Saturday, September 23, 2023

Two Former Mountaineers Commit to Liberty

(Photo by WVU Athletics)  Former WVU wide receiver Reese Smith has found a new home. The Kentucky native announced Tuesday evening that he will be transferring to Liberty University.   Smith played for the Mountaineers for three seasons and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He grabbed 42 passes for 457 yards and two touchdowns during his time in Morgantown. Though he wasn’t a prominent target in the offense, Smith was no stranger to making a highlight reel catch. Easily the best of his career came this season against TCU, when he caught his only touchdown pass of the season between Horned Frog defenders.   Smith is the second WVU receiver to announce his new destination, following Kaden Prather committing to the Maryland Terrapins. A teammate of Smith’s will also be following him to Liberty. Jordan White, a former offensive lineman for WVU, committed to Liberty this afternoon. A Maryland native, White appeared in eleven games for WVU. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

WVU Lands Commit from Pennsylvania Athlete

(Photo via The 2021 class for the Mountaineers grew a little bit bigger for WVU this evening. Jaden Keating, a prospect from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who played both safety and running back, committed to WVU via Twitter on Tuesday. Keating does not have a recruiting profile with any major outlet, and will reportedly be a preferred walk-on. He stands at an even 6-feet tall, and weighs 190 pounds. His athleticism will give him the opportunity to work his way into playing time with the Mountaineers.

OFFICIAL: Colorado to Join Big 12 in 2024

Colorado is officially set to join the Big 12 in 2024.  Boulder, CO - Moments ago, the University of Colorado officially announced their intentions to rejoin the Big 12 following meetings Thursday afternoon. The school’s board of regents voted unanimously in favor of the move. They will officially begin competing in the league during the 2024-25 academic year. (Photo by University of Colorado)   

Neal Brown is Not Happy with the Passing Game

Today, WVU held yet another fall camp practice session, and Neal Brown gave his thoughts on what he saw on the field. In a report by John Antonik, the Director of Content for the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Brown stated that today’s practice was “dominated by defense.” While he did say he would have to watch the film to determine if it was good defense or bad offense, he would point out one area he is still yearning to see improvement in. “Offensively, it was very disappointing,” Brown began. “I don’t think there was a whole lot of competing going on. The passing game with the receivers and quarterbacks was really non-existent all day.” For Mountaineer fans, this is worrisome. The passing game was virtually the only form of attack the Mountaineer offense had for the entirety of the 2019 season. Both Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege are still batting it out for the starting quarterback position. If this trend continues, we could see the competition continue on until very close to kickoff — which doesn’t help anyone whatsoever. WVU must get this fixed if they hope to be competitive this season. One player on the defense Brown would praise was Darius Stills. He would state that it appeared as if “he wasn’t blocked all day,” and would refer to him as “extremely active” for the session. The entire report can be seen at

Predicting WVU’s 2021 Season Game-By-Game

(Photo by Frank Jansky - Icon Sportswire)    WVU’s 2021 football schedule is finally here. With its arrival, we are going to take a quick glance at it, and give you our game-by-game predictions for the Mountaineers this season. Here are our 2021 predictions for West Virginia football:   at Maryland: W 37-17 Long Island: W 63-3 Virginia Tech: W 27-24 at Oklahoma: L 27-41 Texas Tech: W 38-21 at Baylor: W 20-13 at TCU: W 27-14 Iowa State: L 21-28 Oklahoma State: L 24-30 at Kansas State: W 31-23 Texas: W 34-31 at Kansas: W 48-10 Record: 9-3 (6-3 Big 12)    Neal Brown is going to continue to build the West Virginia program with a huge step forward in 2021. Everything has been “climbing” to this moment under Brown’s leadership, and this will finally be the season we see the Mountaineers reap the benefits of his hard work.

Report: Big 12 Will Delay Season to the End of September

The Big 12 announced this evening that they will be going forward with a 2020 fall football season despite the Big Ten and Pac-12 announcing cancellations. A new schedule is expected to be released very soon, but there will be changes to the start date for all schools. According to ESPN, the Big 12 will now start their season on September 26th as opposed to earlier in the month. The conference will keep their “nine plus one” scheduling format for the season. Multiple reports have stated that the schedule could be released as early as tomorrow.

Bad Breakup Between Oliver Luck and XFL Continues

(Photo by WVU Athletics)    Last April, former WVU athletic director Oliver Luck filed a “wrongful termination” lawsuit against Vince McMahon and the XFL. Luck, who had served as the league’s commissioner before their temporary demise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was fired by McMahon “with cause.” However, Luck is claiming he is owed the $23.8 million remaining on his contract, per reports. Over the last few days, the situation has become an even bigger mess. According to Chris Bumbaca of USA Today, McMahon has countersued Luck for “defying his orders” and “essentially abandoning his duties when the COVID-19 pandemic began.”   Bumbaca would also report much of the counter lawsuit is due to Luck welcoming former Browns receiver Antonio Callaway into the league without McMahon’s permission. Callaway had behavior issues in Cleveland, and did not meet McMahon’s “good character” policy that he had put in place for the XFL. McMahon is seeking $500,000+ to cover Callaway’s contract, per Bumbaca. Things are far from over between Luck and McMahon, and we should not expect the two sides to settle anytime soon.

WVU Improves to 2-0; Advances to Championship Game

Bob Huggins and his Mountaineers were able to improve to 2-0 on the season, and advance to the championship game in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic with a 78-66 win over the VCU Rams. Derek Culver was sensational for the Mountaineers. The junior from Youngstown, Ohio would net his first double-double of the season, finishing with 23 points and 15 rebounds. West Virginia would also have a solid offensive outing from Sean McNeil who finished with 16 points.   Defensively, the Mountaineers were able to dominate the Rams early and often, holding VCU to only 34.9% shooting, including 14.3% from three. The Mountaineers were much better from three this evening, hitting 37.5% of their shots from deep. West Virginia will play for the Bad Boy Mowers Championship tomorrow against Western Kentucky. The game tips off at 1:30, and will be televised on ESPN.

2024 Offensive Lineman Reveals Top 5 & Announces Commitment Date

WVU is in the running for a talented offensive lineman out of Maryland.   Morgantown, WV - Neal Brown and the Mountaineers are off to a hot start on the 2024 recruiting trail. As of this moment, they currently hold the 37th-ranked overall class in College Football, according to 247Sports. They will have the opportunity to add to it in a big way when Maryland Offensive Lineman Ryan Howerton announces his commitment on July 15th. Earlier this afternoon, Howerton revealed his top 5 schools, and the Mountaineers were featured among them.   Along with WVU, Pitt, Virginia Tech, and Maryland are the other Power Five programs that Howerton will be considering. Howerton is a 247Sports three-star prospect, and currently holds 9 offers. Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown as we will bring you coverage of his commitment. (Photo via WVU Recruiting)

WATCH: Pat McAfee Discusses Rich Rodriguez on Show

(Photo by WVU Athletics)   Like him or hate him, Rich Rodriguez is one of the most successful head football coaches in WVU history. Over the course of his seven seasons as the head man in Morgantown, he had the opportunity to coach and impact the lives of several players. One of those players being former kicker/punter turned comedian, Pat McAfee. Today on his show, The Pat McAfee Show, the former Mountaineer had the opportunity to discuss his former head coach, as well as share stories from his latest talk with him. It is clear in his monologue that McAfee has a tremendous amount of respect for Rodriguez, as do many players who had the privilege of playing under him. In the tweet above, watch McAfee’s segment on Rodriguez, and listen to the sheer gratitude in his voice.

5 Thoughts After WVU Wins the Backyard Brawl

The 2023 season could be more fun for Mountaineer Football than once believed. Morgantown, WV - For the first time since 2011, the West Virginia Mountaineers took down the Pitt Panthers on Saturday night by a final score of 17-6. It was sloppy, it was ugly, but ultimately, it was the Mountaineers who showed the most passion in front of a sold out Milan Puskar Stadium. While this will be one that fans will brag about for the next twelve months, there is still a lot of football left. West Virginia opens conference play with a tangle against Texas Tech in Morgantown on Saturday, and will finally be looking to get the Red Raiders monkey off of their back for the first time since 2018. Before that, today, we are going to discuss FIVE THOUGHTS to take away from WVU’s nasty victory over Pitt on Saturday night - and how they could impact the team moving forward. This is what I was afraid of with Greene - I am a huge Garrett Greene fan. He’s tough, gritty, and a damn good teammate. However, his health was a major concern for him going into the season. With his style of play, he would have to be extremely lucky to get through the 2023 season without an injury. Well, that luck ran out last night. In only the second drive of the game, Greene injured his leg and missed the remainder of the game. Despite reports indicating there was no damage to his leg, this could be a common theme moving forward - especially if the injury is nagging enough to affect him the rest of the  season. CJ Donaldson’s health is critical to the team moving forward - Mountaineer Nation collectively held their breath as Running Back C.J. Donaldson went down holding his leg during the fourth quarter. That air was released once he walked off the field on his own power, but it was still very concerning in the moment. Donaldson is without a doubt the most valuable player on the team. The Mountaineers will go as far as he takes them. If he goes down this season as he did in 2022, West Virginia will be in trouble. As much as nobody wants to, you have to wonder if he could benefit from slightly reducing his touches per game…for health’s sake. Oliver Straw continues to impress - Punter Oliver Straw’s numbers were affected by a blocked punt, but the Australia native continued to impress last night. Two of his kicks were downed inside the opposing 20, bringing his total to 5 in 8 total punt attempts. It should not be an outrageous take to consider him a serious Ray Guy Award contender. This was the defense we expected under Neal Brown - After receiving so much criticism, the WVU defense showed up in a big way on Saturday night. Jordan Lesley’s unit only allowed 211 total yards, 12 first downs, and forced 3 turnovers. They completely smothered Pitt’s offense en route to their best performance in two years. This was the defense we expected under Neal Brown, and it should be the norm moving forward. Will a WR1 please stand up? - Yes, I know WVU only threw the ball 11 times last night. However, when they did, the receivers were still struggling to make catches. Outside of nice grabs by Devon Carter and Hudson Clement, that unit was for the most part stagnant. If they hope to win games in the Big 12, the receivers have to begin making plays. Also, someone HAS to establish themselves as the number one guy. I believe it will happen in time, but it needs to occur sooner than later. WVU and Texas Tech kickoff on Saturday at 3:30. The game is set to broadcast on ESPN+. (Photo by WVU Athletics) 

Bruce Irvin’s Season is Feared to Be Over Due to Injury

The Seattle Seahawks fear that former Mountaineer Bruce Irvin has torn his ACL, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.   Irvin will continue to have his ACL further evaluated. If what is feared comes to fruition, it would mean his 2020 season is officially over before it really even began. Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown for updates.

Former Mountaineer Has Found New NFL Home

According to the team website for the Detroit Lions, the team has officially signed former Mountaineer defensive lineman Will Clarke to a contract. No terms of the contract were revealed. Clarke has 36 career tackles in the NFL to go along with 7 sacks. He has spent time with both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His most recent stint was with the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL. During his time in Morgantown, Clarke registered 110 tackles and 9.5 sacks over a three-year career.

WVU Top Target Sets Commitment Date

Huntington Offensive Lineman Robbie Martin has set a date for his college commitment.   Morgantown, WV - Huntington Offensive Lineman Robby Martin has set a date for his college commitment. Earlier this afternoon, Martin announced that he will be committing to a university on July 31st. The 247Sports three-star will be deciding between WVU, Maryland, NC State, and Penn State. (Photo via WVU Recruiting)

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.