Thursday, February 2, 2023

Yet Another Bowl Projection Has Been Given for WVU, But Against Who This Time?

(Photo by WVU Athletics)   “Bowl Season,” which is now officially the organization affiliated with College Football’s postseason, released their initial bowl projections today. As many do, the outlet has the Mountaineers heading to the Autozone Liberty Bowl on New Year’s Eve. But as with all projections, the opponent has changed from the rest. According to Bowl Season, the Mountaineers will be taking on the Ole Miss Rebels in the Liberty Bowl. The Rebels are in their first season under head coach Lane Kiffin, and currently sit with a 3-4 record on the season.   West Virginia and Ole Miss have played once before in the 2000 Music City Bowl. The 49-38 win for the Mountaineers would be the final game in the legendary career of head coach Don Nehlen. Despite putting up solid numbers offensively, Ole Miss has yielded one of the nation’s worst defenses in 2020. To go along with 535 yards allowed per game, they are surrendering 292 through the air, and 243 on the ground. If these projections prove to be correct, this could be a very favorable bowl matchup for the Mountaineers.

Pat McAfee Insulted By Fan Over 2007 Backyard Brawl

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  The 2007 Backyard Brawl is one WVU fans want to forget. Falling to the Panthers 13-9 with a national championship berth on the line will forever haunt Mountaineers everywhere. Former WVU kicker Pat McAfee missed two pivotal kicks in the first quarter of the game, much to the distain of fans. He would receive a plethora of hate and threats in the days following, and he is still to this day receiving hate for the kicks. https://twitter.com/patmcafeeshow/status/1585227078848647168?s=46&t=CHmuDfRQPDVwR04CSQC1YQ An account that was deleted immediately after insulted McAfee on Twitter, saying he had no room to talk about the program due to his missed kicks in the Brawl. He would respond with the tweet above. “But you’re right…Your all time leading scorer did miss 2 kicks in the first quarter of a massive game, so I’ll shut up.” McAfee isn’t one to live it down, and he never fails to admit his downfalls in that embarrassing game so many years back. However, the fan who said he should not talk about the program is simply flat wrong. Bad move from Mountaineer Nation.

WATCH: Pat McAfee Reflects on Time in Morgantown

Pat McAfee has made quite the name for himself since leaving Morgantown. The punter turned comedian is one of the most prominent voices in sports today. Today, the former Mountaineer took time to reflect on his time in Morgantown on his daily show. https://twitter.com/patmcafeeshow/status/1326231767947354113?s=21   McAfee tells of a memorable party that he attended while he was in Morgantown, and even compares the city to other college towns known to be a little more wild than average. WATCH as Pat McAfee take a stroll down memory lane.  

West Virginia’s Upcoming Game Anything But Automatic

Cover Photo - Robert Ovies, The Voice of Morgantown Morgantown, West Virginia - While a football game against the Kansas Jayhawks has historically been a virtually automatic win, it's far from guaranteed for the West Virginia Mountaineers this Saturday. West Virginia, who lost to hated rival Pitt in the final moments last week in the Backyard Brawl, is ripe for an upset, particularly against an up-and-coming team like Kansas. Although Kansas finished last season 2-10 overall and 1-8 in the Big 12 Conference, they are a well-coached team that is capable of surprising a vulnerable team like the Mountaineers. Last season, Kansas upset the Texas Longhorns, 57-56, in a night game in Austin, Texas, near the end of the season. Following the Texas upset, Kansas nearly shocked TCU on the road, losing 28-31, and West Virginia barely got past the Jayhawks in the final game of the season, winning 34-28 in Lawrence, Kansas. Again, although Kansas was 2-10 last year, they showed tremendous promise and proved that they are no longer the Jayhawks of the past. In their season opener last week against Tennessee Tech, Kansas took care of business, winning 56-10 at home. Tennessee Tech, a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, is obviously not a dangerous team, but Kansas handled them appropriately and were dominant from start to finish in the game. Kansas Head Coach Lance Leipold is an outstanding coach and is building this program the right way in Lawrence. Kansas has talent and depth on both the offensive and defensive lines, has a great backfield led by Devin Neal, who rushed for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns in the season opener, and an outstanding talent in quarterback Jalon Daniels, who is a threat on the ground and through the air. This is a confident, hungry Kansas team that believes that they can go into Morgantown, West Virginia, and upset the Mountaineers on Saturday. West Virginia better put last week's devastating loss to Pitt behind them and be ready for Kansas, or they will start the season 0-2.

Another Marchiol Headed to West Virginia in the Future?

Morgantown, West Virginia - Although freshman sensation quarterback Nicco Marchiol has yet to step foot on Mountaineer Field as a member of the West Virginia Mountaineers, he's already one of the most popular athletes in the state of West Virginia. Today, Marchiol posted a video of Aurelio Marchiol with the caption, "Little bro is slinging it!" Aurelio is not technically Nicco's "little brother", but he is his younger cousin who has "always been like a brother", according to Aurelio. https://twitter.com/MarchiolNicco/status/1491785725666156549?s=20&t=h-eNbn9_iNH6QE5ZS4afZA Aurelio Marchiol, a 2024 quarterback from Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado, is listed as 6'2 159 pounds on his My Recruits page. Marchiol is described as the following on the page: "Big time 2024 quarterback and one of the smartest quarterbacks you'll ever meet. A student of the game who also has God-given ability to throw. Aurelio has an extremely strong arm and can put the ball anywhere on the field. He moves well both inside and outside of the pocket and has a great feel for the game. Expect this guy to hit the scene hard!" Marchiol is nowhere near deciding on where he will continue his football career in college yet, but The Voice of Motown reached out to him today to ask if was considering West Virginia University. Marchiol's response: "Definitely."

New Bowl Projection Pins WVU Against Mountain West Opponent

After a 37-10 victory over 16th ranked Kansas State, the Mountaineers are beginning to move up in several outlet's bowl projections. Last week, College Football News had West Virginia going up against former head coach Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. However, following the victory, they now have West Virginia going to a new bowl destination.   In their post-week 9 College Football Bowl projections, CFN now has the Mountaineers competing in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl against the Air Force Falcons. So far this season, the Falcons have only competed in three games, going 1-2 with their only win coming against Navy. Being that they are a triple-option team, they are currently averaging 330 yards per game on the ground, and are averaging 5.9 yards per rush.   This style of offense would be unlike any other the Mountaineers will see on their remaining schedule in 2020, and would provide a stiff challenge for Jordan Lesley and Jahmile Addae to prepare for.   The Mountaineers and Falcons have never met on the gridiron, so this matchup would provide both the opportunity to gain the advantage over the other. However, it is unlikely the two would be seeing each other again for quite a while.

BREAKING: Revised 2020 Schedule for WVU Released

Moments ago, the Big 12 Conference released a revised schedule for their 2020 fall football season. Here is WVU’s new Big 12 2020 Football schedule: September 12: vs Eastern Kentucky September 26: at Oklahoma State October 3: vs Baylor October 17: vs Kansas October 24: at Texas Tech October 31: Kansas State November 7: at Texas November 14: vs TCU November 28: vs Oklahoma December 5: at Iowa State https://twitter.com/wvufootball/status/1293571853911502849?s=21  

Why Garrett Greene Will Get the Surprise Start on Saturday

Morgantown, West Virginia - Following West Virginia's loss two weeks ago at Baylor, Neal Brown promised that "everything would be on the table" in terms of changes to his football team. Since then, Brown has released a depth chart with few changes and said that there wouldn't be "night and day schematic adjustments." With that said, there are several reasons to believe that Brown will finally pull the trigger on the obvious change that will make the West Virginia offense immediately better - starting Garrett Greene at quarterback this weekend. TCU's Run Defense is Terrible TCU has the worst run defense in the Big 12 Conference and the 120th out of 131 teams in the nation in rushing defense, allowing over 210 yards per game on the ground. A run-centered attack with Greene at quarterback would virtually be unstoppable against the Horned Frogs' porous run defense.  Leddie Brown is far more effective with Greene in the game and Jarret Doege offers nothing in terms of running the ball for the Mountaineers. Surprise Last Minute Quarterback Change TCU likely believes that they'll be able to key on Jarret Doege this weekend and have almost certainly prepared primarily for Doege behind center.  Starting Greene would provide a surprise element that would absolutely catch TCU off guard and give the Mountaineers a better chance of pulling off the upset on the road. It's Time to Look to the Future Let's face it, at 2-4 this season is over.  West Virginia has few winnable games remaining and playing a 5th year senior at quarterback just doesn't make sense.  Instead, Brown should look to the future and give his redshirt freshman an opportunity to show whether he can lead the team or not. Giving Greene a real opportunity requires more than simply putting him in for obvious run plays.  Greene is a capable passer and must be given a chance to show that he can get it down at this level. Winning with Greene gives the Mountaineers momentum going into next season.  Winning with Doege does nothing for the future.   Let's say that Jarret Doege has an outstanding second half of the season and wins a few more games.  What exactly does that do for the future of the West Virginia football program?  Nothing.  West Virginia would simply have to rebuild around a quarterback next season with little or no experience. Whether it's Greene, Will "Goose" Crowder or Nicco Marchiol leading the team next season, they'll have almost no collegiate experience., which will lead to yet another difficult year for the Mountaineers. Greene or Crowder must get real playing time this season or next season is going to be another disaster.

Maryland’s Official Account Takes Shot at WVU

Morgantown, West Virginia - Following West Virginia’s embarrassing 30-24 loss to the Maryland Terrapins, Maryland Football’s official Twitter account took a major shot at the Mountaineers. Maryland Football posted a recreation of musician Drake’s latest album cover with West Virginia football helmets on pregnant women. The name of Drake’s recently-released album is “Certified Lover Boy” and Maryland Football changed it to “Certified Loser Boys.” Despite the win, Maryland hasn’t had a winning season since 2014 and West Virginia holds a 28-23-2 historical record over the Terrapins. https://twitter.com/terpsfootball/status/1434292498063675395?s=21

A Living Legend Celebrates His Birthday Today

(Photo by Getty Images)    Today, the greatest coach of all-time in any sport at WVU, Don Nehlen, celebrates his 85th birthday. Nehlen is the all-time winningest coach in Mountaineer Football history with 149 wins, and is a major contributor to the building of the WVU brand. Happy birthday, Coach Nehlen!

Will the Power 5 Poach MAC Players?

Today, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced that they were cancelling fall sports for the 2020 season. As of right now, they are still the only FBS conference to do so. Now, reports are beginning to surface that MAC players are being poached by schools that are part of conferences still planning to play. https://twitter.com/petethamel/status/1292185336303493122?s=21 According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, an assistant coach of a MAC school has came forward and said that the top players on their roster have been contacted by other schools who will play this fall. They would state that this would be one of many “unintended consequences” of being the first FBS conference to cancel their season. Could WVU potentially reach into the MAC to fill holes on their roster? It is anybody’s guess at this point — but what we do know is College Football is a hot mess right now.

Spring Valley University

Morgantown, West Virginia - Spring Valley High School is located in an unincorporated portion of Wayne County, West Virginia with a postal address in the nearby city of Huntington. Spring Valley to Morgantown is quickly becoming the move.  With the #1 player in the state of West Virginia, Corbin Page, committing to the Mountaineers, West Virginia University now has four players from the small high school outside of Huntington committed. Graeson Malashevich, a redshirt freshman wide receiver for the Mountaineers, started the trend of Spring Valley High players making WVU their new home.  Malashevich was the Gatorade West Virginia Player of the Year while leading Spring Valley to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the state championship game.  After redshirting in his first season, Malashevich saw limited time at wide receiver this season, finishing with 1 reception for 30 yards, and he's also the starting holder and backup punt returner behind Alec Sinkfield. Wyatt Milum was the next Spring Valley player to chose West Virginia University as his new home.  Milum, a four star recruit, was the winner of the Stydahar Award, given to the best interior lineman in the state.  Milum, who did not allow a single sack in his entire high school career, was also first team all-state selection in his junior and senior years, and was invited to the US Army All American game. Following Milum's commitment, former four star recruit, Doug Nester, decided to transfer from Virginia Tech and committed to the Mountaineers.  Nester, a two-year starter at Virginia Tech, was a three-time WVSWA all-state selection at Spring Valley while leading his school to the Class AAA state championship and also won the Stydahar Award in his senior season. A day after Nester committed to the Mountaineers, Corbin Page, the top rated recruit in the state of West Virginia in the 2022 class, committed to play his college career at West Virginia University.  Page earned second team all state honors this past year in an abbreviated season and is widely considered the #1 high school prospect in the state.  Although Page plays tight end at Spring Valley, he could potentially join Milum and Nester on the offensive line if his body continues to develop. West Virginia starting quarterback Jarret Doege weighed in on social media, referring to WVU as "Spring Valley U." That's four players from Spring Valley High School with huge potential at West Virginia University.  The pipeline from Huntington to Morgantown has become a very real thing!

Dominant defense ends low season on high note

The game will be remembered for quarterback Jarrett Doege's beautiful 35-yard rainbow pass that dropped perfectly into receiver Isaiah Esdale's hands for the game-winning touchdown leading West Virginia to a 20-17 victory at TCU in the season-finale for both. But while the Doege-to-Esdale connection was the "game winner," it wasn't what decided the game Friday night. That honor goes to a tough, physical and stingy Mountaineers (5-7, 3-6 Big 12) defense that kept the Horned Frogs (5-7, 3-6) in check all evening. The WVU defense allowed just 10 points (TCU scored its final touchdown via a Jalen Reagor 70-yard punt return in the third quarter) and forced two critical turnovers in the victory. Those numbers are impressive enough on their own. The WVU defensive effort is even more extraordinary when you consider the bail-out job required by the Mountaineers offense. Doege made the play he needed when he needed it most. But this was, easily, the worst game of his three-start WVU tenure. Doege finished 20-for-35 for 158 yards with two touchdowns and three very bad interceptions. Fan optimism for Doege's potential in his two-years of remaining eligibility should remain. But it's probably time to pump the brakes on his Heisman campaign and forecasting his NFL draft stock. Doege's three turnovers and the punt team allowing a 70-yard touchdown return meant the defense had to play an almost perfect game to give the Mountaineers a chance. And that's exactly what it did. The Horned Frogs offense didn't score after halftime. TCU quarterback Max Duggan had a worse night than Doege, finishing 15-for-36 for 144 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. WVU's defense was almost as stingy against the run. TCU finished with 153 yards on the ground, but 64 of those came on one carry by receiver Taye Barber. Otherwise, the Mountaineers were as stiff against the ground as through the air. With a losing season clinched and a bowl game not possible, the greatest consequence of Friday night's matchup with TCU was as an early preview of 2020 If so, expect next year's Mountaineers to very defensive.

BREAKING: Big Ten Reportedly Has Canceled Their 2020 Football Season

Last night, reports began to surface that the Big Ten Conference was on the brink of cancelling its 2020 fall football season. This morning, it is appearing that devastating news has become a reality. https://twitter.com/chrissolari/status/1292844587489406977?s=21 According to Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press, Big Ten presidents have voted 12 to 2 in favor of cancelling the 2020 fall football season — with Iowa and Nebraska being the only two schools in favor of playing. There has been no word on what the other Power 5 conferences may do, but many expect the Pac-12 to follow suit. Multiple reports suggest the decision will be formally announced tomorrow.

Neal Brown’s First Chance at a Statement Win Comes This Saturday

In a little less than two years on the job, Neal Brown has already won a road game against a ranked opponent. On November 16, 2019, Brown took his Mountaineers into Manhattan, Kansas and knocked off the 24th ranked Kansas State Wildcats, 24-20. While this was certainly a bright spot during a 5-7 season, the win didn’t carry as much weight as it could have if West Virginia was successful in Brown’s first season on the job. Fast forward one season later and Brown has yet another opportunity against a ranked opponent on the road. This time, it could propel the Mountaineers into the Big 12 title conversation. A win over 15th ranked Oklahoma State would not only be Brown’s biggest victory at WVU so far, but his first statement win in the Old Gold and Blue. The Mountaineers haven’t beaten the Cowboys since 2014, and haven’t won against a top-15 team on the road since defeating Texas 42-41 in 2018. Opening up conference play in 2020 snapping both of those streaks would be huge. Neal Brown and company will have their chance to solidify themselves in the Big 12 this Saturday at 3:30 on ABC.

Next Game: 2/4 vs Oklahoma 8:00pm on ESPN2

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