Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: October 22, 2010 5:49 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 8

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

Breakfast

Main Course - Northwestern vs. #8 Michigan State - Noon - ESPN

Michigan State leads the way for breakfast for the second straight week, which is what happens when you're the only undefeated team left in the Big Ten.  Be forewarned, though, just because this matchup doesn't seem all that appealing, it...ok, it isn't really.  It's just that the morning slate is light again because that's just the way things work in this television dominated world.

Still, the Spartans shouldn't take Northwestern all that lightly.  First of all, no road game is easy, even if it's being played in a stadium with 35 people in it.  Yes, Northwestern inexplicably dropped a game to Purdue last week, but that's Northwestern's style.  It has a tendency to play to its opponents.  So there's a chance that the Wildcats could hand MSU it's first "Sparty, no!" of the season.

Side Orders: Ohio State hosts Purdue, and this game may be interesting for a few reasons.  First of all, it's our first chance to see how the Buckeyes will respond following a loss, and they'll also be looking for revenge for last season's loss in West Lafayette.  Speaking of revenge, I'm sure Notre Dame wouldn't mind beating Navy and starting a new trend there as well.  Or you can just watch Texas, West Virginia and Virginia Tech romp over some conference foes.

Lunch

Main Course - #5 Auburn vs. #6 LSU - 3:30pm - CBS

Two undefeated Tigers roll into Jordan-Hare on Saturday, and only one will emerge.  Who is it going to be?  Well, there are going to be two different games being played in this one.  There's the game between each team's strength -- Auburn's offense and LSU's defense -- and their weakness -- Auburn's defense and LSU's offense.

Odds are that whichever team's weakness best resembles a strength is going to emerge victorious, and have a much easier path to the SEC title and possibly a BCS game.  If you're wondering which way I'm leaning, well, I'll just say that one team has Cam Newton at quarterback and the other has some indecipherable combination of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.

Also, I'll be doing a live-chat during this game over at our Facebook page, so stop on by and make fun of Les Miles for four hours with me, won't you?

Side Orders: The afternoon is packed with some big games this week.  If for some reason two undefeated teams battling it out isn't good enough for you, you can always go with Iowa and Wisconsin or the also undefeated Oklahoma State taking on previously undefeated Nebraska.

Dinner

Main Course - #18 Missouri vs. #3 Oklahoma - 8pm - ABC

Personally, I've been waiting to dig in to this one for a while.  I've seen Missouri play a few times this season, and as I've said here before, I'm just not sure what to  make of them.  The Tigers are a good team, but are they really 11th in the BCS good?  Is that what a couple of victories over some 3-3 BCS teams and nobody else gets you these days?

Whatever the case, we'll find out on Saturday night.  If the Tigers can knock off the team that sits atop the current BCS standings, then I guess we have to take them seriously. 

Though, I feel I should point this out as well, just so Missouri fans can hate me a little less, I think Oklahoma is a bit overrated as well.  Still, I think the Sooners will prove to be better on Saturday night.

Side Orders: Bit of an light night on the menu this week.  There really aren't any other marquee matchups being played on Saturday night.  Kentucky and Georgia could be interesting seeing as how both teams are still alive in the SEC East, but other than that the only game that even catches my eye is TCU and Air Force.   Though, if you hate yourself, you could always tune in to Texas A&M and Kansas.

Late Night Snack

The Washington Huskies have found a home as a late-night snack here.  I've featured them here twice in the last few weeks, and they're undefeated in those games.  Can they run the streak to three on the road against an Arizona team that is without Nick Foles?
Posted on: October 18, 2010 8:10 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 9:12 pm
 

Midseason Report: Big East

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Midseason Report separates the contenders from the pretenders in each conference race.  The Big East has been openly criticized for their weakness in the 2010 season, but they still hold on to a BCS Bowl berth.  Someone has to win it, ranked or not.  West Virginia has carried the banner for the conference thus far, but with a backlogged conference schedule, there is a lot of football left.

West Virginia (1-0)(5-1) - The race for the Big East is pretty much the Mountaineers' to lose at this point.  They appear to be a far superior team to their conference counterparts on both sides of the ball.  While there is some concern for running back Noel Devine's health and recent decline in production, quarterback Geno Smith has emerged as the center of the West Virginia offense.  Smith has thrown for 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and has done a good job spreading the receptions around the field, keeping the defense from stacking the box against Devine.  Head coach Bill Stewart said that Devine is "close to 100 percent" finally after injuring his foot against LSU.  Devine has not missed much time, but has been noticeably limited on the field.  The defense has also been a pleasant surprise for West Virginia fans in 2010.  Allowing only 12.3 points per game, the Mountaineers are rank 3rd in the nation in scoring defense.  Their greatest challenge left on the schedule is a late season matchup at Pittsburgh November 26.  But even that game looks very winnable at this point.
         
Rutgers (1-0)(4-2) - The most significant event of the Scarlet Knights' season unfortunately is also one of the saddest.  Defensive tackle Eric LeGrand still is in the hospital, paralyzed after making a special teams tackle in the 23-20 overtime win against Army.  But if you are looking for good things to take from the game, the most impressive was the performance of quarterback Chas Dodd.  Dodd appears to have the starting job locked up for now, after throwing for 251 yards and two touchdowns to help Rutgers rally back from a 17-3 third quarter deficit.  Unfortunately, the Scarlet Knights have one of the most difficult remaining schedules in the conference.  Road trips to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and West Virginia make a daunting order for Greg Schiano's squad.  
      
Cincinnati (1-0)(3-3) -  The Bearcats have shown flashes of greatness in 2010, they have just failed to carry it for an entire game.  However with a schedule full of conference foes, the slate might as well be clean for Cincinnati.  Quarterback Zach Collaros continues to sling the ball all over the field, with four straight games of at least 200 yards and three touchdowns.  His most recent five touchdown outing helped the Bearcats lock up that first road conference victory.  They still will have to face the other three teams on this list of contenders, but only have to leave home to travel to Morgantown.  Their failure to put a complete game does not give me confidence they will take the conference, but it does not make the feat impossible. 

Pittsburgh (1-0)(3-3) - Pittsburgh's season has been painfully inconsistent.  Not only have they failed to string together back-to-back wins, but their "Jekyll and Hyde" routine has kept them from climbing back into the national scene.  Ever since the season opening loss at Utah it has been a season of head scratching for Panther fans.  The good news is there are six conference games left on the schedule, and regardless of overall record they are currently tied for first.  Additionally, they also picked up their victory on the road, leaving only one significant test away from home: a season finale showdown with Cincinnati.  Both teams will be fighting for postseason postion (or maybe eligibility) and should the Panthers string some wins together and upset the Mountaineers, could have conference title implications.  Having said that, I'm not holding my breath on the Panthers running the table. 


Posted on: October 16, 2010 10:04 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 10:08 pm
 

What I learned from the Big East (Oct. 16)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1.) West Virginia's defense is playing a big part in West Virginia's success - West Virginia has largely been thought of as an offensive threat, especially with Noel Devine and Geno Smith in the backfield, but West Virginia fans should be thanking their defense for the 5-1 start.  West Virginia's defensive unit shut down B.J. Daniels and the South Florida Bulls, keeping them out of the end zone for the entirety of their 20-6 win.  The Mountaineers are only giving up an average of 12.3 points per game, best in the conference and making them one of the best defenses nationally.  When Smith or Devine have been inconsistent, the defense has been able to carry the Mountaineers.

2.) Syracuse is not ready to be considered a contender - Last week, I mistakenly suggested that Syracuse might be ready to climb out of the incredibly deep hole and make things interesting in the Big East.  After a three game winning streak, including knocking off South Florida in Tampa, the Orange looked like they were ready to make a statement against Pittsburgh.  The only statement made in Pittsburgh was that Syracuse's success mostly had to do with the caliber of their opponents, and they might not be ready to be considered a contender in the Big East.  Syracuse's defense looked porous against a Pittsburgh squad that has been far from impressive.  
 
3.) Chas Dodd is the man (for now) at Rutgers - When Tom Savage went down in the second quarter against Tulane, Chas Dodd saw an opportunity to repeat history at Rutgers.  When Savage was a freshman, he earned the starting job early in the season and won over fans orchestrating memorable wins like the last-minute touchdown to defeat Connecticut.  Two weeks later Dodd is 2-0 as a starter, after leading the Scarlet Knights to a close win over Connecticut and a 23-20 victory of Army in overtime.  Dodd threw for 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Rutgers, who had to overcome a 17-3 second quarter deficit before finally locking up the win in overtime.  The starting job appears to be Dodd's, at least for now.
  
4.) Anyone could win the Big East (still)- West Virginia appears to be the best team in the conference, but with most teams backlogging their schedule with conference games, there is a lot of Big East football left to play.  West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Rutgers all could be considered legitimate contenders, and with a few upsets Syracuse and Louisville could be added to that conversation as well.  No one team looks supremely dominant, but all teams have shown flashes of greatness at some point.  West Virginia is the favorite, but they will have to finish their season playing Pittsburgh and Rutgers back-to-back, so nothing is certain.

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Posted on: October 6, 2010 11:36 am
 

Noel Devine questionable for Saturday

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When West Virginia has its first ever meeting with UNLV -- which will no doubt become one of the greatest rivalries in college football history -- on Saturday it's possible it'll be doing it with one of its best offensive weapons.  Noel Devine hurt his toe in the Mountaineers' loss to LSU two weeks ago, and though Devine stayed in the game, he was obviously limited, finishing the game with only 37 yards on 14 carries.

Now, even though West Virginia was off last weekend, and Devine's toe has had time to heal, there's still some question about his status against UNLV.  Not even his head coach is all that sure, though he is encouraged by how Devine is treating the injury.

"He is trying to get on the mend; he has a bone bruise under his toe," West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said of Devine, who has 391 yards and two touchdowns in the first four games. "It is not turf toe, it is a bone bruise, so when he pivots, that aches. ... A bone is not like a muscle or a joint, but hopefully he will be good."

"He is doing good, I won't say great.  I won't know [his full status] until Saturday in warm-ups. What he did [Monday], that I was really proud of, was that he was either in class or in treatment. I told him don't leave the [football] building except for class, and he didn't. I thought that was kind of neat."

Should Devine not be able to go on Saturday the Mountaineers will rely on Shawne Alston and Daquan Hargrett, though Stewart also said that freshman Trey Johnson could enter the mix as well.

Posted on: September 26, 2010 12:35 am
 

LSU picks up win and a QB controversy

Posted by Tom Fornelli

LSU was able to move to 4-0 on the season with a 20-14 win over West Virginia on Saturday night in Baton Rouge, but they may have also picked up a quarterback controversy in the process.  Make no mistake about it, LSU did not win because of anything Jordan Jefferson or the offense did, but more in spite of them.

The Tigers offense finished the game with only 229 yards of offense, with 125 of them coming via Stevan Ridley' s legs.  Other than Ridley, there was a bit left to be desired.

Particularly with Jefferson, who finished the night 10 of 22 with 76 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.  There were also a couple more passes that should have been picked off, and Jefferson heard plenty of boos from the home crowd before the game was over.  In fact, in a key drive late in the fourth quarter, Les Miles put backup Jarrett Lee in for Jefferson.

A move Miles may want to consider making for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Saturday night marked the third consecutive game in which Jefferson did not throw a touchdown and he didn't inspire much confidence in the rest of his team.  If it wasn't for a very strong LSU defense and the punt return stylings of one Patrick Peterson, this game would have turned out a bit differently.

LSU has a defense strong enough to win the SEC, it's just that with Jefferson starting at quarterback it's clear the offense isn't good enough to carry its share of the load.  Giving Lee a shot next week -- at the very least a share of the snaps -- against Tennessee couldn't hurt.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 11:55 am
 

Game day weather updates, Week 4

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. Conditions look ideal everywhere but Auburn and LSU. All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

Georgia Tech at North Carolina State, 12:00, Raleigh, NC: Lower 90s, partly cloudy

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 16 Stanford at Notre Dame, 3:30, South Bend, IN: Lower 60s, partly cloudy, breezy

No. 1 Alabama at No. 10 Arkansas, 3:30, Little Rock, AR: Lower 80s, partly cloudy

Evening kickoffs

No. 8 Oklahoma at Cincinnati, 6:00, Cincinnati, OH: Upper 60s, clear

No. 12 South Carolina at No. 17 Auburn, 7:45, Auburn, AL: Lower 80s/Upper 70s, scattered thunderstorms

No. 24 Oregon State at No. 3 Boise State, 8:00, Boise, ID: Mid 80s at kickoff, lower 70s by halftime, clear 

Late kickoffs

No. 22 West Virginia at No. 15 LSU, 9:00, Baton Rouge, LA: Upper 70s, chance of thunderstorms

California at No. 14 Arizona, 10:00, Tucson, AZ: Mid 80s, clear

No. 5 Oregon at Arizona State, 10:30, Tempe, AZ: Lower 90s, clear

Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:57 pm
 

FedEx Field announces two new NCAA football games

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This season's Labor Day blockbuster between Virginia Tech and Boise State, in addition to being a damned good game, appears to have convinced some of college football's biggest names to give D.C. a try. In a statement released today, the Washington Redskins announced that their FedEx Field would host two intriguing games in the (not-so-immediate) future:

FedExField, home of the Washington Redskins, announced today that it has added two more exciting college football games to its already unmatched slate. Brigham Young and West Virginia will play on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, and Maryland will host Texas on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.

“We are pleased to host these matchups at FedExField,” Redskins Chief Marketing Officer Mitch Gershman said. “We strive to bring a number of high-profile sporting and entertainment events to FedExField as a benefit to our season ticketholders and the rest of the metropolitan area, and these games are great examples.”

FedExField will also host other high-profile college football games such as Penn State vs. Indiana on Nov. 20, 2010; Notre Dame vs. Maryland on Nov. 12, 2011; the 112th Army-Navy Game on Dec. 10, 2011; and Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati in 2012.

It's hard to fault teams for wanting to take a game to FedEx (do they ever call it "the Fed," or does that carry too much of a negative connotation?); recall, if you will, the scene of 90,000 fans going crazy during the Hokies' intro:

No, a scene like that probably won't unfold for PSU-Indiana (especially when the home team is Indiana) (no, seriously), but college football games in front of 90,000 fans and made even more high-profile by its stadium is awfully hard to turn down.

Oh, and Maryland: you have eight years to get on Texas' level. Clock's ticking.

Posted on: September 22, 2010 4:59 pm
 

WVU's Brandon Hogan is back with the team

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The West Virginia Mountaineers suspended cornerback Brandon Hogan indefinitely following his DUI arrest on September 12, and it turns out that indefinite is another word for a week.  Hogan is back with the Mountaineers and practicing this week as the team prepares to head south to take on LSU on Saturday night, though whether or not they'll have Hogan with them remains in question.

Bill Stewart says that while Hogan is back and practicing, that doesn't mean he's going to be playing on Saturday.
"Brandon Hogan is in an evaluation period by me," Stewart said. "He is going to practice, that's his status. ... I will watch him work. He is undergoing, right now, the exact same formula that any student who has any problems [goes through] by the student judicial affairs committee.

"I don't know if he will play this week, and I don't know if he won't play this week. If he is to play this week, he will have earned the right to play, according to my standards, and my standards alone."
Stewart says he won't make a decision on Hogan until Saturday.  Though odds are that Hogan is going to play, or else he wouldn't be practicing.  Hogan was replaced by sophomore Pat Miller in West Virginia's 31-17 win against Maryland last week, and both of Maryland's touchdowns came at the expense of Miller.

Once on a 60-yard pass, and another on an 80-yard pass.  So unless Hogan decides to get drunk and go for a ride between now and Saturday, you can bet he'll be on the field this week.
 
 
 
 
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