out of the Biletnikoff race.