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THE SHOTGUN THROWDOWN: Mountaineers suffer rough weekend

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

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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

ROUGH WEEKEND

The West Virginia football team had an embarrassing showing at Baylor on Saturday, leaving Waco with a 45-20 loss. It wasn’t long into the game before Mountaineer fans could see the writing on the wall. The WVU defense, who before this game had carried the team and kept it competitive, gave up a 75-yard passing touchdown less than a minute into the game. The confused Mountaineer offense then came out and had to call a timeout before it could even run its first play, which head coach Neal Brown later blamed on officiating. The loss puts WVU at 2-4 this season with a Big 12 record of 0-3.

Saturday got worse when the #4 West Virginia soccer team suffered its first loss of the season at Northern Illinois. The Mountaineers gave up a goal in the 35th minute of the match and the Huskies added another one in the 88th minute to defeat WVU 2-0. Sophomore midfielder Ryan Crooks and senior forward Tony Pineda tried getting WVU on the board early in the second half, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net. The Mountaineers, who were projected to win the Mid-American Conference this year, are now 0-1-1 in league play with a 6-1-4 overall record.

The #9 West Virginia women’s soccer team also lost this weekend. Senior forward Lauren Segalla got the Mountaineers on the board early by scoring off of an assist from sophomore midfielder Lilly McCarthy in the seventh minute. Kansas then answered in the 13th minute to tie the match at 1-1. WVU and KU kept each other from scoring for the remainder of regulation, forcing the game into overtime where Brie Severns was able to score the game-winning goal for the Jayhawks. The Mountaineers were undefeated in Big 12 competition before this 2-1 road loss in double-overtime. They are now 8-3-2 overall with a 2-1-1 conference record.

BRIGHT SPOT

The bright spot of this past weekend for Mountaineer sports was the #1 West Virginia rifle team’s win over #6 Memphis. The Mountaineers and Tigers both came into this match undefeated, although the Tigers had not competed yet this season. WVU was able to outscore Memphis in both disciplines, taking smallbore by a score of 2341-2279 and winning air rifle by a score of 2377-2343, for an aggregate win of 4718-4622. Sophomore Tal Engler led the Mountaineers by having the highest scores in both smallbore and air rifle, shooting 587 and 596, respectively. WVU is now 3-0 this season with all three wins coming over top-10 opponents.

WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP

  • The West Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted the West Virginia State Games last week. The event brought teams from all over the state to Morgantown, including Alderson Broaddus, Davis & Elkins, Fairmont State, Salem, West Virginia Tech, and West Virginia Wesleyan. The Mountaineers were able to win all 14 events to sweep the entire event.
  • The upcoming bye week will give the WVU football team the opportunity to gather itself after the humiliating loss at Baylor. Senior defensive lineman Dante Stills believes that everyone in the locker room needs to evaluate themselves before coming back and getting to work. Do you think it’s possible for the Mountaineers to turn their season around?

AROUND THE BIG 12

  • The Red River Showdown between #6 Oklahoma and #21 Texas turned into a shootout on Saturday. The Sooners overcame a 28-7 deficit after the first quarter, thanks in part to a change at quarterback where freshman Caleb Williams came in to replace Heisman-hopeful Spencer Rattler and lead OU to a 55-48 win.
  • TCU blew out Texas Tech, 52-31, in the Big 12’s Saturday night game. The Horned Frogs ran all over the Red Raiders, with sophomore Kendre Miller rushing for 185 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore Zach Evans rushing for 143 yards and two touchdowns.

AROUND THE NCAA

  • College football had lots of great games this past weekend. We already talked about the entertaining comeback in the Red River rivalry, but another rivalry game also turned into a high-scoring affair when #13 Arkansas traveled to #17 Ole Miss. The Razorbacks tied the game at 45-45 with 1:22 left in the fourth quarter. The Rebels then answered back immediately to go up 52-45 with just over a minute left. The Hogs were able to get another touchdown as time expired, but failed to convert a two-point conversion, so Mississippi escaped with a 52-21 win.
  • Elsewhere in the SEC, #1 Alabama suffered its first loss of the season at Texas A&M. The Aggies pulled off the 41-38 upset, as senior place kicker Seth Small knocked in a 28-yard field goal at time expired. It was also the first time that Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has lost to one of his former assistants.
  • College football’s biggest matchup of the week was between #3 Iowa and #4 Penn State. A rowdy home crowd helped the Hawkeyes come back to knock off the Nittany Lions, 23-20. PSU also had to play much of the game without senior quarterback Sean Clifford. Also in the Big Ten, #9 Michigan lucked out against Nebraska to leave Lincoln with a 32-29 win.
  • The Wolverines weren’t the only ones who avoided an upset on Saturday. #14 Notre Dame scored a 48-yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the game to defeat Virginia Tech 32-29 in Blacksburg. Syracuse forced overtime and almost upset #19 Wake Forest, but the undefeated Demon Deacons escaped with a 40-37 win.

ODDS AND ENDS

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