Excuse The Inconvenience - James Madison Edition

Like any self-respecting Mountaineer fans, Duke and Jimbo have many thoughts on Saturday's game against James Madison, and not all of them are in agreement!

Duke: Hello, I'm Duke

Jimbo: And, I'm Jimbo.

Duke: This football weekend was kicked off with the 14th annual West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The presenters and inductees all presented insightful, sometimes funny, and sometimes moving stories. Congratulations to the Floyd "Ben" Schwartzwalder family, Bruce Meredith, the Lee Patton family, Dominic Black, the Seabright family, and Coach Gale Catlett on their induction!

The Catlett induction really hit home for me. I was raised on Gale Gatlett basketball. There was nothing like watching the game in the Coliseum and then listening to the legendary post-game conversations between Jack Fleming and the coach on the drive home to Follansbee. If West Virginia won, the discussion could range from how great life was to his experience of giving a little girl a piece of gum and the associated joys. If West Virginia lost, you could feel the sting of the loss and Coach Catlett was usually very short and stern with his responses.

Oh yes, there was a football game today. We won 45-10. I must say I was watching the Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Pitt scores and hoping for solid Virginia Tech and Boston College wins. Sorry, I cannot root for Pitt under any circumstance. To top it off, instead of watching the Mountaineers seek revenge against Miami, we were watching I-AA powerhouse, James Madison University. Jimbo, something didn't feel right!

Jimbo: Duke, the game was sandwiched in between our two biggest opponents on the schedule. The handwriting was all over the wall for a letdown, but the bottom line is that we won and that is good enough for me. Duke, are you still interested in the Rasheed Marshall bandwagon seat?

Duke: Kay Jay Harris didn't appear to be running with the proven WVU recipe of receive ball, grip ball, and then run like your hair is on fire. Kay Jay has to run harder and be more consistent. He ran well against Maryland, should he be given a break as this was only James Madison?

Jimbo: No, even though the team had a let down from a focus stand point, Kay Jay could have made a statement with another huge game. But there is always room for redemption. Go crazy on Virginia Tech and nobody will remember his 22 carries for 63 yards versus James Madison. Duke, are you going to address Rasheed Marshall's 17-22 performance, which was good for 184 yards and two touchdowns?

Duke: Yes, I'll take the seat on the bandwagon. I now believe that we are not utilizing our passing game enough. James Madison had the eight, and often nine, defensive players in the box, and West Virginia waited until the second half to make them pay. Coach Rodriguez wanted play makers at wide receiver and now that we have them we are not using them enough. Jimbo, we have discussed this on more than one occasion. When Coach Rod came to Morgantown we were expecting a lot more passing, but we seem to be getting more conservative by the game.

Jimbo: I think the key to a great coach is being able to work with what he has. Coach Rodriguez has evolved his offense to a power spread that runs the ball. The philosophy is simple: let the other team make the mistakes and then capitalize. Our turnover ratio in the previous two seasons has been one of the best in the nation.

Concerning our wide receivers, Chris Henry has to be one of the top ten at his position in the country. He has a touchdown catch in six straight regular season games. How many wideouts can say that?

Duke: We'll see how Slim does in Blacksburg. Jimbo, we could stumble with a lack luster performance somewhere along the line, but based on this past weekend's results, this game may be our final test until the Orange Bowl. We'll need a strong performance from not only Henry, but the entire team. Jimbo, is the Pride of West Virginia coming to this game? I love when we dominate the south side of the stadium with our fans, The Pride, and the cheerleaders.

Jimbo: This group has been in some big games and this one is just as big as Maryland. But how many times do I have to tell you that the season has to be played one game at a time! Let's talk bowl games after the Pitt game.

I do agree with your statement on how we dominate the south side of Lane Stadium. We need all the support we can get, what with us riding a two-game winning streak, and Tech coming off a loss to North Carolina State. West Virginia better be ready because revenge will be in the air this weekend.

Duke: Now for the Big Finish!

Duke: I'm going to ride the Gale Catlett memory train one more time. In 1992 Coach Catlett was at the Dapper Dan Roundball Classic in Pittsburgh looking at Peca Arsic. Just before the tip, I went back to introduce to myself and shake his hand. There was an empty seat next to him and welcomed me to sit down. We talked as if we were the only two in the Civic Area and we spent the entire first half discussing WVU basketball.

In typical Catlett fashion yesterday, Gary McPherson was trying to pull him away to take some pictures, but Catlett stayed until he met everyone in the line. He signed our Hall of Frame program, which he addressed to my daughters, and we discussed old times. Thanks, coach!

Jimbo: Congratulations to the concession stand and scoreboard groups this weekend. The concession stands lines were flowing smoothly and the vendors were walking the aisles, which was a blessing to my eyes. Praise goes out to the scoreboard group also as game statistics and scores from around the nation were constantly being shown. I guess they read our articles, Duke! 56,000 and change for James Madison! That is the type of attendance numbers this program needs when a lesser-caliber opponent comes into Mountaineer Field.

Duke: Jimbo, I really don't like anything about Virginia Tech. They have the ugliest color combination (Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange), the corniest nickname (the Hokies, and the worst-looking basketball facility in the country (it looks like an airport hanger), They have two bands, which is confusing, they copied the style of our flying WV in creating their VT logo, and the school name is ridiculously long (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Lastly, I've been to Blacksburg several times, and each time we have run into a knucklehead.

Jimbo: I could not agree more with the comments on Virginia Tech, especially the uniforms. I feel this game has become a bigger rivalry than the Pitt game. Let's make it three in row against the Hokies, and let's go 1 and 0 one more time. This one is huge for the Mountaineer Nation.

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