Jimbo: And I'm Jimbo.
Duke: On Saturday the University of Central Florida Golden Knights and the West Virginia University Mountaineers were able to sneak a game in between the hurricanes. There were constant reminders of the hurricanes from the newspapers and television as well as the actual physical damage. Near our hotel it appeared that someone had adjusted a lawn mower to a height 15 feet and then mowed the trees as they were all evenly broken off over an entire block.
Concerning the game, I believe that the central Floridians viewed this game as a relief as they enjoyed themselves throughout. Despite an attendance of only 32,224, the fans, including Central Florida's student body, dubbed the "Golden Knight Nation," were very vocal. But, as usual the ever-strong West Virginia University contingent dominated the stadium.
Now, to the game. This game showed that our weakness may very well be at the running back position. Kay Jay Harris teased us last week with his Superman like talent, but the kryptonite this time was a pulled hamstring. Jason Colson, while averaging five yards a carry seems to have a difficult time getting past the first tackle and Bryan Wright continues to have the injury bug that slowed his progress in August. Jimbo, if Kay Jay is not available for the Maryland and Virginia Tech type games, I'm not sure Jason Colson is ready to carry the load.
Jimbo: Duke, I disagree with the comments about our Jason. Kay Jay did have an injury, but Colson stepped up again with 108-yard performance. Look at the Syracuse and Temple games last year. Jason filled in for Quincy Wilson without the running attack missing a beat. Don't worry! Harris, Colson or Wright will step up for Maryland this week. Rasheed Marshall is also taking a lot of pressure off of the running game, as he had a fantastic game hitting everyone but Mickey Mouse. Rasheed went 14-18 with four touchdowns and rushed for 65 yards. I guess he must be listening to Coach Rodriguez on wanting 60% completion of his passes. Duke, is Rasheed now in the running for the Heisman?
Duke: Rasheed definitely raised his play in this game and his stats could have been better without a couple of drops, but this was not George O'Leary and the Fighting Irish, this was George O'Leary and the Golden Knights. Rasheed had ample time to make good throws as our veteran line was able to dominate their young line. Looking forward to the Maryland game, while it was not all Rasheed last year, I must see him pass for more than 36 and 86 yards as he did last year in the two Maryland games.
Flipping to the defense, it allowed some big runs up the middle and off of right tackle. Do you think that the loss of Ben Lynch was major contributing factor in the inability to stop the run?
Jimbo: No doubt that the loss of Ben Lynch was a factor. While the defense did an adequate job compensating for his loss, the Maryland team is a better and bigger foe than our first two opponents and we will definitely need his services. The defense as a whole has to bring their "A" game from the very start for us to win against Maryland. In last two meetings the scores at halftime were 20-0 and 24-0. West Virginia must reverse this trend by having them go three and out a couple of times while the offense maintains a couple of drives so that the defense can rest.
Duke: I agree that we must bring our "A" game. While the past two lunch pail efforts were enough to gets wins against East Carolina and Central Florida, it will not be enough against Maryland. Double digits in penalties will kill us! As Coach Rodriquez stated, "We need to stop committing stupid penalties." West Virginia committed five penalties for 114 yards in the first game and 12 penalties for 116 yards in the second game. Mental errors will keep those Maryland drives alive!
Duke: Now for the finish!
Big time football schools have big time bands. I had two issues with the Central Florida band. First, I cannot imagine Don Wilcox or John Hendricks allowing the Pride of West Virginia to ever have their half time performance amplified by the Public Address System. Secondly, a band should always march off the field playing their fight song. When the Central Florida band completed their half time performance they did not play any music and just randomly ran off of the field.
That being said, parts of the half time performance were spectacular. Central Florida honored all the military branches, complete with fireworks, large patriotic flags, Disney World characters, and Disney World's Voices of Liberty.
Jimbo: The Citrus Bowl has maybe the nicest looking grass I've seen, but the stadium overall lacks appeal. The place is gloomy with no atmosphere. On the other hand how many stadiums have you been to where they are grilling chicken for jambalaya? Thumbs up to Central Florida concession stands with their unique foods!
Duke: Jimbo, your good friend and former University of Maryland offensive lineman, Ron Staffileno has been riding you pretty hard about the current Maryland win streak. You told me that when West Virginia wins that you are going have The Pride of West Virginia play in Ron's front yard. I'm going to hold you to this!
Jimbo: Absolutely, Duke. The Band will be there along with Lee Corso and the College Game Day Crew announcing the songs as they play for the entire community. It is time, Duke for the Mountaineers to go 1-0 one more time. "Just Win Baby."