Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Karl Joseph Plays in Important Divisional Round Game Today

(Photo by Ben Queen - USA Today)    Today, Karl Joseph and the upstart Cleveland Browns play in the NFL’s Divisional Round against Patrick Mahomes and the electric Kansas City Chiefs. After finishing the year with an 11-5 record, the Browns were able to knock off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round last week, 48-37. The Chiefs are coming off of a bye week, as they finished the year with a 14-2 record and the number one overall seed in the AFC. Joseph is in his first season with the Browns, after spending his first four seasons in the league with the Raiders. He was selected 14th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. During his time with the Raiders, Joseph never experienced a playoff run past the first round. Compiling a 12-4 record in 2016, the Raiders were knocked out by the Houston Texans, 27-14, after Derek Carr was ruled out for the season prior to the contest. Tune-in to cheer on Joseph and the Browns today. The game kicks off at 3:05 p.m. and will broadcast on CBS.

5 BOLD Predictions for WVU Football in 2021

Now that spring football is over, we can begin to look ahead to the 2021 Mountaineer Football season. Coming off of a 6-4 season, West Virginia will be looking to build on the success they had in a 24-21 Liberty Bowl victory over Army to close the 2020 season. Several players return on offense and defense, and many expect the Mountaineers to take another step forward this season.   For those of you that know us, we like to be a little bold from time to time. Today, we are going to make five BOLD predictions for WVU Football in the upcoming 2021 season.   Here are our predictions: Jarret Doege solidifies himself as a top QB in the Big 12 Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege was solid last season, passing for 2,587 yards and 14 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions. Many expect backup Garrett Greene to give him a run for his money by the time the season starts, but I'm just not buying it. Despite being benched in the Liberty Bowl, Doege will start AND finish the season for the Mountaineers. In the process, he will also solidify himself as one of the top signal-callers in the Big 12 Conference. He will not receive any accolades nor Heisman attention, but he will get the job done for West Virginia this season. The defense finishes atop the Big 12 again Statistically, West Virginia had the best defense in the Big 12 Conference in 2020. With the departures of Tony Fields, Darius Stills, Tykee Smith and Dreshun Miller, many expect the unit to take a step back in 2021. I, for one, am not a part of that crowd. Under the leadership of Jordan Lesley coordinating the defense, West Virginia will once again have the best unit in the conference. As a matter of fact, they will be a big contributor to the next prediction on our list. WVU knocks off top-10 Iowa State in October Iowa State has no business being in the position that they are. A program that was a basement-dweller in the Big 12 for most of their time in the conference, their recent success has them with a "big head," you might say. That will be until the Mountaineers knock them off in Morgantown in October. West Virginia is a better program than Iowa State, we all know that. Three-straight losses is enough against these Cyclones, and Neal Brown will have his troops ready to roll, notching a signature win in his young tenure. Neal Brown gets first win over Texas Since arriving in Morgantown, Neal Brown is 0-2 against the Texas Longhorns. Had the game been officiated fairly last season, this may not be the case, but it is a hand the team was dealt. Steve Sarkisian will struggle in his first season on the job in Austin. Losing Sam Ehlinger will hurt this team, and I expect them to take a huge step back in the upcoming season. Coach Brown will knock off the Longhorns for the first time in his tenure, and he may even give us a "Horns Down" hand gesture in the process. Circle November 20th on you calendars, it is going to be a great day to be....well, you know. WVU makes and wins another bowl game Something we grew so accustomed to under Dana Holgorsen was losing bowl games. This will no longer be the case under Neal Brown. For the second year in a row, West Virginia will make the postseason and return to Morgantown with a trophy in hand. We also expect it to be a more significant bowl appearance than the Liberty Bowl, which will bode well for attention on program. Whether it is the Alamo Bowl or even, in wild and exciting circumstances, a New Year's Six Bowl, another bowl win will be huge for Coach Brown's vision for the program.

WATCH: Neal Brown Shares 2020 Hype Video

We are only weeks from the beginning of the 2020 College Football season. While there is a plethora of uncertainty as we inch closer, this does not kill Neal Brown’s optimism for his team going into his second season with the Mountaineers. Last night, Brown took to social media to share a hype video for his team. https://twitter.com/nealbrown_wvu/status/1289337520350728193?s=21   Neal Brown is ready for a new chapter, and so is Mountaineer Nation. Let’s Go Mountaineers! 

WVU Will Hold Spring Commencement In-Person

(Photo by West Virginia University)    According to Duncan Slade of West Virginia Public News, West Virginia University plans to hold Spring 2021 Commencement in-person. It will be held at Milan Puskar Stadium. https://twitter.com/duncan_slade/status/1362428522439053316?s=21 Slade would also add that masks will be required, and that the classes of May 2020 and December 2020 would be included.    

3 Mountaineers Make First Team All-Big 12

Three Mountaineers were announced as a part of the All-Big 12 first team this afternoon. https://twitter.com/wvufootball/status/1339618719174189064?s=21 Running back Leddie Brown, defensive lineman Darius Stills, and linebacker Tony Fields were all given the prestigious honor after a solid season.  

WVU Secures Another Receiver in the Portal

Noah Massey, a former wide receiver for Angelo State of Division II, committed to WVU earlier this evening via Twitter. https://twitter.com/noahmassey15/status/1658184524608446464?s=46&t=cXIQ4JQG-pp-P6qrRwLwjw Massey, who played two seasons for Angelo State, tallied 81 receptions for 1,083 yards and 9 receiving touchdowns. He also spent three seasons with Bowling Green where he made 10 receptions for 162 yards and 1 receiving touchdown. His big frame will give him a chance to make the two-deep early with the Mountaineers. Standing at 6’4” and weighing 230 pounds, he will be a handful for opposing defensive backs to handle. Massey becomes the second receiver in as many days to commit to the Mountaineers. He follows former Marshall receiver E.J. Horton to Morgantown. The Houston, Texas native will have one year of eligibility.

BREAKING: WVU Names Starting Quarterback

(Photo by WVU Athletics)    After leading WVU to a 23-20 victory over Oklahoma, quarterback Garrett Greene will be making his first career start against Kansas State today, according to Pete Thamel of ESPN. https://twitter.com/petethamel/status/1593970232225595393?s=46&t=tmKVNdTgDkqaJ5VyLt4kpQ Greene, who passed for 138 yards and rushed for 118 yards last week, has “earned” more playing time, per Neal Brown. J.T. Daniels, the teams starter through the first ten games, has struggled mightily over the last two weeks. He has completed 15 of 44 passes for 146 yards and one touchdown to two interceptions combined against Iowa State and Oklahoma. Greene has been used sparingly in the backup and wildcat role over the last three seasons. WVU and Kansas State kickoff at 2 p.m. with the game set to broadcast on ESPN+.

Former Mountaineer Commits to Play For Dana Holgorsen

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  West Virginia Tight End Mike O’Laughlin entered the NCAA Transfer Portal following the 2022 season. After having another year cut short by injury, the Illinois native felt that it was in his best interest to move on. O’Laughlin, who caught 37 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown during his time with the Mountaineers, has found his new home. According to his Instagram, Mike O’Laughlin will be transferring to play for Dana Holgorsen and the Houston Cougars. With the Cougars set to join the Big 12, it is likely that O’Laughlin will go up against the Mountaineers in 2023. As if the matchup couldn’t be interesting enough given Holgorsen’s involvement, having a former Mountaineer player on the sideline will only add to the intrigue. The 2023 Big 12 Football schedule is expected to release by the end of January.

BREAKING: True Freshman Listed as Starter for WVU Against Oklahoma State

True freshman wide receiver Reese Smith has been officially listed as a starter for the Mountaineers going into their matchup against Oklahoma State. https://twitter.com/wvufootball/status/1308429824319520777?s=21   Smith saw his first career action against Eastern Kentucky after eleven players were suspended prior to kickoff - including two productive wide receivers. Smith finished with four receptions for 32 yards against the Colonels. Redshirt senior T.J. Simmons is listed as Smith’s backup for the contest. WVU-Oklahoma State kicks off at 3:30 on ABC.

Geno Smith Just Earned a $1 Million Dollar Bonus

(Photo by WVU Athletics) Former Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith has had a terrific 2022 season with the Seattle Seahawks. Not only does Smith have the Seahawks fighting for a playoff spot, but he is the presumed favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year. Probably his best and most personal accolade so far is an accomplishment regarding an incentive with his contract. In a 23-6 win over the New York Jets yesterday, Smith became only the second quarterback in Seahawks history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season. According to ESPN, this gives Smith a $1 million dollar bonus in his contract. https://twitter.com/bradyhenderson/status/1609676204214484992?s=46&t=yk2fTKLl3ih1xWJNsfs3FQ Smith has completed 70.2% of his passes for 4,069 yards and 29 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. He will have a chance to finish with a winning record next Sunday against the 5-11 Los Angeles Rams.

Why I Have Been Especially Satisfied with the Mountaineers in 2020

(Photo by WVU Athletics)    If I’m being honest, I’m just happy we were able to have Mountaineer Football in 2020. However, now that we are eight games into the previously doubted COVID-19 riddled campaign, I have had time to reflect on what the season has become for the Mountaineers. After the Mountaineers struggled mightily for the most part in 2019, I wasn’t sure what to expect in 2020. Yes, I expected improvements, but it was unclear to me to what extent they would be. The rushing attack couldn’t get much worse, and Jarret Doege would undeniably be better than Austin Kendall. Defensively, I was concerned due to the departure of Vic Koenning. But with the players we had returning, I had confidence the unit would remain afloat. My assessments going into the year have been proven right and then some. The offense has more than doubled their average yardage per game on the ground, and Jarret Doege has graded out as one of the most suitable quarterbacks in the nation, per Pro Football Focus. Defensively, West Virginia stands as the Big 12’s top unit, and have been menacing in virtually every contest this season. Jordan Lesley and Jahmile Addae have done a far better job with the defense than Koenning did in 2019 - and it is probably better than Koenning would have done with the defense in 2020. Everything the team has put on the field this season has pointed in the direction of progress. Although, it has not came without a few bumps in the road. The Mountaineers have lost three games this season they easily could have won. The one that hurt the worst was the loss in Lubbock against Texas Tech. The 34-27 loss to the Red Raiders is unquestionably the worst of Neal Brown’s tenure so far. Though at that moment, and at the times of the other two losses, I began to question this program’s development, with time, I have accepted it as a part of the program’s process. Dana Holgorsen left the Mountaineers in a mess, and Neal Brown has began to right the ship as quickly as he could. With the poor situation the roster was in back in 2019, I was afraid it could be three to five years before Brown would have the Mountaineers where they currently are. But in just under two years on the job, he has already made the program competitive again. The Mountaineers have held their ground, and that is why I have been especially satisfied with the team in 2020. Neal Brown has the program competing, and with experience those three close losses will turn into wins. It hasn’t been anything outstanding, but the 2020 season has been everything I wanted with the Mountaineers. I am not ready to call them Big 12 contenders in 2021, but if they can close the season with two solid performances against Iowa State and Oklahoma, I will be damn close to making that bold statement. The Climb doesn’t happen overnight. It is slow and steady, and in the end, the views at the top of the mountain will be everything Mountaineer Nation has been waiting for. Let’s Go Mountaineers 

Neal Brown Visits Florida State Transfer’s Home

Armani Gainer, a star linebacker for the Florida State Seminoles, is currently available in the NCAA Transfer Portal. The former 247Sports four star prospect has been an active member of the Seminoles roster since 2019. He was the team’s active leading tackler, tallying 210 over 39 appearances. Earlier this evening, WVU Head Coach Neal Brown was pictured giving the talented linebacker a visit at his home. https://twitter.com/amarigainer/status/1600312158037811200?s=46&t=7ZlmapDjbTSCsgdr4fnF6Q Along with his recruitment attempts, WVU Quarterback Garrett Greene also reached out to the linebacker trying to persuade him to join the Mountaineers. https://twitter.com/garrett3greene/status/1600313275199107073?s=46&t=FIeWRW0XRANJU1LarL47GQ This is a position of need for the Mountaineers, as it is one of the many areas they lack depth on the defensive side of the ball. Should they be able to land Gainer, it would be a huge boost to Jordan Lesley’s unit. Gainer has one year of eligibility remaining.

WVU Lands Commitment From Legacy Player

(Photo via WVU Recruiting) The Mountaineer Football program is no stranger to having legacy family members on their team. From the Stills family to the Whites, West Virginia seemingly always has player with some sort of tie. Earlier this evening, Neal Brown and the Mountaineers landed yet another commitment from a legacy player. This time in the form of 2024 defensive back Jayden Bell. https://twitter.com/jayden_bell_1/status/1648057327851917320?s=46&t=cXIQ4JQG-pp-P6qrRwLwjw Jayden is the son of former Mountaineer receiver Grantis Bell, who played in the 1980s. The Florida native will be a preferred walk-on for WVU.

WVU Target Sets Commitment Date

A.J. Duffy, a four-star (247Sports) quarterback from Bradenton, Florida, officially announced his commitment date via Twitter on Friday evening. https://twitter.com/anthonyjduffy/status/1357876532685979653?s=21 The highly sought after signal-caller will announce his collegiate home on March 31st. As of now, West Virginia is on his latest list of top potential schools, of which the quarterback released in mid-December. https://twitter.com/anthonyjduffy/status/1338249792363790336?s=21   Along with the Mountaineers, Penn State, Louisville, Miami, and Florida State are included in his top-15. According to 247Sports, Duffy holds 35 FBS offers coming out of high school. Steve Wiltfong, a leading expert for the outlet, currently predicts him to choose Arizona State. Duffy would be a solid addition in 2022. Currently, Spring Valley’s Corbin Page is the only player to commit to WVU in that class.  

BREAKING: WVU Looking For New Liberty Bowl Opponent

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  According to Chris Low of ESPN, Tennessee has officially opted out of the Liberty Bowl due to COVID-19 issues on the team. The Mountaineers will now be looking for a new opponent, and it is rumored that 9-2 Army could be an option, as well as Mississippi State possibly moving from the Armed Forces Bowl. Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown for updates.