Thursday, March 23, 2023

Top 5 Uniform Combinations for the Mountaineers

WVU has some of the most iconic uniforms in all of College Football. Today, we will be ranking the top 5 uniform combinations for the Mountaineers. (This list is entirely the opinion of the writer. Please do not take your frustrations to the comment section because you disagree, Karen.)   5. White Helmets, Gold Jerseys, White Pants This combination is oddly unique. Though the colors do not necessarily blend well together, no other team in College Football could pull off this uniform. The Mountaineers haven't worn this combination since getting their new set, but with their new clean look, it may look even better now.   4. Blue Helmets, Blue Jerseys, White Pants This uniform has a very traditional feel to it, though it really isn't that traditional. The blue and the white go very well together. Once again, this combination has not been worn with the updated set of uniforms, but the cleaner look could make this combination sleeker.   3. Blue Helmets, Gold Jerseys, Blue Pants West Virginia's uniform combination for "stripe the stadium" games has become somewhat of a fan favorite. All traditional colors, and it brings a sort of "flash" with it. This combination would have certainly been higher on my list had the last two sets not been so naturally awesome.   2. White Helmets, White Jerseys, White Pants I'm not sure how anybody could not agree these are the Mountaineers' best road uniforms. West Virginia's "storm trooper" uniforms are easily the most unique set the team has as they have a distinct appearance, but obviously feel like a nightmare for the team's equipment managers. However, this set just doesn't quite hold up as well for the Old Gold & Blue as the number one uniform combination on this list.   Blue Helmets, Blue Jerseys, Gold Pants It truly doesn't get anymore traditional for the Mountaineers than this. This combination is always a good callback to what we love most about West Virginia Football, the Old Gold and Blue. Something about watching the guys run around the field in the combination they have worn a thousand times over just makes the atmosphere of a game feel like home. Blue helmets, blue jerseys, and gold pants will always be the best uniform combination for the Mountaineers, and it is hard for anyone else to argue otherwise.

Garrett Greene is WVU’s Best Traditional QB Recruit in Over a Decade

It hasn’t taken long for true freshman quarterback Garrett Greene to catch the eye of head coach Neal Brown. During a Zoom meeting with the media last week, Brown had high praise for Greene — even going as far to say he is “fired up” about his future. Mountaineer Nation should absolutely be fired up about the potential of Greene also, but we can’t do so without putting him into perspective a little bit. You may not realize it, but Greene is the best traditional quarterback recruit for the Mountaineers in well over a decade. Think about it, Will Grier, Skyler Howard, and Clint Trickett were all transfers. Current quarterbacks Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege are also transfers, eliminating them from this discussion. WVU hasn’t had a truly great quarterback recruited from the high school ranks since way back in 2009 with Geno Smith. Since then, Paul Millard, Ford Childress, Chavas Rawlins, Chris Chugunov, William Crest, and Trey Lowe have been among the many quarterbacks recruited in high school by the Mountaineers — and none were meaningful contributors on the field. Much less did they ever even receive praise remotely similar to what Greene has in a short amount of time. West Virginia has a chance to have something very special here, ladies and gentlemen. We could very well have one of the best career Mountaineer quarterbacks on our hands, and it comes for the first time in what seems like forever. Neal Brown may have just struck gold with his first quarterback recruit in Morgantown. Though we will have to wait a while to see Greene in action, it is hard to contain the excitement for the young man around the program and around the fanbase.

Austin Kendall’s Most Embarrassing Moment at OU Wasn’t On the Field

Austin Kendall has become sort of a polarizing figure in the state of West Virginia since transferring to the Mountaineers from Oklahoma. Some love him, some hate him, some think he’s terrible, and others think he has a legitimate shot to regain his starting position. Today, however, we will not be discussing anything he has done or accomplished at WVU. Instead we will be taking a look back at his most embarrassing moment with the Sooners — and it didn’t come on the field. Prior to the Sooners and Ohio State Buckeyes meeting on the field in 2016, Kendall had the opportunity to speak with the media about the game. When asked about the Buckeyes’ defense, Kendall wouldn’t answer with the most praise towards the unit. Actually, he insulted them.   Kendall would state that Ohio State ran a “basic” defense, and that former Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield would “light them up.” Well, anyone who watched that game remembers that wouldn’t turn out to be the case.   Ohio State would thump the Sooners 45-24, and Baker Mayfield would be held to a quiet 226 passing yards, and would throw two touchdowns and two interceptions. Not exactly “lighting them up,” Austin.   Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops would “light Kendall up” in a press conference following the game. Stoops would call the comments made by Kendall “ridiculous,” and would even go as far to question whether or not the former 4-star had even watched any tape prior to the game.   Kendall is a Mountaineer, and we should all love him for it, but we all have moments like this where we more or less put our own foot in our mouth. It happens, Austin.

Why WVU Fans Should Pull for Marshall When They Play EKU

Next Saturday, Marshall will take on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in their opening game of the 2020 season. Oddly enough, this will also be the case for the West Virginia Mountaineers when they open their season against the Colonels the following weekend.   As Mountaineer fans, our knee-jerk reaction is to root against the Herd anytime they take the field. However, in the case of next Saturday’s game for the Herd, I believe we should pull for Marshall to take down the Colonels in Huntington.     When the Colonels visit Morgantown, they will do so without having to play in a hostile environment. Last week, WVU announced that no fans will be allowed in the stands for at least the season opener. Though many do not expect it to be, losing the crowd as a factor could potentially be huge. If Eastern Kentucky is coming in with any momentum at all — particularly with a win over a FBS program under their belt — the Mountaineers could be in for a fight.   If the Herd can knock off the Colonels in week one, it will take the wind out of their sails. Any sort of momentum that Eastern Kentucky could potentially have coming into Morgantown would be short-circuited, and the emotions of the team would be in question. In a game without fans, the energy of a team will play a large part in how well the team competes. If Eastern Kentucky is coming in off of a loss, a hangover from their previous defeat could likely linger into their matchup against WVU.   It may be difficult to do, but pulling for Marshall is the right move here. West Virginia needs as many balls to bounce their way as possible before taking the field in front of an empty Milan Puskar Stadium. Yes, the Mountaineers are far more talented than Eastern Kentucky, but as the saying goes, “any given Saturday.”  

Will Grier is Dropping Dimes in Carolina’s Camp

Well this is a sight Mountaineer fans are used to seeing.   If you have logged onto Twitter lately, and you just so happened to follow the Carolina Panthers, chances are you have seen Will Grier dropping dimes in preseason camp. The former Mountaineer appears to be back in his Morgantown form after a down rookie year in Charlotte. In this video, Grier drops an absolutely beautiful dime to Temarrick Hemingway, a wide receiver for the Panthers. But wait — there’s more... The only thing missing in this video is David Sills. Mimicking a touchdown pass he threw to Sills in 2017 against Kansas State, Grier drops the ball in the corner of the end zone. Giving just enough room for the receiver to get his foot in, that would have been six-points in a live game, and likely would have made the Sportscenter Top 10.   How about one more for good measure? Grier is simply doing his thing here. There is nobody who throws the fade route better.   Be sure to give the Carolina Panthers a follow for more Will Grier content.

Is WVU’s Quarterback Competition Closer Than Originally Expected?

Neal Brown’s comments on West Virginia’s passing game yesterday were concerning to say the least. In a report by John Antonik, the Director of Content for the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Brown stated that the passing game struggled all day during practice on Monday. Though it was a practice “dominated by defense,” Brown brought up the possibility that a poor offensive performance could have contributed to it, and that he would have to review film to determine the cause. Coming into fall camp, many expected the passing game to be a strong point for WVU’s offense. Returning was a slew of talented receivers, and Jarret Doege who closed the 2019 campaign strong. However, while Neal Brown has yet to name who will be running out first when the Mountaineers take the field against the Colonels from Eastern Kentucky, Doege has been the presumed starter from the beginning. Despite these beliefs, could Brown’s comments be an indicator this quarterback competition between Jarret Doege and Austin Kendall is closer than originally expected? We think so. West Virginia desperately needed either Kendall or Doege to set himself apart from the other and take the reigns of the offense. At no point in fall camp has Brown tipped his hat in either signal-caller’s direction. Now that he is being open about the struggles of the passing game, Mountaineer fans should begin to get a little nervous. Though this does not mean the quarterback position will struggle greatly this season, it could result in a revolving door between Kendall and Doege. If Brown is not completely comfortable with either, he will not hesitate to replace them if they struggle.   This may be an overreaction, but the quarterback competition is truly becoming too close for comfort. We need either Kendall to Doege to step up and lead, and it needs to be done sooner rather than later.

Kevin Warren is Officially the Worst Commissioner in College Sports

It is common knowledge by now that Kevin Warren is not fit to hold a commissioner position at the collegiate level. Much less for a conference as big and prestigious as the Big Ten. Today’s news regarding the conference’s decision to postpone fall sports has officially proven that.   According to Paul Finebaum of ESPN, Warren told a Chicago Tribune sportswriter that he did not believe the decision to postpone fall sports in the Big Ten would be met with such harsh backlash. However, the two would mutually agree that the decision was “botched” and completely “mishandled.”   What was Kevin Warren expecting exactly? Did he actually believe cancelling fall sports and potentially preventing several athletes from being recognized by professional scouts would go over easily? It baffles me that he actually believed the majority would be completely content with the decision.   Warren has looked bad from the start, but this only drags his name through the mud even more. Being that he is actually good at politics — as his push to cancel the Big Ten season was a political decision — he should have known that one side wouldn’t have taken to it as lightly.   This is yet another example as to why the Big Ten should part ways with Warren, and bring competence back to the positions responsible for important decisions.   #FireKevinWarren  

Leddie Brown Will Be the Key to an Improved Running Game

West Virginia held their first scrimmage of fall camp today, and head Coach Neal Brown shared his thoughts on the action. In a report by John Antonik of WVU, Brown is quoted praising running back Leddie Brown. Antonik would write that the team had more success running the ball today than they did “at any point last season.” Neal Brown would credit much of the newfound success to Leddie Brown. “Leddie was really good today and he is a guy for us to be one of the most improved teams in the country he’s got to be a guy that is consistent for us.” Neal Brown would also elaborate on what he did that impressed — “He was more patient today. He finished runs and made guys miss and broke tackles at the second and third levels, which has been a point of emphasis.” Many Mountaineer fans have voiced their concerns with the running game going into the season, and to hear that it is already showing signs of improvement should ease the minds of West Virginians. Many outlets have labeled Leddie Brown as a potential breakout star in 2020, and it is seeming as if that may come to fruition. The entire report by John Antonik on today’s scrimmage can be found on

Could NCAA’s Eligibility Decision Set Austin Kendall Up for Transfer in 2021?

The 2020 College Football season is setting up to be an odd one. While players from a handful of conferences will participate this fall, they will do so without expiring any of their eligibility. According to multiple reports, the NCAA approved the proposal for 2020 not to count towards eligibility on Friday. One Mountaineer player this could set up an interesting scenario for is quarterback Austin Kendall. While he is in the midst of a quarterback competition right now, it is expected Jarret Doege will ultimately win the job, setting him up to be the starter for the rest of his career in Morgantown. For Kendall, this would mean spending the rest of his collegiate career on the bench — of course, no player wants to do that. While it originally appeared he would probably be content spending just one last season as a backup, the new eligibility rules could potentially give Kendall one last opportunity to make the most of his college days. It is nothing more than an idea, but could Kendall potentially seek a transfer with the extra year of eligibility he has been granted? Coming into the quarterback equation for the Mountaineers in 2021 will be Will Crowder and Garrett Green who is already on the team. With such an injection of talent, it will only become harder and harder for Kendall to maintain his backup role with the team, and this could be what prompts him to transfer if he wishes to continue his playing career. However, the one question remains is if Kendall will be allowed to transfer again or not. Having already exercised a graduate transfer option, could he do it again in pursuit of possibly transferring to an FCS team or even lower? It seems to be a bit of a clunky situation, but given the circumstances with 2020, it should be allowed. Kendall could easily jump to a program on the FCS-level and win the starting job immediately. He has the talent, and is too good to remain on the bench. Will Kendall seek other playing options outside of the Mountaineers? Only time will tell, but it certainly makes sense.

Jarret Doege Has Played Against EKU Before — How Did He Perform?

We are now coming up on three weeks until the Mountaineers are scheduled to take the field against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. When the two collide on September 12th, it is expected that WVU quarterback Jarret Doege will get the nod for the Mountaineers at signal-caller as he has been the presumed starter since leading the team to a 2-1 finish in 2019. While it will be the first time ever the Mountaineers and Colonels have met on the gridiron, Doege has had a run in with the squad from Richmond, Kentucky before. While at Bowling Green, Doege was the starter when the Falcons welcomed the Colonels to town on September 15, 2018. Though this game would end up being closer than it should have been as the Falcons came away with a 42-35 victory, it was to no fault of Doege’s. For the game, the future WVU star would finish completing 28 of his 39 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns to only one interception. Not too shabby, even against an FCS foe. Had it not been for Doege’s performance, the Falcons would have likely suffered the embarrassing defeat to the Colonels. But as we have seen displayed in the Old Gold and Blue, Doege will never let his team go down without fight — and fight he did that sunny September day in 2018. According to ESPN, his QBR (Quarterback Rating) for the day was only a 53.3, but it was his distribution of wealth that made the performance so impressive. Doege was able to complete passes to seven different receivers, with two of them catching two touchdowns each. West Virginia is undoubtedly a more talented team than Bowling Green, and Doege will have more to work with in his second outing against the Colonels. Expect much of the same from him on September 12th, and for the Mountaineers to get off on the right foot on their quest of Trusting the Climb in year two of the Neal Brown era.

Opinion: Injuries Cost Austin Kendall His Chance at Stardom at WVU

Though he is said to be a legitimate contender for the starting quarterback position at West Virginia, Austin Kendall is expected to go into the 2020 season as the backup for the Mountaineers. Jarret Doege ended the 2019 season with a strong grip on the job, and Kendall will have to prove his ability to manage the offense to be better to win it back. Easier said than done. While Kendall’s play wasn’t exactly up to par in 2019 — strongly contributing to the team’s five-game losing streak in the middle of the season — this was due to some misfortune for the Oklahoma transfer. If we’re being honest, Kendall didn’t look bad in the season opener against James Madison. He managed the game well, and played a turnover-free game as he led WVU to a 20-13 victory. However, a week two loss to Missouri is where things would begin to go off the tracks for Kendall. The team would suffer a 38-7 defeat at the hands of the Tigers, and Kendall would look shaky in the process. Though his play wasn’t great, many attribute this to an injury Kendall sustained early in the first half. He would cut his hand when being tackled in the first quarter, and this would prove to be the beginning of the end of Kendall’s potential in Morgantown.   His play would clearly be affected by the injury for the rest of the game, and even moving forward. The following week, Kendall would have a solid outing against N.C. State. But any NAIA quarterback could have success against Tony Gibson’s defense. The rumor was that Kendall’s hand would become infected, and he would begin to clearly struggle with the deep ball. It appeared as if he may get back on track against Iowa State. On the first drive, Kendall looked alive. He would evade tacklers, and look like he brought his athleticism to the table that chilly October day. However, the last play of the first drive would finish the day for Kendall as he would suffer an “upper body injury” after being sacked. From this point on, Kendall’s season was virtually over. He would start the next three games. In each contest, Kendall struggled with down the field passes, and finished with three touchdown passes to three interceptions. It was at this point when the team was 3-6 that WVU head coach Neal Brown would decide to make a change. A now healthy Jarret Doege would be inserted into the lineup and make all the difference for WVU. The fact of the matter is that Austin Kendall was only completely healthy for one game the entire season — against JMU. Outside of that, he would battle injuries to areas of the body that could significantly affect his passing abilities. How could someone who looked so solid in the season opener suddenly fall off a cliff? The injuries he sustained are simply the only clear option.   Had we seen a healthy Austin Kendall all season, who knows, he may be the craze of the Big 12 going into 2020. Instead, he caught the “wrong place at the wrong time” bug, and has now had to fight for his collegiate-life all offseason. It is disappointing to say, but Kendall’s stardom at WVU was short-circuited by injuries. The former four-star had all of the talent to be a stud signal-caller in Neal Brown’s offense. He will now be holding a clipboard and wearing a baseball cap on the sidelines this season, and will be pegged as a “what could have been” when his time is over in Morgantown.

Winston Wright Jr. is One of Several Players Who “Want to Play”

With cancellations coming in full force across College Football, many players are taking to social media to express their desires to play this upcoming season. One of those players just happened to be WVU’s Winston Wright Jr. Last week, the speedy sophomore took to Twitter to simply state that he is “just tryna ball.” Wright would continue that he his faith is “in God,” and that he knows that God will take care of  everything during these uncertain times. Many more players across the Big Ten and ACC have also spoken out in support of playing this season. Clemson’s Heisman Trophy favorite quarterback Trevor Lawrence would also tweet his desire to play this season. Lawrence would say “I don’t know about y’all, but we want to play.”   Simple — yet powerful. Players are working tirelessly, with their hearts set on getting to compete in the upcoming season. Despite his superstar status, Lawrence is not above sharing his desire to close out his Clemson career in the way he always wanted to....playing. Penn State’s football team swarmed social media today pleading with those following them and in the media that they also want to play: Call me crazy, but I believe the player’s voices are more important than anyone else’s. They know how much football means to everyone, and they are willing to take the risk to play the sport they love. Yes, we need to listen to the experts, but how about we listen to the kids who put everything they have into this sport. They want to play, and we want a season.  

Let’s Get This Straight, the MAC’s Season is Not Completely Canceled

Yes, today was a hard day. The Mid-American Conference’s decision to cancel “fall” sports came as a massive blow to everyone, and now the fear-mongering media has been feeding off of it all day. However, there has been a major misconception in the headlines after the MAC’s decision. Most outlets are reporting that the season has been “canceled,” but it has rather been postponed. As of right now, the conference plans to give sports affected by the cancellation a chance to compete in the spring — pending medical advisors allowing them to do so. So to say the season has been completely scrapped for the conference is bafflingly misleading. To make this simple, many college’s athletic departments cannot survive financially without a football season. While the health and safety of everyone involved has to be a priority, it’s irresponsible to entirely ignore financial obligations of a season. This is why many, if not all conferences who have canceled their “fall” season, are planning to attempt a season in the spring. Before believing the “fear porn” media, check the facts. No, we’re not going to go a full school year without College Football — it’s just not possible. The MAC will be back in the spring, and if other Group of 5 conferences are smart, they will make the same decision. Things will eventually get better in a world controlled by COVID-19, and it is time we start understanding completely shutting down until it is somewhat eradicated is not possible. There will be some sort of College Football within the next eight months, it is simply a matter of when.

Bulger with Words of Wisdom

Marc Bulger is one of the most beloved quarterbacks in Mountaineer Football history.  Today, he offered words of wisdom for us all as we go through difficult times in today’s world. Bulger would offer advice that we “relish life and live it not sulk in it,” quoting Robert Frost. He would also state that we have a “1 in 400 trillion chance” of even being born, and that life is full of risks and decisions. Read Bulger’s tweet from this morning, and work to apply it to your life.

Neal Brown Reaches Out to Former Player

It has been over half a decade since former Mountaineer offensive lineman Quinton Spain took the field in Morgantown. Since then, he has made a name for himself in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans. Today, current WVU head coach Neal Brown reached out to Spain to wish him a happy birthday, and tell him a home is waiting for him in Morgantown. Brown would wish Spain a happy birthday, and good luck in the upcoming season. What caught the eye of most fans, however, was that Brown would also tell him a “locker is ready” for him whenever he “comes back.” Neal Brown has made it a point to have former players involved, and this further drives that narrative. Quinton Spain is a huge part of WVU’s Big 12 history, and Brown recognizes and appreciates that.