The West Virginia football team is coming off a tough double overtime victory against Baylor on Saturday and followed that with two weeks of preparation for its next opponent. Mountaineer football head coach Neal Brown said that this bye week was important in the development of his team before it prepares to play again this week.
West Virginia’s most recent opponent, Baylor, has now hit the pause button on football activities for this week to evaluate a number of recent positives within the program. Now WVU’s Saturday opponent, Kansas, is also dealing with a positive COVID test result for head coach Les Miles. The veteran coach announced last week that he tested positive for the virus and is currently isolating from the players and coaches.
On this episode of “Three Guys Before The Game,” the guys look ahead to how COVID-19 may impact West Virginia’s game against Kansas and review a very memorable weekend in the Big 12 Conference. WVU has had two byes over the last five weeks. On Saturday, the Mountaineers begin a stretch of five games in five weeks.
The Big 12 Conference has announced that West Virginia’s Saturday football game against Kansas now will be televised on FOX at noon ET. The game was originally slated to be aired on televised on FS1. Gus Johnson will handle the play-by-play duties for the broadcast, and Joel Klatt will be the analyst.
In this week’s Mountaineer Insider Podcast, host Dan Zangrilli talks to two college football heavy hitters, Phil Steele and Bruce Feldman, to get their thoughts on Neal Brown and his West Virginia football team. Steele was high on the Mountaineers earlier this year, and his opinion has not changed in what is shaping up to be a wide open Big 12 Conference this year.
After testing positive for COVID-19 last Thursday, it appears that Kansas plans to have head coach Les Miles with the team when they visit West Virginia on Saturday afternoon. WVU is heavily favored to improve to 3-1 for the second consecutive season under Neal Brown. He hopes this past week can go a long way to sure up deficiencies in all three phases of the game.
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins met with the media on Thursday to talk about what his team has been going through since their season was cut short just before postseason play back in early March. One thing that has been evident is the chemistry that this team seems to have on and off the court, and it is something that has not gone unnoticed. The Mountaineers also have one of the most formidable frontcourts in college basketball with Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe.
The West Virginia’s men’s basketball team, along with a number of other schools, have been putting in countless hours in the gym trying to perfect their craft. The Mountaineers are returning eight guys that averaged over 13 minutes per game last season. Larry Harrison, WVU’s associate head basketball coach, believes this team is showing something that he has not seen since 2010. Harrison discussed the team on the Citynet Statewide Sportsline last Wednesday.
Although many of the details of their schedule remain a work in progress, Bob Huggins will lead the Mountaineers into a 2020-2021 season with an experienced roster and elevated expectations this winter. With their top three scorers and four of five starters returning, West Virginia should be one of the favorites to compete for the Big 12 Championship and make deep run into the month of March.
The West Virginia men’s basketball team will not be competing against Pittsburgh this year in the renewed rivalry of the Backyard Brawl, according to head coach Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers have won the previous four games, with the last three happening in the last three seasons since WVU and Pitt left the Big East Conference.
Head coach Mike Carey is considering using a zone defense when his WVU women’s basketball team takes the court this winter. With a program built on a “Physical for 40” mentality and man-to-man pressure defense, Carey can see some value in experimentation.
West Virginia Athletics
The West Virginia volleyball team was able to take down the #10 Kansas Jayhawks in back to back nights, winning the second match in five sets. This was the first time WVU had defeated a top ten opponent. The Mountaineers are now 3-3 this season. WVU will try to continue its winning streak when the Mountaineers take on TCU on Thursday night in Morgantown. Coverage will begin at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
Following two second half goals, the #9 West Virginia women’s soccer team earned a 2-1 victory over the Texas Tech on Friday night in Lubbock. After a slow first half, the Mountaineers came out flying in the second half. Sophomore Julianne Vallerand scored the game’s first goal at the 47-minute mark to make it 1-0 for WVU. Senior midfielder Stefany Ferrer-VanGinkel scored in the 82nd minute to seal the win for WVU.
The West Virginia cross country team ranks #12 in this week’s Boost Treadmills National Poll. This is WVU’s first appearance in the poll this season. The Mountaineers are preparing to compete at the Big 12 Championship later this month.
After propelling the Mountaineers to a pair of top-10 road wins for the first time in program history, West Virginia volleyball senior middle blocker Briana Lynch has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.
The Health Plan Mountaineer Invitational, scheduled for October 19th and 20th at Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, West Virginia, has been postponed until April 12th and 13th.
Around the Big 12
This week in the Big 12 Snapshot, some trends are starting to develop. All of the teams have now played a couple of games and it is time to start the process of analyzing the actual results and getting away from the preconceived notions about the Big 12 that were developed before this odd season kicked off. What tier does West Virginia fall under in this conference ranking?
#7 Oklahoma State tops the Big 12 teams in the Associated Press and coaches’ polls, followed by #20 Iowa State and #22 Kansas State. West Virginia leads the conference and ranks eighth nationally with a total defense of 268 yards per game, followed by Oklahoma State at ninth with 274.3 yards per game. Texas and Oklahoma both rank in the top-12 nationally in total offense and scoring offense.
Standouts from Kansas State and Oklahoma were honored by the Big 12 Conference for their performances in Week 5. Oklahoma’s T.J. Pledger earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, while teammate David Ugwoegbu picked up Special Teams Player of the Week. Kansas State senior AJ Parker was named Defensive Player of the Week and true freshman Will Howard was the Newcomer of the Week.
Around the NCAA
Alabama and Georgia look to be in control in the SEC, as they prepare to face off this week. Meanwhile, Iowa State is the Big 12’s team to beat right now. And will Clemson run away with the ACC once again? Here is a look at the hierarchy among the three Power 5 conferences that were in action this past week, along with our Group of 5 rankings.
Here are some of the offenses and defenses that have overachieved or underachieved the most compared to their preseason SP+ projections. Take a look at what they have done particularly well and poorly, and why their fortunes might change moving forward.
We have reached the point, even in the most unusual of college football seasons, to start making some of those early declarations on the coaches who are delivering or falling short. Several first-year coaches already are making positive impacts, as are new play callers on offense or defense. For those struggling, there is still time for a turnaround.
Here are this week’s NFL overreactions, including the Raiders being legitimate AFC contenders, the Cowboys’ season being over without Dak Prescott, and Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski being the Coach of the Year.
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