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West Virginia Releases Week One Depth Chart

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Good morning! This is the Shotgun Throwdown, your daily West Virginia sports roundup.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 Oklahoma State at West Virginia Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Football

WVU football unveils week one depth chart

Neal Brown’s lineup is set for Eastern Kentucky. West Virginia has unveiled its week one depth chart for the 2020 season, giving fans a glance at who they will see take the field for the Mountaineers on Saturday at noon. Jarret Doege will be under center for WVU, with Leddie Brown beside him at running back. Sam James will start for the Mountaineers at the Z receiver, while Winston Wright and Bryce Ford-Wheaton will line up on the other side of the line as H and X receivers. TJ Simmons will be the slot receiver, while TJ Banks and Mike Laughlin will trade off at tight end. Check out the other lineups on the WVU depth chart!

Neal Brown welcomes routine as game week arrives

Nearly six months after spring practice was halted and eventually canceled, a sense of normalcy has returned to the West Virginia football program with the arrival of game week. WVU head coach Neal Brown said getting back into a somewhat normal rhythm is welcome. He believes that getting into a routine will be very helpful for the staff and for the players.

President Gee optimistic about young WVU football team

Even with two of the five Power Five conferences canceling, West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee thinks the Big 12 handled the situation well amidst the pandemic. With that in mind, Gee is confident in Neal Brown’s ability and believes that the Mountaineers are “at least two leagues closer to the national championship.”

Script Remains The Same For Stills Despite Accolades

This summer, West Virginia’s Darius Stills made it onto just about every watch list and all-star team a college football player can get: Preseason All-Big 12 First Team, Outland, Nagurski and Bednarik Watch lists, and Preseason Big 12 Defensive player of the year. Like any normal college athlete, Darius has been listening and reading all of the compliments, but he vows that it won’t change him or the way that he plays in 2020.

Three Guys Before The Game – Over/Under 2020 Season Preview

How will the Mountaineers react to changes caused by COVID-19? On this episode of “Three Guys Before The Game,” Tony, Brad, and Hoppy offer Over/Under season projections for West Virginia. The guys also discuss their thoughts about Neal Brown’s second season as the Mountaineers head coach.

Mountaineer Sports Properties Digital Football Guide

Mountaineer Sports Properties by Learfield IMG College has unveiled the new 2020 West Virginia Football digital preview guide presented by WVU Online. This guide gives all the information you need on the upcoming season and includes exclusive interviews.

Mountaineer Insider Podcast, Presented by CareSource

This edition of the Mountaineer Insider Podcast includes interviews with preseason All-American defensive lineman Darius Stills, rising sophomore wide receiver Sam James, and assistant coach Travis Trickett of the West Virginia football team. Dan Zangrilli also breaks down the team as it begins preparation for the 2020 season opener against Eastern Kentucky.

Three takeaways from Eastern Kentucky’s season opener before they face West Virginia

Eastern Kentucky made a stop in the Mountain State to face Marshall in their season opener this past Saturday. The Colonels will be coming to Morgantown with a 0-1 record after taking a massive 59-0 loss to the Thundering Herd. Check out what we learned about WVU’s first opponent from their season opener.

Most Unusual Football Season in 102 Years Begins This Weekend for WVU

The most unusual game week since 1918 is about to begin as the West Virginia football team continues preparation for its 2020 season opener against Eastern Kentucky. The last time WVU encountered something remotely similar to this was 102 years ago when a worldwide flu pandemic eventually reached Morgantown and shut down play for the 1918 season.

Basketball

Jordan McCabe breaks down the new-look WVU men’s hoop team

The 2020-21 West Virginia basketball team is filled with new and old faces. This offseason, the WVU coaching staff went out and reloaded with fresh prospects. Mountaineer point guard Jordan McCabe likes what he has seen so far from the new guys, including big man Isaiah Cottrell, Taj Thweatt, Kedrian Johnson in the backcourt, and Seny Ndiaye.

Construction begins on new video board at the WVU Coliseum

The new-look WVU Coliseum is coming together. West Virginia’s marquee indoor venue has been getting upgrades this summer as part of WVU’s Climbing Higher campaign. The project includes new seats in the arena and a brand-new video board. Now, the seat replacement is nearly complete, and construction has begun on the new video board.

West Virginia Athletics

Butler, Gyorko, Leftridge among 2020 WVU Sports HoF enshrines

The 30th class of honorees in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame has been announced. In the 2020 class, the men’s basketball team leads the way with Mountaineer legend Da’Sean Butler and Tony Robertson being honored. Richard “Dick” Leftridge and Ron Wolfley are representing the WVU football program in this year’s class. Baseball standouts in the class include Jedd Gyorko and Tom Shafer. Gymnast Janáe (Cox) Asbury, Janis Denise “JD” Drummonds from the WVU women’s basketball, men’s soccer player John McGrath, John Rost of the rifle team, and Clara (Grandt) Santucci who ran cross country and track are also in the 2020 class.

Lyons gets OK to have final say on broadcast contract

The West Virginia University Board of Governors gave WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons permission to finalize a change in the athletic department’s contract with media rights holder Learfield IMG College.

Wendell Smallwood joins Steelers practice squad

Former West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood joined the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad ahead of the NFL’s season start. After entering the league as a fifth-round draft pick for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016, Smallwood played for Philadelphia and Washington. Last year in Washington, he rushed 22 times for 81 yards and added nine catches for 64 yards.

Around the Big 12

Big 12 football teams could enter national anthem controversy

College football teams traditionally have remained in the locker rooms during the playing of the national anthem, but Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Monday that having players on the field this season is an “ongoing topic.” The NFL and the NBA have faced controversy as players and coaches have knelt during the national anthem to protest alleged social injustices, and now Big 12 programs could be joining the controversy.

Big 12 Football Cancellation Policy Established

The Big 12 Conference announced its football game cancellation thresholds. The minimum number of players required to play a game has been set at 53. Additional minimum thresholds of available players were also established for teams to have seven offensive linemen, four interior defensive linemen, and one quarterback.

Around the NCAA

The 1918 Pandemic Was Deadlier, but College Football Continued. Here’s Why.

The 1918-19 flu epidemic was more lethal than the current coronavirus pandemic, killing 675,000 in the U.S., but college football was still played. Covid-19 infections have killed more than 180,000 this year, and the U.S. has more than three times the population it did a century ago. So why did college football continue in 1918? Because leaders across the country knew that the game could inspire Americans to endure the difficulties that they were facing.

Get ready for a very weird 2020 bowl system

41 bowl games are still theoretically happening, but they cannot all host teams since only 76 FBS schools are playing this fall. Bowls also face eligibility issues, problems with conference tie-ins, and pressure from sponsors.

WVU suspends 29 students for COVID-19-related violations, additional sanctions pending

29 West Virginia University students are being placed on immediate interim suspension amid ongoing COVID-19-related investigations. All 29 students are members of Theta Chi fraternity. The young men are banned from campus and cannot take classes, including those offered online. WVU Dean of Students Corey Farris said “we do not want them here” when discussing students that do not meet the University’s expectations when it comes to COVID-19 guidelines, even if they are off campus.

In-person undergraduate classes at WVU moving online through Sept. 25

In-person classes will be canceled on West Virginia University’s Morgantown campus Tuesday, September 8th. Online classes will continue as usual, as will university operations. The reason for the temporary suspension is because WVU was not satisfied with fraternities and the wider student population not following COVID-19 guidelines off campus.

Steve Nash named Brooklyn Nets head coach

The Brooklyn Nets have a new head coach. Steve Nash has agreed to a four-year contract with the Nets and will take over as head coach for a team led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season.

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