Friday, September 29, 2023

Maybe the Experts Were All Wrong About the Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- I would be the first to admit that Saturday's preseason preconceptions of the matchup of West Virginia versus Texas Tech were wrong. I do not think that WVU got lucky or had some things go their way to give them some sort of edge in the contest. You cannot even talk about them using their backup quarterback – because we already are. I actually think that for the first time with Neal Brown, this is a really competitive team coming out of the school. Maybe everyone is playing with a chip on their shoulder because no one escapes the chatter circling the program about the coach – and by all accounts, he does really have a positive impact on the players, and they want to succeed for him. I think that is finally really showing in the results on the field. Barring the first season under Neal Brown in 2019, where we opened the conference schedule against a not-yet-established Kansas program, this is the first time we have started the conference slate with a win in recent years. Regardless of where things go, we are currently .750 on the season with some opponents that were not the worst in the Big 12 or their respective conferences. For example, Pitt may have lost to North Carolina yesterday, but three minutes before halftime, the Panthers knocked in a field goal, and the score reduced to 4 – so it might not have been quite the manhandling that the final indicated. So, despite their 1-3 current record, the Panthers will have a couple of games to set the course right and return to 3-3 on the season. But who cares about Pitt? We care about all the shade at the beginning of the season and even some negativity we let into our own lives about how this could implode. Now, you get to see celebrations like this with the coach and the team: Neal Brown Celebrates with Team After Tech Defeat With a third of the regular season behind us, here is what I know about the program moving forward: No One Gets to Say Who WVU Is (Not Even Us) Every news publication representing the Mountaineers and all of college football has spent the past few months defining the program (even us, to an extent.) You must realize that once you get past this weekend, where the competition matters for inter-conference play, the cream rises to the top or the dirt settles to the bottom of the glass, depending on your perspective. The path from here is unclear, and not an easy one despite some miscues in the conference to this point. However, I believe that with the defensive stands and the rallying I have seen in the recent games, no team ahead of us can send us back to West Virginia without a fight. It is merely a matter of keeping these players motivated that despite your successes, no one believed in you when the season started – and they are waiting for you to stumble. Keep climbing. Ranked is Possible This is starting to become a rather wild year for college football. This would undoubtedly have been an exciting year to see the college playoff expansion program begin, but unfortunately, we have to wait until next season to see the 12-team format. With so much shuffling in the Top 25, no one is safe but a handful of dynasties at the tippy top. There is much room to find the cracks and appear on the poll if the team keeps winning. Let me tell you that if Neal Brown takes this team to a bowl game, breaks his funk with Texas Tech, breaks his streak of not winning more than two games at a time, AND gets WVU in the ranked conversation in the same season – he’s your coach in 2024. In my eyes, too, that’s measurable improvement and something to actually build on. The Defense Believes I would not have predicted that I would be eating the crow I have about the secondary. After the Penn State game, it felt like certain players were out of position or missing their assignments – but now we just see that Penn State is a formidable force in the Big Ten East trying to make a run at the playoffs. The secondary and pass defense has been exceptional in all the other contests. You cannot stop everything. They are competitive, playing a tighter zone, and not scared to make plays on the ball. We have had several interceptions and multiple near-interceptions just in the first few games. This is a serious improvement from recent years. Best of all, this improvement in coverage has not become an overloading of PI penalties or personal fouls. Garrett Needs the Control By several accounts, Garrett was available to play in the Texas Tech game if an emergency dictated that. This tells me that he is pretty close to being able to return after it. I expect him to suit up and start against TCU on the road. I think that Nicco did an admirable job against the Red Raiders and the Panthers, but I also think that if you want to stretch the field and find your conference footing on the road in Dallas, you need the team’s clear leader at the helm. We Need a Couple of Dudes Kole Taylor, Devin Carter, and Hudson Clement had some retention issues with the passes they were getting this weekend. Devin Carter was targeted six times with only one reception. Granted, some of that was Nicco, and some wasn’t. We must have at least two guys that can make space, catch consistently, and force defenses to commit resources to defend them to succeed in the total offensive scheme. So, who wants to be the guy they have to worry about? We’re Climbing I am very happy to say that I don’t look at the schedule now, picking out the games we will lose so I can give myself the peace...

BREAKING: Garrett Greene Out For Remainder of the Game

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- West Virginia starting quarterback Garrett Greene was injured and hobbled off the field in the 1st quarter of the Backyard Brawl against Pitt and will not return. Greene, a junior from Tallahassee, Florida, was 0/2 for 0 yards passing and 0 yards rushing. X-rays on Greene's ankle and lower leg showed no structural damage, but he has been ruled out for the rest of the game. He has a boot on his right leg and is in street clothes. Greene was seen in the West Virginia training center "sobbing and crying" while limping around trying to get himself ready to return. However, Greene clearly is too hurt and will not be able to return. Stay to the Voice of Morgantown for more updates on this developing situation as they become available!

Pat McAfee Sounds Off About WVU’s Loss to Penn State

Former WVU Kicker Pat McAfee had a lot to say about WVU’s 38-15 loss to Penn State.   Morgantown, WV - There aren’t many smiling faces around the Mountaineer Football program following a 38-15 loss to Penn State. While several expected WVU to lose the game, former Kicker Pat McAfee was high on the Mountaineers, going as far to say they would upset the Nittany Lions. Well, since that did not happen, McAfee had a lot to say about Neal Brown and WVU on his daily podcast today. https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1699118530380128473?s=20 McAfee spoke about how the Mountaineers should not be viewed as a doormat at this time in Neal Brown’s tenure. While he did not call for Brown’s job, he believes that something has to change in order for the Mountaineers to be successful. However, McAfee did state that if WVU loses to Duquesne, that the administration should “remove Brown’s visor” before he exits Milan Puskar Stadium. Watch what McAfee had to say about the Mountaineers in the Twitter link above. (Photo by WVU Athletics) 

Building a Better Gameday at Milan Puskar Stadium

As the home opener approaches this weekend, it is always nice to think of ways WVU can improve the gameday experience for its fanbase. Of course, the obvious answer is to win. I would stand at the stadium if it meant a playoff run. But there are other ways to improve morale a bit, too. College football is rife with pageantry, traditions, and roaring crowds. With some shaky attendance numbers the last couple of years with hit-and-miss successes, it might be smart to think of some ways to get people excited to be at Milan Puskar stadium every weekend the good guys are in town. Making Ticket Prices Affordable Again The very first and arguably the most important of points is to make the ticket prices reasonable again. Most fans in this state simply cannot afford to realistically take their families to the games in general, especially when it is a high-profile matchup like the Backyard Brawl, and that Gameday experience could cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. According to Oddspedia, WVU ranks second in the highest-costing gameday experience in the country, with tickets roughly $100 a piece on average. With only three states suffering more widespread poverty and struggle than West Virginia, real fans cannot afford to fill the seats. So, at what point do the high ticket costs and concession prices compromise attendance? While there might always be a marquee matchup that attracts a larger crowd every year, such as the record-setting attendance to Acrisure Stadium last year for the Brawl, you would think a larger crowd would ultimately generate better profits than only partially filling the stadium at a premium rate. Creating a Fan-Driven Entrance Having witnessed some of the iconic college football entrances over the years, most recently being Virginia Tech’s “Enter Sandman” this past season, couldn’t that be something we do to prepare the fans for the battle? We cannot wait to cue Country Roads when we secure that home win, but what if we started a new tradition like bringing the boys out to a certified rock classic like “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC or “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath? Actual Seats in the Stands WVU is in the minority of current Big 12 schools in their stadium design. With the new 16-team league set to act in 2024, Milan Puskar Stadium is #3 in seating capacity. However, there are very few actual standalone seats. This capacity is rated on bench seating evenly spaced with markers to indicate your ticket location. While this is pretty standard stuff, current Big 12 schools already feature modern stadium seating to offer fans a greater experience on gameday. These include: Oklahoma Texas Baylor Oklahoma State TCU Texas Tech Cincinnati BYU Revamping the Stadium You might recall an image circulating around the internet last year with the field graphics completely revamped with a mountain landscape, the state outline, and the flying WV in the center. The blue field was eye-catching and entirely unique, even vastly different than somewhere like Boise State, which has been enjoying this blue hue for years. 2016 is when the latest field turf was rolled out, so it might be time to consider a change for the fans’ sake. https://twitter.com/Rich27F/status/1575947630911184896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1575947630911184896%7Ctwgr%5E371a880a42e16ba7350100b8702447dfe986e56b%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwvsportsnow.com%2Fwvu-fan-offers-idea-for-new-look-of-field-at-milan-puskar-stadium%2F Photo by ESPN

WVU Reveals Game One Uniform

The Mountaineers will be traveling to Penn State on Saturday in style.   Morgantown, WV - Moments ago, the WVU Football team revealed their uniform combination for Saturday via social media. The Mountaineers will be wearing their traditional blue helmets, white jerseys, and gold pants. https://x.com/wvufootball/status/1697376215659631042?s=46&t=cXIQ4JQG-pp-P6qrRwLwjw WVU and Penn State kickoff at 7:30 on NBC. (Photo by WVU Athletics) 

Neal Brown Will Not Publicly Name a Starting Quarterback Prior to Season Opener

WVU Head Coach Neal Brown claims that we have a winner in the quarterback competition. However, he will not be publicly naming the winner prior to their season opening game at Penn State.  Morgantown, WV - As we reported yesterday, a winner has emerged in WVU's quarterback competition. According to a reliable source, Garrett Greene is expected to make his third career start against Penn State on September 2nd. However, following Neal Brown's comments about the competition earlier this evening, fans and the media will have to wait until game day to learn who officially won the job. Per a tweet sent out by Nick Farrell of Gold and Blue Nation, Brown has stated in his weekly press conference that a decision has been made on who will start at quarterback for the Mountaineers. While he claims that the team knows who the starter is, he will not publicly name them prior to their September 2nd contest against Penn State. https://twitter.com/ByNickFarrell/status/1693671827451658315?s=20   According to sources close to the situation, Greene was clearly the better quarterback during WVU's scrimmage on Saturday. While nobody was quick to deem Nicco Marchiol terrible in any way, the buzz surrounding Garrett Greene indicates that he has a much better control of the offense, and the team. Stay tuned to The Voice of Motown for updates on the situation. (Photo by WVU Athletics)

West Virginia Center Enters the Transfer Portal

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia -- Moments ago, West Virginia starter  Jimmy Bell, Jr. announced that he is entering his name in the transfer portal. Bell, a 6'10 center from Saginaw, Michigan, averaged 4.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the Mountaineers last season. Bell has been practicing with the West Virginia football team over the past couple of weeks and it's unclear what this means for his future with that sport. https://twitter.com/VerbalCommits/status/1651990381930721290?s=20

Bob Huggins Gets Brutally Honest With New Big 12 Teams

Morgantown, West Virginia - Next season, the new Big 12 teams - Houston, UCF, Cincinnati and BYU - will join the conference and Bob Huggins believes that they are going to have a really hard time adjusting to the competition. Huggins joined The Field of 68 Media Network in Houston last night and when asked about how he thinks the new teams will do in their first season in the Big 12, Huggins went on a bit a rant, saying the following: "You want my honest answer? I feel sorry for them. They have absolutely no idea what they’re getting into. I've been in a lot of leagues with the best coaches in America, with the best players in America...the fan support, the coaching in this league, I’m telling you, the hardest league that I’ve ever coached in was this past Big 12. And I'm telling you, they aren't ready for that." Huggins, who has a 345-203 record in 16 seasons with the Mountaineers, will have to rebuild a large part of his roster again this season after Erik Stevenson, Kedrian Johnson and Emmitt Matthews, Jr. have graduated. See Huggins' full statement on future Big 12 teams joining the conference below: https://twitter.com/voicemorgantown/status/1641759751515111424?s=20

The Voice of Morgantown Gives WVU Starting Quarterback Endorsement

Morgantown, West Virginia - West Virginia Mountaineers 4th-year head coach Neal Brown has said repeatedly that when he was recruiting transfer JT Daniels to West Virginia, that he made it clear that Daniels would have to earn the starting quarterback position and that it just wouldn't be given to him. But the reality is that the job was Daniels' to lose and that he would have to really play poorly during practice to not be named the starter. And so far, Daniels has shined.   Brown said the following of Daniels: "He never lost a job; he's been injured, but if you look at his career path, it's really remarkable. He's had to deal with pressure since he was a freshman at Mater Dei, which is one of the top high school programs in the entire country. He started as a freshman, which has only been done a handful of times. He graduated high school an entire year early and then starts at USC as a high school senior, essentially." Brown continued, "He has success there, wins the job during Graham Harrell's first year there, tears his ACL. So transfers to Georgia and was still recovering, gets the job, wins the Peach Bowl, and was playing really, really well when he got injured again. So this is a great opportunity to remind people that when he's played, he's played at a really high level. And so this is an opportunity for him to remind people that not only is he a high-level quarterback but he's really an NFL prospect." That doesn't sound like a quarterback that is going to sit behind Garrett Greene, a redshirt sophomore with limited experience, or Will "Goose" Crowder and Nicco Marchiol, who have no experience at this level. New offensive coordinator Graham Harrell agrees that Daniels has what it takes to be the Mountaineers' starter. "He’s very intelligent and he’s very even-keel and I think because of that, coaching him, he doesn’t change much,” Harrell said recently following practice. “It’s very similar to the way he was before, he’s always been intelligent and understands football very well, and I think now maybe he understands it a little better.” While this is a supposed four-man competition for the starting quarterback role, JT Daniels will be the starter when the Mountaineers play the Pitt Panthers on September 1st, and he gives the team the very best chance of beating the hated rivals in a few weeks. 1 - JT Daniels 2 - Garrett Greene 3 - Nicco Marchiol 4 - Will "Goose" Crowder

West Virginia’s Ultimate Insider Opens Up: The MHver3 Interview

Morgantown, West Virginia - Months ago, back in April 2022, a person by the name of MHver3 sent out the following message on social media: "Fox Sports advising B1G to expand and USC and UCLA are the prime candidates being eyed (as I told you 6+ months ago). How B1G will they go though!?" https://twitter.com/MHver3/status/1516166017319411713?s=20&t=FsoXaXwdr_Rbx8UyqgSpVg While many people claim to be insiders, this confirmed that the man called "MHver3" was the real deal and elevated his insider information to cult-like status on Twitter, gaining followers from many of the major names in college athletics. While he has kept a very low profile and has avoided interviews in the past, he agreed to answer questions from The Voice of Morgantown in written form. To be transparent, we initially reached out and asked for him to do the interview on The Voice of Morgantown Podcast with the use of a voice-changer to protect his anonymity, but his sources were uncomfortable with that. Having said that, here is the full interview with MHver3:  Q: Why do you leak this information? What's in it for you?   A: I leak these rumors and information I get because information deserves to be shared. I get nothing from it. It started as one solid well-placed connection for WVU sports and has grown to dozens across the country. It’s fascinating to me to see what goes on behind the curtain and it gives me fulfillment to pull that curtain back for others. Information can be fluid and sometimes it can be wrong. Sometimes it can be fed to me as being wrong info purposefully to misdirect. I’m not thrilled when that happens, but I’ve got thick skin so I can handle the attacks. My track record is actually really good if someone wants to take the time to dive into my tweet history. Q: Do you think there will be 5 major conferences still around in 5 years? Who survives?   A: There will be 3 major conferences by 2035. Who survives? A combination of Big12/Pac12/ACC leftovers after B1G and SEC have their pick. Most likely 3 conferences of 20 schools. You have to remember that the more members you have the more ways you have to split the pie. I also think you will see unequal revenue sharing becoming a thing with B1G and SEC in the future. Q: ACC vs. The Big 12 vs. The PAC-12. Which conference is in better shape right now?   A: B12 is in the best shape currently. We have 4 networks wanting to bid on our content in the next 24 months. We have weathered the initial shock of losing OU and UT and maybe have come out stronger top to bottom then we were before. We have a chance now to make some very good additions. PAC-12 is reeling and not getting good numbers for their tv negotiations, member schools are fighting, it’s bad. ACC…half the conference wants out and are very fearful of falling very far behind the Big 2 in revenue. Q: Is there a chance that the Big 10 and SEC break off from the NCAA?   A: Not as long as the rest of the Power 5 (4,3 whatever) can remain relevant with good tv money, good ratings, etc. the Big 2 will not risk alienating over half the viewing audience by using the nuclear option. Q: What is the biggest threat to college football? NIL, conference realignment, major sports networks, or the transfer portal? A: The biggest threat for the past 20 years has been networks. It’s ruined rivalries and broken programs. The biggest threat of the future is NIL. It’s going to widen the gap of the haves and have nots. It’s going to turn off many of the fans that are still hanging around that enjoy the amateurism of the sport. If a players union is formed then it gets even murkier. It really is Pandora’s box. Q: How long could these mega conferences exist? Would teams like Oklahoma, USC, etc., be okay with being the 4th or 5th best team in a mega conference with more money long-term?   A: Eventually the hope of many ADs is that the major programs (top 60-70) break away from the NCAA and form their own governing body complete with a commissioner, and negotiate all their media as one entity. This would allow for regional divisions and a return to classic rivalries and affiliations. We are still 10-20 years away from that. Q: Do you expect Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah to ultimately join the Big 12? If so, will the Big 12 be strong enough at that point to remain relevant in today's college football landscape?   A: That’s a loaded question. The way things are currently leaning I would say AZ and Colorado are as close to a lock as it can be without a formal offer being made to them yet. The other two…well that’s up to what the committee decides is best for the conference. We can add AZ and CU and get a bump in the revenue. If we add all 4 we may actually take a small hit in the per school payout. If we add all 4 plus Oregon and Washington we get a net increase per school but not much more than just adding AZ and CU alone. It gets tricky when you have so many mouths to feed. Any combination of additions will only make the B12 stronger and that’s good for WVU and good for college football. Q: Where is West Virginia in 5 years?   A: WVU is hopefully winning 9-10 games a year and will be a part of the Big 12 Conference. It won’t be a very different B12 from what we know it’s going to be with the exit of OU/UT and the additions we invited last year. There may be 2-6 new programs joining the conference from the west, though. Regardless, WVU will be stable, making more money than any ACC school from the new B12 media deal, and hopefully building that new stadium that keeps getting whispered about in the AD. Now if the SEC is somehow able to poach some of...

West Virginia Belongs in the ACC

Morgantown, West Virginia - With USC and UCLA announcing that they are moving to the Big Ten Conference, the entire landscape of college athletics has completely changed and will likely lead to several other dominoes falling in the coming days. There seems to be a sense that West Virginia would be lucky to get an invite from the ACC if/when the Big 12 inevitably crumbles. West Virginia, critics say, is a small market and doesn't offer the conference major television viewership.  In addition, West Virginia doesn't meet the academic standards of the ACC. While these criticisms are fair to a certain extent, the pros of adding West Virginia to the ACC far outweighs the cons. Passionate, loyal fanbase  Pitt is in the ACC.  While they have a far better academic ranking, they have a difficult time giving tickets away for their conference football games, regardless of the opponent.  Attendance and ticket sales in a sports conference should be much more important than academics. West Virginia's fanbase is one of the most loyal and passionate in the entire nation, and selling out conference home games would not be a problem, particularly against geographic rivals. Natural, geographic Rivals No team in the the ACC gets excited to play Pitt right now.  The same could be said for Boston College, Louisville and Syracuse. Adding West Virginia immediately brings spirited, impassioned rivalries with Pitt, Virginia Tech, Virginia, as well as old Big East rivals Miami, Boston College and Syracuse. West Virginia belongs in the ACC, both in terms of geography and rivalries with many of the teams currently in the conference. State of the Art Facilities West Virginia has one of the nicest, most up-to-date basketball practice facilities in the country, and recent football renovations put West Virginia near the top of the Big 12 conference in terms of upgraded facilities. Director of Athletics Shane Lyons has made growth and renovations a real priority, and it's going to pay off not only in recruiting but also when the school is seeking out membership in a new conference like the ACC. Improved Academics  There's no way to sugarcoat it, West Virginia University's academic ranking (#241) is extraordinarily low, but it has recently upgraded to a Tier 1 research university and has one of the most respected presidents in the country in E. Gordon Gee. Respected Leaders  Shane Lyons and E. Gordon Gee are the absolute two best people to make a compelling case to the ACC that they belong.  Both are highly respected and experienced.  Lyons is the former associate commissioner of compliance and governance for the ACC, and is the chairman of the Division 1 Oversight Committee.  If anyone can convince the ACC that West Virginia should be added, it's Lyons and Gee. Conclusion While there will always be detractors who insist that West Virginia won't add much to the ACC, it's clear that the positives eclipse the negatives.  If the ACC is wise, the Mountaineers will soon be where they belong, playing against their natural, geographic rivals.

Awesome WV Kid Asks for YouTube Likes. Do your thing West Virginia.

Jakobi Dye from Grafton, WV is as tough as they come. He has been battling infintile scoliosis among other issues. I can't do him justice with my words, so here is a post from his mom: "Around 5 1/2 months we took Jakobi to the Pediatrician for a monthly check up, but was concerned with his back protruding to one side we he was sitting. After multiple X-rays and 4 MRI scans we were told that Jakobi had a 58 degree curve and had Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis. At 16 months we began casting to try and correct Jakobi's spine instead of considering surgery at a young age. Jakobi was treated for cast 1-4 at a local hospital, but after no change we have started our journey at Shriners in Greenville! Jakobi has underwent 23 casts and 2 braces and now with his spine measuring around 90 degrees he will going through Halo traction before getting his growing rods. Here is a look at our infantile scoliosis warrior! Jakobi also has hypotonia, feeding issues, and a development delay in speech." Well, Superhero Jakobi has just posted his first YouTube video. He told his dad he wanted 10,000 likes. Put a smile on your face by watching this video. And, put a smile on his by giving it a thumbs up! https://youtu.be/bMFlrmr6o40 Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/bMFlrmr6o40 To read more of Jakobi's Journey, here is his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jakobis-Journey-with-Infantile-Scoliosis-1680148428923703  

WVU Game-by-Game Prediction

West Virginia @ Maryland 9/4/2021 West Virginia faces their first real test of the season in week 1 when they travel to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins. WVU is no stranger to the Terrapins. The WVU-Maryland strife runs all the way back to 1919 when WVU pitched a 27-0 shut-out in the first ever meeting. In more recent years, WVU has owned Maryland winning 9 out of the last 10 meetings. The most recent victory for the Mountaineers was in 2015. The Mountaineer offense put up 601 total yards of offense behind QB Skyler Howard’s four touchdowns and sent Maryland fans on a long drive home. This year, the game will be over as soon as the Mountaineers step off the bus. I expect Jarett Doege, Leddie Brown, and the rest of the WVU offense to be nothing short of dominant. The strides Head Coach Neal Brown has described makes me feel confident in the offense that hardly anyone was confident in last season. We know the defense will be there, despite the key loss of Tykee Smith and Darius Stills. WVU still returns guys like Alonzo Adae, Vandarius Cowan, and Akheem Mesidor. One thing to keep in mind, Maryland will likely start Taulia Tagovailoa, brother of the infamous Alabama QB Tua Tagovailo who was merely impressive last season. Throwing for just 1,011 yards with a 7/7 TD-INT ratio in 4 games. Score: WVU 37 Maryland 16   Long Island (LIU) @ West Virginia 9/11/2021 In Week 2 the Mountaineers welcome into Morgantown the LIU Sharks on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. LIU only played 4 games last season, so there isn’t much sample size to truly see what they bring to the table. Nonetheless, I fully expect West Virginia to take care of business in convincing fashion. Score: WVU 45 LIU 9   Virginia Tech @ West Virginia 9/18/2021 Every WVU football game brings in an ungodly amount of excitement from fans, but this game is the one everyone is really looking forward to. It is a sin that this game was granted the Noon slot on FS1. Regardless, its Virginia Tech-West Virginia. The Virginia Tech and WVU rivalry runs deep between both fanbases. Heartbreak has come at the hands of both schools. WVU fans look back to 2017 in Landover, Maryland in Will Griers debut as a Mountaineer. Virginia Tech crushed the hearts of 1.8 million, escaping with a 31-24 victory after a last second play into the endzone failed for WVU. Now, it’s time to return the favor. This time, in front of a home crowd. Virginia Tech had a below average season at 5-6 in 2020. However, their offense led by QB Hendon Hooker who put up pretty decent numbers, boasted 31 points per game. WVU averaged just 26. The biggest difference maker was the defense. Virginia Tech allowed 32 points to their opponent on average. West Virginia? Just 20. That will be the difference maker in this highly anticipated matchup. Score: WVU 26 Virginia Tech 13   West Virginia @ #2 Oklahoma 9/25/2021 The Big 12 season starts off with a bang for West Virginia, and not in a good way. It’s not that I do not have any faith in our beloved Mountaineers, but starting Big 12 play on the road is hard enough, especially when it’s the high powered Sooners. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 circumstances, WVU didn’t get to host Oklahoma in the 2020 season. A game that many were looking forward to and thought WVU was going to pull off the upset. WVU is winless against Oklahoma since joining the Big 12, and with the way the college football landscape is changing, this could be the last chance. We know how powerful the Oklahoma offense is, and their defense under Alex Grinch has been maybe the most improved defense in the conference. I just don’t see WVU escaping Norman with a win. I do see however, a hard fought game that will determine a winner in the final quarter. Score: WVU 23 Oklahoma 31   Texas Tech @ West Virginia 10/02/2021 (Homecoming / Stripe The Stadium) The second week of Big 12 play gets significantly easier, but we know how tough any conference game can be. We saw it first hand when the Mountaineers visited Lubbock in 2020. The game was coming down to the wire at a 27-27 tie. It was then when Sam James fumbled, and Texas Tech’s Zech McPhearson returned the fumble 56 yards for a touchdown with 8 minutes to go. That was all she wrote. Texas Tech will debut Oregon transfer QB Tyler Shough who has tremendous talent. This year, things will be different. In a sold out Milan Puskar stadium, WVU will route the Red Raiders. Jarett Doege will have his coming out party, and the WVU defense will stifle the transfer quarterback. Score: WVU 49 Texas Tech 14   West Virginia @ Baylor 10/09/2021 Baylor-West Virginia has put on some barnburners throughout West Virginia’s big 12 tenure. The most famous being the 70-63 game in 2012. Last season, was also a back and forth battle which thankfully went West Virginia’s way in overtime. A Jarett Doege touchdown pass to Bryce Wheaton was the difference maker in a 27-21 victory. With a much improved team overall, I don’t expect WVU to have any trouble with Baylor. But that doesn’t mean they won’t. After a pummeling win over Texas Tech, WVU will find themselves fighting for their lives in Waco. WVU 19 Baylor 14   West Virginia @ TCU 10/23/2021 West Virginia gets a bye week to get the bad taste out of their mouths from the ugly Baylor win and shift their focus to TCU. It doesn’t get any easier for WVU. West Virginia handled TCU pretty soundly in a 24-6 victory in Morgantown in 2020. There’s no doubt West Virginia has the better squad, but QB Max Duggan, who is coming into the season with high expectations, will stun the talented Mountaineer defense. WVU loses a heartbreaker in Fort Worth. Score: WVU 27 TCU 36   #7 Iowa State @...

WVU Lands Commit from Huntington

(Photo by Sholten Singer - The Herald-Dispatch)  https://twitter.com/eliarcher81_44/status/1340840514703290369?s=21 Eli Archer, a 2021 prospect from Huntington High School, committed to Neal Brown and the Mountaineers on Sunday evening via Twitter. At Huntington, Archer played both the tight end and defensive end positions. Though there was no clear indication of which position he will play at WVU in his post, tagging Travis Trickett and Ryan Nehlen is virtually a dead giveaway that he will be playing on the offensive side of the ball. He was also a solid basketball player, scoring over 1,000 points for his career. Though he does not have a recruiting profile with a major outlet, his 6’4” frame is exactly what the Mountaineers are looking for at the tight end position, giving him the opportunity to work into playing time.