Thursday, October 5, 2023

Player of the Game

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Garrett Greene said it all following the Mountaineers' huge conference road 24-21 win at TCU: "The world is our oyster! We have a week off and then we go to Houston and we are going to make some noise this season!" Greene, who finished 10/21 for 142 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions through the air, also led the team on the ground, rushing 12 times for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. For his gritty, tough performance return after 2 games out with an ankle injry, Garrett Greene is The Voice of Morgantown's Player of the Game!   Check out his highlights below:

Neal Brown’s Job Could Be Saved by Big 12 Scheduling

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The Big 12 Conference is really, really bad this season. From top to bottom, the conference just doesn't have the depth that it typically does and this could potentially save Neal Brown's job at West Virginia University. West Virginia was gifted what has turned out to be one of the most ridiculously easy conference schedules in the Big 12; the Mountaineers do not have to play Texas, Kansas and Kansas State, which are three of the top teams in the conference right now, and the teams that they are playing - Baylor, Oklahoma State, Houston, Texas Tech, etc. - are having down years. Beating the likes of TCU, UCF and Oklahoma on the road won't be easy but it wouldn't be shocking if they won at least a couple of those. In a challenging conference like the Big 12, this is as simple as it gets and Neal Brown and the Mountaineers are ready to pounce on this incredible opportunity. If West Virginia beats who they should beat - Houston, Oklahoma State, BYU and Cincinnati - they will have a minimum of 7 wins without winning of the games on the road at TCU, UCF and Oklahoma. Although a 7-5 record isn't ideal, this is Neal Brown we're talking about, it's growth from previous seasons and it greatlly exceeds expectations. Remember, this team was predicted to finish 14th out of 14 teams in the Big 12 Conference and many experts believed they wouldn't win more than a few games. In fact, the Mountaineers were only favored to win one game this season and that was against Duquesne at home. If West Virginia goes 7-5 or 8-4 with a bowl win this year, that would be reason for a parade in Morgantown. If West Virginia can manage to win games they are supposed to win and upset a couple of opponents on the way, Neal Brown could easily go from the hot seat to earning another contract extension.

West Virginia Hangs on to Beat Texas Tech

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The West Virginia Mountaineers (3-1) won their 3rd consecutive game for the first time under Neal Brown by hanging on to beat the Texas Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-3), 20-13. West Virginia was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Nicco Marchiol, who was fiilling in for usual starter Garrett Greene. Marchiol put up a gutsy performance, going 12/21 for 78 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions through the air while leading the team with 72 yards on 15 carries on the ground. CJ Donaldson had 15 carries for 48 yards and 1 touchdown and tight end Kole Taylor added 3 receptions for 39 yards and 1 touchdown. The Mountaineers are back in action next Saturday, September 30 at 8:00PM eastern at TCU. The Horned Frogs beat SMU 34-17 at home to move to 3-1 on the season.

It’s Time for WVU to Honor Rich Rodriguez

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Tomorrow, six outstanding former West Virginia contributors will be inducted into the 33rd class of honorees in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame. According to a press release from the university, the 2023 class includes Trevor Gathman (rifle), Bruce Irvin (football), TeShawne Jackson (gymnastics), Jay Jacobs (broadcaster), Buddy Quertinmont (men's basketball) and Renee Riccio (women's swimming & diving). This class brings the total number of inductees to 229. While these inductees are all very deserving of the honor, one person is clearly missing from the list. This may not be a popular opinion, but there just aren’t many people out there more deserving of a spot in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame than former Head Coach Rich Rodriguez.  His 60-26 record during his 7 seasons in Morgantown were sensational and the final three years (2005-2007) the Mountaineers were one of the most successful football programs in the entire country. According to the official WVU Sports Hall of Fame website, “the Athletic Hall of Fame was instituted in 1991 to recognize those athletes and coaches that have helped pioneer WVU athletics into one of the most respected programs in the nation.” While Rodriguez left under less than desirable conditions, he certainly helped pioneer the Mountaineers into what they are today. To deny Rodriguez admission into the Hall of Fame would simply be spiteful and West Virginians are better than that.  There is no other reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame other than to punish him for leaving the university and taking a better opportunity with better pay at Michigan. I did the very same thing when I left Mountaineer Sports to start "The Voice of Morgantown." Better pay, better opportunity, total no-brainer. Back in 2019, I did a candid interview with Rich Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was open, honest and still had very raw emotions about his time at West Virginia University.  It’s still difficult for him to talk about or think about his final game in Morgantown, a 13-9 loss to Pitt in 2007.  This, of course, was one of the worst losses in WVU football’s long history and Rich Rodriguez still, so many years later, feels the pain and sting associated with it. Rich Rodriguez:  A Prelude to the Interview: The Rich Rodriguez Interview: There is a large portion of West Virginia fans that will never forgive Rich Rodriguez.  In their minds, he is a snake, a coward, someone that sold out the whole state of West Virginia for greed, for money and power and a better chance at a National Championship.  This group of people are loaded with ridiculous conspiracy theories about him somehow throwing the Pitt game, the most important game in his career, so that he could move on to Michigan.  Regardless of how absurd that is, it is ingrained in the collective mindset of some Mountaineer fans, so firmly fixed in their brains as an absolute truth.  This article isn’t for you. Tony Caridi, host of the Three Guys Before the Game podcast, interviewed Rodriguez and it reminded me what a really great guy Rich Rodriguez is and what an outstanding experience I had when I spoke with him.  He’s a West Virginian, through and through.  If he’s acting like he still cares about West Virginia and how he still feels the pain of the way he left Morgantown, he deserves an Oscar.  Unless he’s the best actor in the world, he’s about as genuine a person as they come in this business. Again, there is a large portion of West Virginia fans that won’t ever forgive him, but if you’re on the fence please listen to the Mountaineer Sports interview from March and Tony Caridi’s recent podcast, and give him a real shot.  Listen to the pain in his voice when the Pitt loss comes up.  Listen to him sincerely express real remorse about how his time at WVU ended.  He acknowledges his mistakes and he truly wishes he could do it all over. It’s been 14 years since he left and it’s time to forgive and forget.  Rich Rodriguez, now 60 years old, has made mistakes and has grown from them.   The mistakes he’s made just so happened to be on a very grand scale in front of an entire state of people that live and die with the football program that he led.  He did so much for our state, for the old Gold and Blue, and it’s time to remember that, to appreciate that, and to move on from any hard feelings about the way he left home. It's time to put him in the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, honor his achievements and move on from the bitterness and hatred stemming from a choice he made almost 15 years ago.

Pitt Fan Films His Time in Morgantown for the Backyard Brawl

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The West Virginia Mountaineers welcomed the Pitt Panthers to Morgantown this past weekend for the Backyard Brawl and of course West Virginia beat Pitt 17-6. A video has surfaced from before the game in which a Pitt fan filmed his experience in Morgantown. Although this certainly isn't representative of every Pitt fans' time during The Brawl, it was startling to see how this particular Pittsburgh native was treated by West Virginia fans. The Pitt fan said things like, "Good luck today, you are going to need it." West Virginia fans responded by spewing obscentities, saying "Eat **** Pitt", getting up in his face and flipping him off, and even pushing him. Check out the full video below:

The Pride of West Virginia Has Been Selected for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Pride of West Virginia received some exciting news before the Backyard Brawl. Morgantown, WV - Prior to the Backyard Brawl last night, The Pride of West Virginia received incredible news for 2024. Macy’s announced that the Mountaineer Marching Band has been selected to perform in the 2024 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. For a university that has been through a plethora of turmoil lately, this is certainly an encouragement achievement for the program! (Photo via West Virginia University)

West Virginia Beats Pitt in the Backyard Brawl

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Despite losing starting quarterback Garrett Greene early in the first quarter, the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) defeated the Pitt Panthers (1-2) in the 106th edition of the Backyard Brawl, 17-6. West Virginia was led by sensational sophomore running back CJ Donaldson, who rushed 18 times for 102 yards and 1 touchdown. Jaylen Anderson added 62 yards on 19 carries. Redshirt freshman quarterback Nicco Marchiol, who replaced Garrett Greene in the 1st quarter, finished 6/9 for 60 yards and 1 touchdown. The Mountaineers will be back in action at home next Saturday, September 23 against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas Tech is 1-2 this season with losses against Wyoming and Oregon, and a 41-3 win today against Tarleton State.

Bob Huggins’ Message Today: Beat Pitt

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Former West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins has kept a low profile since his DUI arrest and resignation from WVU, but today, he was photographed with Ryan and Rush of The Ryan & Rush Show.  Huggins, 69, who was wearing a Cincinnati jacket, West Virginia sweatpants and a Ryan & Rush cap, had the following message to share with fans of the Mountaineers today: "Beat Pitt." West Virginia plays Pitt tonight in The Backyard Brawl at 7:30PM eastern time and will be televised live on ABC. Check out the picture of Huggins below:

Morgantown is Absolutely Electric Right Now

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- We're mere hours from the 106th edition of the Backyard Brawl featuring the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Pitt Panthers. Fans, however, have been filtering into Morgantown in droves today and it appears that it could be one of the largest tailgating events ever at West Virginia University. The Voice of Morgantown has boots on the ground, covering the event. Check out the videos of the current tailgating scene in Morgantown as of 4:30PM today. Let's Go Mountaineers!

Joe Manchin, WVU’s Next President?

Senator Joe Manchin could be in line to be WVU’s next president.  Morgantown, WV - To say things are weird in Morgantown right now would be an understatement. With so much turmoil surrounding West Virginia University, many are wondering where the flagship university of the state will go next. Well, the latest news surrounding the potential university president opening just got interesting. According to John L. Dorman of Insider, allies of Senator Joe Manchin have told The New York Times that a retirement from politics and a chance at being president of West Virginia University, Manchin’s alma mater, could be in the cards. Manchin, who has yet to announce his decision on a reelection campaign, would have to wait and learn the fate of current WVU President E. Gordon Gee. With the university in millions of dollars in debt, and facing many layoffs and program cuts, a change could be made sooner rather than later. This will definitely be something for Mountaineer fans to keep an eye on moving forward. Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown for updates. (Photo by WVU Athletics

Draft Kings: “Neal Brown Looking for a New Job in 2024”

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Draft Kings' Chinmay Vaidya released his "Hot Seat Week 2" list yesterday and unsurprisingly West Virginia head coach Neal Brown was front and center on the list. According to Vaidya, "Neal Brown has a permanent position in this column until he is gone." Brown, who is currently 23-26 overall and 14-21 in the Big 12 Conference in his 5th season with the Mountaineers, was on the hot seat all last season and remained there to begin this season. "Barring a scenario where West Virginia wins the Big 12, he is effectively gone at the end of the year," Vaidya said of Brown. "The Backyard Brawl is a chance to provide some relief but Brown is going to be looking for a new job in 2024." West Virginia plays Pitt this Saturday, September 16, and will play Texas Tech the following Saturday at home. These two games have been circled on the calendar as the two games that could potentially decide Neal Brown's future. If the Mountaineers lose one or both of the games, Brown could be in major trouble. If they win, he could buy himself more time on the West Virginia sideline.

The Two Hottest Seats in College Football

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The two head coaches who have the hottest seats in college football are without a doubt Neal Brown and Jimbo Fisher. Fisher, the head coach at Texas A&M, is one of the highest paid coaches in football with some of the best recruits in the country and the A&M fans have massive expectations for their program. However, Fisher led his team to a 5-7 record last season and the Aggies have started 1-1 this season, with a brutal loss last week against Miami. With a top salary, the best facilities and one of the most talented rosters in college football, Fisher has not produced the results that were expected. Despite his incredible previous success - he has a 123-45 record and a national championship at Florida State in 2013 - Fisher is squarely on the hot seat and fans want the school to pay his nearly $77 million buyout to move on from him. In fact, unless Fisher quickly turns things around in College Station, he will almost certainly be fired before the end of the season. If/when that happens, Fisher would instantly be the most sought-after head coach in college football based on his previous accomplishments. If Neal Brown continues to underachieve in Morgantown, it just could be the perfect storm for Fisher to return home to coach the Mountaineers. Remember, last season, Jimbo Fisher said three words that gave long-suffering West Virginia fans real hope: "Home is home." Fisher, 57, is originally from Clarksburg, West Virginia and when asked if he would ever consider returning to coach the Mountaineers later in his career, Fisher said the following: "You don’t ever say never in this business. Home is home. I love West Virginia and it’s very near and dear to my heart. I love them and have always rooted for them my whole life. You never say never in this business where it takes you. I’m happy where I’m at and I love where I’m at, but home is home.".  It would be difficult financially for Texas A&M to fire Fisher; however, the contract is extremely one-sided, allowing Fisher to leave the Aggies for another job under no financial penalty for his future employer should he so choose. In other words, although he would certainly demand a higher salary than Neal Brown, West Virginia would not have to worry about paying Texas A&M anything if Fisher wanted to return home before his contract ends. Neal Brown currently makes approximately $4 million a year and Fisher makes $7.5 million per year. While Fisher would have to take a paycut to coach the Mountaineers, coaching his home team with the possibility of taking them to new heights would almost certainly be very appealing to someone like Jimbo Fisher, who loves the state and has been a fan of the football program his entire life. Right now, Jimbo Fisher returning to West Virginia to coach the Mountaineers is a bit of a dream, but it's a very realistic possibility and is a dream worth dreaming.

Garrett Greene Doesn’t Like Pitt

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Garrett Greene will be the starting quarterback for the West Virginia Mountaineers host the Pitt Panthers in the Backyard Brawl this weekend, and Greene did not mince words and did not hold back on his feelings about Pitt! Following West Virginia's 56-17 blowout win over Duquesne, Greene was asked about playing the Panthers in The Brawl. Greene said the following in response: "I was raised in Tallahassee (Florida), but I like to say I grew up in West Virginia. I became a man here. We don't like them and they don't like us." Greene, a junior, has started at quarterback for the Mountaineers during the first two games this season, passing 26/45 (57.8%) for 402 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.

Pitt Quarterback Doesn’t Like to Get Boo’ed

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Following Pitt's 27-21 loss at home to Cincinnati last night, the Panthers' starting quarterback, Phil Jurkovec, told reporters that he didn't appreciate fans of the team booing during the game. “I think if you are a grown-ass man booing in that stadium, you got to look at things yourself,” Jurkovec said. “I think that is pathetic. But, you know what, we didn’t play well enough. We are going to play better." Jurkovec, who finished the game 10-32 for 179 yards, continued: "I think I just missed some throws. I have to trust some plays more. Trust they are going to be there. Trust my training and I think I got away from that a little bit with my footwork. Messing up or leaving the pocket too early. Those are things I can correct.” If Jurkovec, a redshirt senior from Pittsburgh, was concerned about the booing in the stands at home, he has no idea what he will be walking into next Saturday when Pitt travels to Morgantown to play the West Virginia Mountaineers at Milan Puskar Stadium.

West Virginia Ranked

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- The West Virginia Mountaineers are one of the Bottom 25 teams in college football right now, according to CBS Sports' David Cobb. In Cobb's Bottom 25 Rankings, West Virginia checked in at the 16th worst team in the nation right now. According to Cobb, "The Mountaineers refused to take downfield shots in their 38-15 Week 1 loss at Penn State. If some perimeter playmakers don't emerge for WVU, this team could flirt with Bottom 25 status all year, which is the last thing embattled coach Neal Brown needs." The only teams ranked below West Virginia in Cobb's Bottom 25 were Rice, North Texas, Buffalo, Central Michigan, South Alabama, East Carolina, New Mexico, Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State, Boise State, Kent State, Navy and Nevada. That's quite the company for West Virginia, the 15th winningest program in college football history, to be among. The Mountaineers are back in action at home on Saturday, September 9 at 6:00PM against Duquesne.