Jimbo: And, Im Jimbo.
Jimbo: On Saturday opportunity knocked a number of times on West Virginia's door and we barely were able to capitalize. With all the turnovers in the first half we should have blown Maryland out, or at least been up by two touchdowns. On the other hand, in front of an electrifying crowd, West Virginia finally was able to snap a four game losing streak to Maryland and keep its record perfect. Congratulations to the fans who were as vocal and well behaved as I have ever seen for such an important contest at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Duke: I think the key to the game was our physical play. Prior to the game Coach Rodriguez said that we needed to play Mountaineer football and be more physical. It was interesting to hear Coach Friedgens post game comments concerning West Virginias physical play. He said that West Virginia was much more physical than it had been in the Gator Bowl game.
Jimbo: I agree Duke. We were as physical and tough for three out of the four quarters of this contest. The third quarter belonged to Maryland and their rugby style offense, which the defense had a hard time adjusting to. Speaking of being physical Duke, what do you think of how Rasheed Marshall stepped up and delivered the dagger into the hearts of the Terrapin faithful? The victory will pay huge dividends for Rasheed's psyche for the remainder of the season.
Duke: Jimbo, you have been riding the Rasheed Marshall bandwagon all year. I want to know, is there is room for one more? Marshall may not live up to the ghost of Major Harris or the images of Michael Vick, but this guy does exactly what you say, 'Just Win Baby.' I agree with Tony Caridi and the post-game gang and ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit. Rasheed deserves his due. Coach Rodriguez recognized this by giving Rasheed a game ball.
Speaking of leaders, have you been watching Adam Lehnortt? This guy is a nut on the sidelines and field. He put a lot of effort into getting his teammates lathered up and he played a great game. I suggest that after this football campaign is complete that Adam grow a beard and become the 2005-2006 Mountaineer. This guy really feels it!
Another guy that really feels it is Dan Mozes. When Dan's career at West Virginia is complete, he should try the WWE. During the post game while the fans where singing Country Roads, he was screaming so loud that I thought he was going to blow a lung or burst a blood vessel in his forehead.
Jimbo: Adam Lehnortt is a leader but so is Pacman Jones. Take away the personal fouls and this guy is a smaller version of Bernard Russ. He is what the team needs - a vocal leader who is physical on every play. I think he works harder than security at the student gates at the stadium!
Duke: Jim, in the Coach Rodriguez era where does this win rank? Let's narrow this discussion to the 2002 Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech road wins, the 2003 Virginia Tech home win, or this game. I must say I feel less joy and more relief from this game.
Jimbo: Duke, the Maryland game ranks right up there with the others. It proves to the powerhouse BCS schools that we belong. It's also amazing how many pressure cooker games this team has played the last three years and won.
Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
About 45 minutes prior to kickoff there appeared to be a chess match around the Flying WV at midfield. Ralph Friedgen stood at the center of the field on the north 45-yard line and watched the Mountaineers warm up for about 10-12 minutes. With arms folded, he did not move a muscle and continuously stared at the Mountaineers as if he was trying to intimidate them. On the other side of the Flying WV at the south 40 was Rodriguez. He was walking around and talking to his players. Each coach had to be absolutely aware of the other, but neither acknowledged the other.
Jimbo: You bet there were some head games going on - similar to a heavyweight fight press conference. Coach Friedgen has a tremendous amount of experience but with this victory the score goes back to zero. Maryland has lost the swagger they possessed against West Virginia. I guess we finally listened to Coach Friedgen and as we protected our house.
Duke, there are a huge amount of rumblings at tailgates about the scoreboard situation. In every other bite of hot dog fresh off the grill the fans are discussing that there are no statistics or college scores from around the nation.
Duke: Jim, I don't like the tradition of the visiting Band Director leading The Pride of West Virginia in the playing of the National Anthem. I noticed and the fans seated around me also commented that the first five seconds of the National Anthem didn't sound right. While it may show sportsmanship between the universities, it is like giving your 16-year old the keys to the Ferrari. There is just too much power for them to handle.
Jimbo, as Brad Paisley asked on the big screen, can you join Coach Rodriquez one more time in the singing of Country Roads?
Jimbo: Sure Duke! 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River, life is older' Singing Country Roads was soooo sweet we had to do it twice. Not since the 1988 11-0 season that concluded with the Victory Lap have I spent this much time celebrating in the stands. James Madison is next! Let's go 1-0 one more time.
Duke and Jimbo provide their differing perspectives on WVU's games each week. We support their candidacy for the position of scorebaord operator.