The View From 217 - Syracuse Edition

After another beautiful weekend, we get to speak about another great WVU win in their march toward the Big East crown.

Jason Colson gets a game ball for his performance on Saturday. Largely overshadowed by the performances of Quincy Wilson, Rasheed Marshall and Chris Henry, it was Colson who carried the load for the Mountaineers after Wilson sprained his ankle on the flat Astroturf surface in the Carrier Dome. How nice it must feel for Jason to run all over his hometown school, especially when they didn't think he could cut it as a running back.

  • Chris Henry continues to break wide open against everyone WVU plays. And it isn't like he is always going against single coverage. He is flat blowing past double coverage too. Mark my words, if this was a 35 throw per game offense, Henry would destroy every record in the WVU archives.

  • Rasheed Marshall had another career game with the Big East title on the line. Once again Marshall made a couple of shaky throws, and several times was rescued by Henry. But, 8-11 passing in the second half and two TDs, both on third down, including another 60+ yard strike with the game hanging in the balance, is pretty darn impressive. Consider also that most of Marshall's passing stats came with Wilson out of the game nursing the bad ankle.

  • Wilson again broke for over 100 yards despite only playing just over half the game. WVU's record moved to 6-0 when Wilson runs for over 100 yards. Here's hoping that Q's ankle will be ready for the Temple game this week.

  • Speaking of Temple, if the Big East title isn't enough to keep the Mountaineers interested in improved, yet still pathetic, Temple this week, all it should take is a replay of the last time Temple came to Morgantown to get the players' attention.

  • If I were an offensive coordinator, I would advise my quarterback not to throw in Brian King's direction in the end zone. Just a thought.

  • Grant Wiley again gets high marks on defense for simply marching on the field, keeping his mouth shut and stonewalling anything in his direction. I do find it kind of funny that a linebacker can be up for defensive player of the year, the only linebacker listed as a finalist, yet not be a finalist for top linebacker in the country. Grant Wiley will be missed by this team next year more than any other loss by a wide margin.

  • Scott Gyorko was all over the field on Saturday. And this brings up a beef I have with labels. Gyorko came to WVU as a walk-on and earned time as a true freshman. He is now starting at outside linebacker for the Mountaineers, but he is still described as a walk-on. The kid walked on, big deal. I don't see the television cameras floating over to the sidelines and spotting out all the scholarship players who never set foot on the inbounds side of the sidelines. Scott Gyorko, starting linebacker, WVU, Morgantown, West Virginia. Period.

  • I'm probably not the only one that noticed that Tory Johnson beat double coverage on his touchdown catch in the first half. While I am pondering why on earth someone would double team a guy who has dropped more passes than he has caught this year, I am even more perplexed at how both guys assigned to cover him leave him open when he is the only one in the pattern, and the ball is obviously coming to him.

  • Count me as one who thinks Syracuse's orange uniforms were about as ugly as one could imagine. That is until you turn on the Oregon-Oregon State game and see the Ducks quacking around in day glow yellow. Whomever designed those uniforms should be marched out to the 50-yard line and forced ot undergo a "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" makeover.

  • Paul Pasqualoni. If there ever was a coach who did less with more, I haven't seen him. Maybe it is time to cut down on all that razzle dazzle and just run some offense. Maybe you could put some of that excess speed you have at all your offensive positions over on your pathetic defense.

  • Did anyone notice that the Virginia Tech Hokies have clinched fourth place in the Big East for the second year in a row? This team is more overrated than Kansas State. Except Kansas State actually wins their way through their conference occasionally.

  • Anyone think that Steve Spurrier gets a chuckle when he sees Brock Berlin throw for 85 yards in a Miami Hurricanes uniform?

  • I'd also like to throw out kudos to all the Mountaineers who have been filling in for the injured Mountaineers as the season winds down. The list is becoming too long to name names, but we all know who they are. This year's version of the Mountaineers is by far the toughest in recent memory. Guys are getting carted off the field, only to return a couple of plays later. Guys with no experience are running on the field and making stellar plays. And the Mountaineers continue to win.

  • The Mountaineers also continue to win despite Coach Rodriguez's hesitation to throw the ball on first and second down. WVU has not thrown the ball on their first play of the game all season. And yesterday's love fest with sweep plays for a three yard loss was down right infuriating. Even more infuriating was watching WVU try to run an option sweep on fourth down for the same three yard loss.

    That again reminds me of a famous Don Nehlen quote from the bowl against Missouri: "We knew we could complete every pass if we wanted to."

  • This week's Temple game is Senior Day. Students will be out of town, and a lot of people probably will hesitate to travel on Thanksgiving weekend. But I think it is time for people to realize what will be on the line, and what we will see, even if it is Temple.

    This will be for the Big East title. Win, and WVU gets a share of the crown, and a share of the money. It will also be the last home game for Grant Wiley, Quincy Wilson, Fred Blueford, Brian King, Lance Frazier, Todd James, Tory Johnson, Moe Fofana, Travis Garvin, Leandre Washington and a host of other WVU seniors. These guys have stuck it out through the coaching transition and played through that first year disaster that many kids, who weren't as mentally tough, ran out on. These young men are the foundation of a program on the verge of their first conference title in 10 years. They have built a program that is flat out loaded for another run next year. They deserve your presence and your applause for their commitment. These young men pitched in when the chips were down, and they are as responsible for turning this program around as anyone involved.

    I'll be there. And you should be.

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