Tag:Norfolk State
Posted on: September 28, 2011 7:39 pm
 

LSU visit sparks jump in West Virginia beer sales

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

And now for some news that may not surprise you, but which we feel compelled to pass along nonetheless: getting LSU fans and West Virginia fans together in a 60,000-seat stadium with school-approved beer sales leads to a lot of beer sales.

Accoding to the Charleston Daily Mail,WVU sold 36,042 "units" of beer during the Tigers' Saturday night visit and turned a profit of more than $120,000 on beer sales alone. Those numbers almost match the number of sales during the Mountaineers' first two home games combined, which netted around $133,000 and moved some 38,000 "units."

The natural inclination is to chalk the surge up to the (ahem) liveliness of the visiting fanbase, and there may be something to that; LSU is the same school, after all, that's partnered with a local brewery to produce its own brand of beer. (Unlike WVU, though, LSU fans shouldn't expect to see it on sale inside Tiger Stadium anytime soon.) But it's also worth noting that of the Mountaineers' previous two home games, one took place on an early Sunday evening (albeit the day before Labor Day) and the other was a daytime contest against FCS Norfolk State.

In other words, LSU fans may have consumed a lot of beer ... but the bet here is that between a sizable increase in numbers and the allure of a nationally-televised night game, West Virginia fans also just happened to consume far more than they had those first two weeks, too.

Besides, the bigger question isn't why WVU's beer sales shot up; it's whether those sales might have any connection to do with a vicious postgame assault in which an LSU fan was dragged from his vehicle, beaten, and suffered " a broken nose, a crushed eye socket and a fractured frontal bone in the middle of his forehead."

The wife of the injured man maintains that the assault wasn't motivated by team rivalry -- neither the man's clothing nor the vehicle itself featured any kind of LSU paraphernalia -- and it's patently unfair to leap to the conclusion that the assailants became drunk at the stadium, or were even intoxicated. At the same time, if WVU wishes to contine raking in its $120,000 profits, it can't afford for those beer sales to fuel a reputation that Morgantown isn't safe for visiting fans--and incidents like that one won't help.

Posted on: September 11, 2011 3:55 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 4:16 pm
 

SEC Poll Reactions, Week 2

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the SEC fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.

ALABAMA/LSU. Entering this week, there was some expectation that a comprehensive performance from the Crimson Tide in Happy Valley might allow Alabama to retake the No. 2 slot in the media poll and consolidate their lead on the Bayou Bengals -- scheduled for what was little more than a light scrimmage against Northwestern State -- in the Coaches.

Thanks to getting that comprehensive performance, the Crimson Tide did indeed leapfrog the Tigers into No. 2 in both polls--but their margin for error in either balloting remains thinner than Nick Saban's patience for unforced mistakes. In the AP, Alabama has eight fewer first-place votes but a miniscule six-point lead all the same (1,422 to 1,416); in the Coaches, the margin is 38 points, less than half the gap between LSU and fourth-place Boise State.

Frankly, this is how it should be; both teams have decisive victories over quality opponents (though Oregon does look a good bit stronger than the Lions at the moment), both have overpowering defenses and a few offensive questions, and both spent one week dallying against lesser competition. If it looks like the pollsters are pslitting hairs at the moment, that's because those hairs ought to be split.

SOUTH CAROLINA. Interestingly, the team just ahead of the Gamecocks in each poll -- Virginia Tech -- happened to face the same team in Week 2 -- East Carolina -- Carolina had faced in Week 1. So between the Gamecocks' road victory over a desperate Georgia team and Tech's weaker performance against the Pirates, it's only fair that Steve Spurrier's team jumped the Hokies in both polls, going from No. 12 to No. 11. The Gamecocks are even within striking distance of the top 10 in the AP, sitting only five points back from Nebraska.

Too bad the Gamecocks won't have much of a chance to make an impression the next two weeks--they take on Navy and Vanderbilt.

ARKANSAS.
The Hogs blasted New Mexico, but given that the Lobos may not be much better than Arkansas's Week 1 FCS opponent Missouri State, there can't be any complaints out of Fayetteville about staying at No. 13 in the Coaches and No. 14 in the AP.

FLORIDA. The Gators blew past overmatched UAB in a second straight tune-up, but thanks to Mississippi State's loss and Ohio State's ineffective performance against Toledo, the Gators moved up anyway to No. 17 in the Coaches and No. 18 in the AP. That's a jump of four spots from the Gators preseason rank in each poll, just for beating the hapless Blazers and even-more-hapless FAU--sometimes scheduling cupcakes pays, apparently.

AUBURN. Weclome back to the AP poll, Tigers; Auburn's win over previous No. 16 Mississippi State has the defending national champions re-included at No. 21 in the AP and up three spots to No. 19 in the Coaches.

It's not a bad reward, but there's an argument to be made that the AP could do even more for the Tigers, though, and are still overreacting to the Week 1 escape against Utah State. After all, look at Florida--the media started the season with Auburn just one spot behind the Gators. Since then, Auburn has beaten two teams better than either of Florida's opponents--and now sit five spots behind the Gators.

MISSISSIPPI STATE. The Bulldogs can thank their New Year's Day Gator Bowl pounding of Michigan for just remaining in both polls this week, clinging to the No. 25 rung; without that emphatic victory, there's no doubt MSU doesn't enter this past week at No. 16/17, and (in turn) even less doubt they lose that top-25 spot. At this point, it's not like beating Memphis (47-3 losers to Arkansas State) should be worth anything in the voters' minds.

TENNESSEE. It's time for the voters to pay more attention to the Vols. After throttling a likely bowl team in Cincinnati, Tennessee has accomplished more in the win column and looked more impressive in doing so than, say, West Virginia, which beat Marshall in Week 1 and somehow trailed middle-of-the-road FCS program Norfolk State at halftime in Week 2. But the Mountaineers are ranked 20th in the Coaches and 18th in the AP, while the Vols limp along deep in the "Also Receiving Votes" category.

That's not to say the two teams should necessarily be switched; the young Vols still have a lot to prove. But there's no way the gap should be that wide given the results on the field.

Posted on: September 11, 2011 1:27 am
Edited on: September 11, 2011 1:28 am
 

What I learned from the Big East (Sept. 10)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. The conference got a reality check after 8-0 start. I wrote earlier this week about the Big East not getting to comfy with their undefeated record, and my suspicions became true this weekend. The conference went 4-4 with South Florida's victory over Ball State being the only win against an FBS opponent. Syracuse and Pittsburgh had to hold off late rallies from Rhode Island and Maine, while Rutgers and Connecticut were unable to capitalize on multiple opportunities to defeat North Carolina and Vanderbilt. But the weekend of frustration for the conference started with Louisville's 24-17 loss at home to Florida International.

2. Louisville's offensive line has to be fixed. Florida International exposed a glaring weakness in the Louisville offense on Friday night in their 24-17 victory over the Cardinals. The Panthers defense sacked Will Stein seven times and held running backs Jeremy Wright and Victor Anderson to a combined 83 yards on 28 carries (2.9 ypc). Youth has been a concern for Louisville coming into the season, particularly with four new starters on the offensive line. But the performance against FIU was embarrassing for Charlie Strong's squad, and now the entire nation knows where and how to beat the Cardinals. Luckily, their next game is their annual matchup with Kentucky - who looks even worse. My thoughts are that Strong uses Kentucky and the next bye week to fix the issues. But that's probably a lot more hope than thought.

3.Pittsburgh is still adjusting to new systems on both sides of the ball. Todd Graham was supposed to bring the "high octane" offense to Pittsburgh, but the only player up to speed appears to be running back Ray Graham. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson installed a 3-3-5 attacking defense, and spent time refining it with Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. But neither system appeared to be clicking in the Panthers' 35-29 win over Maine on Saturday. Quarterback Tino Sunseri could not get synced with his receivers, only finding success on short and intermediate routes due to heavy pressure from Maine's defensive front. He was sacked seven times and tossed two interceptions before getting replaced by true freshman Trey Anderson.

The defense was picked apart by Maine quarterback Warren Smith in the second half, with the senior signal caller totaling 334 yards and three touchdowns in a failing effort to bring the Black Bears back from a 20-7 halftime deficit. The defense was hardly "attacking" down the stretch, and if Maine can make Pitt pay the Panthers have some serious concerns heading into next week's non-conference showdown with Iowa.

4. West Virginia's offense needs a consistent rushing attack. The statement sounds critical, but that is only because of how productive the offense is when the Mountaineers can move the ball on the ground. When Norfolk State was holding a 12-10 lead over West Virginia at halftime, they were daring head coach Dana Holgorsen to run the ball with only four men in the box. The Mountaineers were not able to get anything going on the ground with either Andrew Buie or Vernard Roberts, and Geno Smith was struggling to find receivers open in space. When the Mountaineers starting creating holes for their backs in the second half, it opened up the entire field and sparked the 45-0 second half run.
Posted on: September 10, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 4:57 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 19 West Virginia 55, NSU 12

Posted by Chip Patterson

WEST VIRGINIA WON. After trailing 12-10 at halftime, West Virginia rolled off 45 unanswered points in the route of Norfolk State. Quarterback Geno Smith led the way for the offensive onslaught, throwing for 372 yards and four touchdowns. Even backup Paul Millard got a taste of the pass happy scheme, completing 5 of 6 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown in the final scoring drive of the game.

WHY WEST VIRGINIA WON: Norfolk State was penalized 19 times for 169 yards.

Yes, that's NINETEEN times for 169 yards - nearly double the total rushing yards for the Spartans. The Mountaineer defense held Norfolk State to 2-for-15 on third downs and the offense was only able to pickup 285 adds of total offense. The execution errors in the second half, along with allowing Smith to have his way with the secondary, put the game out of reach fast.

WHEN WEST VIRGINIA WON: It only took 13 total plays and under five minutes for the Mountaineers to reclaim the lead and begin piling on the punishment. Norfolk State picked up just 16 yards in that span, the Mountaineers collected 146 and 14 points.

WHAT WEST VIRGINIA WON: West Virginia was unable to get their running game going in the first half. Norfolk State comfortably left four men in the box and dared the Mountaineers to run the ball. Once the passing game got going in the second half Vernard Roberts was able to take advantage of increased opportunities, but the first half will give the Mountaineers plenty to work on before facing Maryland next weekend in College Park.

WHAT NORFOLK STATE LOST With a 12-10 halftime lead, Norfolk State had the attention of the nation as one of several possible upsets in the early slate of games. Allowing West Virginia's defense to roll off three straight unanswered touchdowns in ten minutes disinterested the masses and erased any memory of that close first half.

THAT WAS CRAZY. West Virginia's offensive production against the Spartans marked the highest point total since the Mountaineers beat Connecticut 66-21 in 2007. West Virginia totaled 517 yards rushing on the Huskies, led by Pat White, Noel Devine and Steve Slaton in that game. That was Rich Rodriguez's last year at West Virginia, and the team eventually defeated Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. The Mountaineers have a long way to go before being able to be compared to that 2007 team, but the second half on Saturday was a start.
 
 
 
 
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