It has been 5,832 days since Virginia Tech has stepped foot in Morgantown. I was at that game in 2005 and don’t remember much, because it was our only loss of what would become a 11-1, Sugar Bowl Champion season. It has been 6,542 days since the West Virginia Mountaineers last beat the Hokies. October 22, 2003 was one of the greatest games I ever attended and I can still smell and taste the pepper spray. Ahh memories.
The Mountaineers have generated just one lonely turnover so far in two games and have lost 5 so far. Being -4 in turnover margin two games into the season is not a good look. The defense will need to create more havoc if they are going generate negative plays against the Hokies. Against Maryland, the Mountaineers were able to generate 2 sacks, 9 tackles-for-loss and 4 passes defended. Still, that wasn’t good enough to generate any turnovers. Against the overmatched LIU Sharks, West Virginia had - checks notes - 2 sacks, 9 tackles for loss and 3 passes defended and only generated one turnover, a fumble on a mishandled handoff by LIU. West Virginia is not creating turnovers. When you aren’t creating turnovers and you have a quarterback who is looking more and more like he might be seeing ghosts, it doesn’t look good. West Virginia needs to create turnovers and create additional possessions for itself.
Positive Field Position
Winston Wright has proven to be a dangerous kick returner. I’d love to see him only return one kick on Saturday if that means that the Hokies never score. In all likelyhood, he is going to get a chance to return a few kicks and we need to turn that into positive field position. If Wright fair catches every kickoff, the Mountaineers start on at least the 25-yard line.
Wright needs to return the ball and allow the offense to play on the positive side of the 25. Long kickoff returns that put the Mountaineers in position to not need to drive 75 yards will help the team. It means that if we need to punt, we have a better chance of pinning the Hokies deep. It also means that we need fewer plays to drive the field and fewer plays is always a good thing when we can’t hit long passes. The closer the Mountaineers start near the Hokies endzone, the better this game will be.
The Black Diamond Trophy
Virginia Tech has held the Black Diamond Trophy for 6192 days. #Hokies— Black Diamond Trophy (@BlkDiamondTrphy) September 15, 2021
It will be 6195 days on Saturday. I have no desire for that count to reach 6,400+. I need that trophy. There are very few games that I need a win. I can live with the Mountaineers if they lose to the Maryland Terrapins. Its not ideal but the Terrapin fans I know are generally nice enough that I don’t hate them. I enjoy ribbing them and they like picking on me and we get along just fine.
I need to beat Marshall. I’m not ready to hear the endless crowing because they finally beat their big brother. Every game needs to be a hold your head underwater for an extra five seconds just to remind you that we’re better.
I need to beat Pitt. Pittsburgh is a nice enough town. The Pitt fans I’ve met have generally been nice but make no mistake, I need to beat Pitt. I remember 2007 and so do they. Ultimately, when it counts, that is their only saving grace. So I need to beat Pitt. From now until eternity I need to beat Pitt.
I NEED TO BEAT VIRGINIA TECH. This isn’t some friendly rivarly. I can generally be pleasant to Marshall fans - afterall we are all West Virginians. I can generally be pleasant to Pitt fans - their team has sucked enough that they don’t talk a ton of smack and even when they mention 2007 its more like yeah, we got one on you, and we sucked. I went to Virginia Tech in 2003 and 2005. I went in 2017. On my way into the stadium in 2017, I got flipped off by a 12-year old girl. I’ve been less offended when I was umpiring than when I got flipped off by a tween. And she wasn’t the only one. I’ve been called vulgar names, had hot dogs and other food thrown at me and in general been treated pretty poorly every time I’ve attended a game. So I need to beat those @$$holes. I need to get that trophy back and I need to put a stuffed Hokie on my front bumper again.