Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.
Expect Milan Puskar Stadium to be full of rowdy fans and loud this Saturday. The Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy is coming back to Morgantown for the first time since 2005 and the game is officially sold out. After last week’s great showing by the WVU student body when the Mountaineers faced the measly Long Island Sharks, it is possible that the student sections could exceed capacity for this huge rivalry matchup and push the attendance over the 60,000-capacity mark. Saturday’s game will also be a Gold Rush for WVU, and gold rally towels will be provided upon entry to the game.
As their excitement and anticipation for the game against the #15 Hokies has grown, Mountaineer fans have speculated about the intensity of the crowd this week. Many expect the sellout crowd to create an atmosphere that is comparable to, or possibly greater than, some of the great WVU homefield environments over the years. That expectation may be why the Mountaineers are three-point favorites. Some of the games that fans think this one could be comparable to, in terms of crowd volume and intensity, are the 1993 win over Miami, the LSU game of 2011, the 2018 Oklahoma game, and the win over VT in 2003. Were you at any of these great games? Do you think the atmosphere at this week’s game could be close to any of those legendary environments at Mountaineer Field?
BASKETBALL SCHEDULE SET
Head coach Bob Huggins and the West Virginia men’s basketball team now have their schedule set for the 2021-22 season. The Big 12 announced its conference matchups for both the men’s and women’s teams, solidifying the Mountaineers’ schedule. The Big 12 lineup has WVU going on three multi-game road trips, starting with the first conference game of the year at Texas on New Year’s Day. The Big 12 schedule and the regular season will conclude with a home game against TCU. As for nonconference play, the Mountaineers have eight home game, two true road matchups, and three neutral site games. The top home matchups include the Backyard Brawl against Pitt in November and the Big East-Big 12 Battle with Connecticut in early December. The notable true road game is the Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup with Arkansas at the end of January. The three neutral site games will be at the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic in South Carolina prior to Thanksgiving.
WEST VIRGINIA ROUNDUP
- Is West Virginia a soccer school? Both the Mountaineer men’s and women’s teams are climbing up in the United Soccer Coaches polls. The men’s team moved up one spot to #4 in the nation following a 0-0 draw with Loyola and a 1-0 win over Ohio State at home last week. The women’s team climbed three positions up to #15 after a 0-0 tie with #24 Georgetown and a 5-0 blowout win against Saint Francis in Morgantown. The WVU men’s team is preparing to face the defending national champions, #6 Marshall, in Huntington on Friday in what is being called the “West Virginia Derby.” The must-see match will be streamed on ESPN+. The WVU women’s team travels to James Madison tonight.
- The NFL season has kicked off and that means former Mountaineers are making their West Virginia fans proud in the pros. Five former WVU players saw action in Week 1. Kyzir White started at linebacker and helped the Los Angeles Chargers get a victory with recorded five total tackles, including three solo stops, and one forced fumble. Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski made three solo tackles in the Las Vegas Raiders’ crazy win over the Baltimore Ravens. Trevon Wesco started at tight end for the New York Jets, while offensive guards Mark Glowinski and Quinton Spain started for the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.
AROUND THE BIG 12
- West Virginia’s matchup against #15 Virginia Tech looks to be the biggest game for the Big 12 Conference this week, but there are some other notable matchups. #3 Oklahoma and Nebraska are also renewing their rivalry this weekend. The undefeated Sooners are favored by over three touchdowns against the Cornhuskers in Fox’s “Big Noon Kickoff” game. The Big 12 has its first conference matchup of the 2021 college football season with Kansas hosting undefeated Baylor. The Bears are 18-point favorites.
AROUND THE NCAA
- There are three matchups between ranked teams this week in college football. The first is an afternoon rivalry meeting between #1 Alabama and #11 Florida at 3:30 PM ET on CBS. The Crimson Tide comes into the game as a two-touchdown favorite. ESPN’s “College GameDay” is heading to Penn State to see the #10 Nittany Lions host #24 Auburn in a “Whiteout” game at 7:30 PM ET on ABC. PSU’s homefield advantage is helping it enter the game as a five-point favorite. We also get a late-night ranked matchup at 10:15 PM ET on ESPN, as #19 Arizona State travels to #23 BYU. The crowd in Provo, Utah, will be ready to go since their Cougars are four-point underdogs at home.
ODDS AND ENDS
- Despite their struggles in Week 1 of the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain first and second in the NFL Power Rankings. The Seattle Seahawks made a huge jump into third place, followed by the Los Angeles Rams who moved up to fourth. Who do you think are the favorites to make the Super Bowl this season?
- The 2021 MLB Playoffs are just around the corner. The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League West have both clinched their playoff spots. The Milwaukee Brewers are also nearing a playoff spot out of the National League Central, with just a handful of wins needed to secure their place in the postseason.
Have any tips, suggestions or requests for what you want to see in The Shotgun Throwdown? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us on social media.
Facebook: The Smoking Musket