Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.
As we head into week one of the 2021 college football season, we’ve switched up the format to allow for a little bit of commentary, instead of just throwing a ton of links at you with no context.
AN EMERGING STAR
Junior wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton has received high praise from Head Coach Neal Brown as the Mountaineers prepare to reignite the rivalry with the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday. Brown told the media that he believes Ford-Wheaton has positioned himself to be one of the top receivers in the Big 12 this season.
Ford-Wheaton has taken a leadership role in the receivers room over the offseason and knows that if the Mountaineers want to make strides in improvement over last season, it’s going to take holding themselves to a higher standard.
“We knew what we did last year and we knew it wasn’t good enough. The standard at West Virginia is just higher than that. I played with David Sills and the guys who came before that. We hold ourselves to that standard.”
THE BIG 12’S NOT DEAD YET
While many were ready to proclaim the Big 12 dead, or at least no longer worthy of Power 5 recognition, following Oklahoma and Texas’ announcement of their impending departure to the SEC, it sounds as though there’s still some amount of hope for the conference. According to multiple reports late last week, the Big 12 has brought in former West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck to serve as a consultant in their quest to strengthen the conference via expansion and has began evaluating the best options from the Group of 5 level programs.
It’s not an ideal situation for any of the remaining eight schools in the conference, but adding programs like Cincinnati, UCF, BYU and Houston would add some stability back to the Big 12 and would the increase in revenue would allow those schools to grow into legitimate Power 5 programs.
I mean, even with a weakened Big 12, they still won’t look as pitiful as some of the other Power 5 teams that we saw play this past weekend.
EAT SHIT, PITT
The West Virginia men’s soccer team will take on the No. 3 ranked Pitt Panthers at Dick Dlesk Stadium for their 2021 home opener tonight at 7PM ET. The first 550 fans in attendance will receive a WVU cowbell, and tickets are only $5. If you’re not in the area, the game will be broadcast on ESPN+. If you’re not already an ESPN+ subscriber, you should absolutely use this link to sign up. $6.99 per month is a steal for the amount of content you get access to.
WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP
- Speaking of soccer, the No. 12 ranked WVU women’s soccer team beat Duquesne on Sunday, 3-0. Nikki Izzo-Brown’s squad moved to a 3-1 record on the season, with the lone loss coming to the No. 3 ranked Virginia Cavaliers last week. The Mountaineer women will be back in action on Thursday, when they’ll take on No. 7 Penn State at Dick Dlesk Stadium at 7PM. That game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.
- Rick and Jay Wagener made a million dollar donation to the West Virginia baseball program to assist in the upkeep of Monongalia County Ballpark and assist in some of the program’s current needs. West Virginia will honor their generosity, beginning with the 2022 season, by naming the field Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark.
- 247Sports’ Chris Anderson has a fantastic breakdown on how Neal Brown built the 2022 recruiting class into a legitimate Top 25 class over the Summer.
AROUND THE BIG 12
- Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian has named redshirt freshman Hudson Card as the Longhorns’ starting quarterback.
- Texas Tech has named former Oregon Ducks quarterback Tyler Shough as their starter ahead of their opener against Dana Holgorsen’s Houston Cougars.
ODDS AND ENDS
- Jake Paul beat former UFC champion Tyron Woodley via split decision last night. There’s a theme to these fights where Paul’s opponents appear to purposely take it easy on the social media star, as Woodley would throw single punches but never really followed them up. I’m not saying these fights are rigged, but I am saying pro-wrestling feels more real than this.
- Speaking of rasslin’, CM Punk has returned to the squared circle. Punk made his debut in AEW two weeks ago in Chicago and will take on rising star Darby Allin this Sunday at All Out. Punk’s return marked the first time he stepped back into a ring in seven years, but it sounds like there’s more big names that will soon be All Elite.
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