Jimbo: And, I'm Jimbo.
Jimbo: West Virginia University came into Blacksburg with an unblemished record on the line, and after the raindrops had drained away the Mountaineers recorded their first loss of the season. With this loss there are numbers of areas that need to be addressed in order for West Virginia to get on track and contend for the Big East title. The three areas are offensive line, running back, and penalties. Duke, which area concerns you the most?
Duke: Jimbo, let me address the offensive line. The entire starting offensive line is back from last year. They have an additional year of development and weight lifting, plus Tim Brown is back. This leads me to believe that the problem is not offensive line and the problem may be the running backs and their lack of physical play. Last year we had very physical backs in Quincy Wilson and Moe Fofana. There was an attitude of toughness. Jimbo, we sat right behind Moe at the game today and his back blocked the sun. In order to get physical which running back combo would you use?
Jimbo: My concern with the running game is consistency. Two years ago we had Avon Cobourne and Quincy Wilson was his backup. Last year we had Quincy Wilson and Kay-Jay backed him up. This year the running back position has been by committee and I believe it is affecting the chemistry of the offensive line and running backs. We need one consistent rock to carry the load.
Duke: As I said before, we need to get a more physical running game and you say we need a rock. Jimbo, I don't believe we have this rock! Last week you said that a sign of great coach is his ability to adapt. If we don't have a rock, why don't we use our receivers? You had the look of frustration today when Virginia Tech's defensive backs were giving Chris Henry 15 yard cushions and we would not throw him the ball.
Jimbo: Well, ever since Coach Rodriquez fired me I don't have the ability to make the calls any more. Joking aside, I would have thrown him the ball until the defensive backs were forced to cover him closer to the line of scrimmage. We took advantage of this cushion twice in the first half and then we forgot about it after that. I'll tell you what else is frustrating: Chris Henry received another unsportsmanlike penalty today. Duke, what do you think about the eleven penalties for 119 yards?
Duke: Last week you noted Henry had touchdowns in six straight games, which of course ended Saturday. I believe, however, that his streak of games with an unsportsmanlike penalty lives. Jimbo, besides the penalties two other things really hurt today. First, John Pennington dropped a crucial pass at the end of the first half, and second we were 0 for 13 on third down conversions. Pennington's drop resulted in a 14-point swing. That really hurt.
Jimbo: First, this was a team effort. John Pennington did not snap the ball high on the field goal attempt nor did he kick the ball low, resulting in the block. Let's hope John rebounds from this and helps this team down the line. The 0 for 13 concerns me more, as this gets back to my earlier concern of offensive line play and penalties resulting in long third down conversion attempts.
Duke: Jimbo, this loss stings, so I'd rather discuss the future than the past. Where does this leave us? And please don't give me this one game at a time philosophy.
Jimbo: First, it always one game at a time, my friend. This team has faced adversity in the past two years in the form of devastating losses to Maryland and Miami. Therefore, this team knows what it takes to get it going again. We need a big win at Connecticut.
Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
Duke: As much as this loss stings and as much as I dislike Virginia Tech football, it is sad to see another great road trip destination end. The Penn State trips in the 1980s were tremendous and they ended. We had some great memories in Boston, and that ended last year. Now, due to Tech's conniving, it appears our trips to Blacksburg have come to an end. Hopefully the Cincinnati and Louisville trips can fill this void.
Jimbo: Big East action for the Mountaineers starts with a Wednesday night game against Connecticut, and we must have our "A" game. UConn's QB, Dan Orlovsky, is a big time player, and some believe that he will be a first round pick in the NFL draft. This is a huge game for Connecticut and the crowd should be really lathered up. As long as Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor don't line up at wide receiver, we should have enough depth and experience to come away with a victory.
Duke: I love the school spirit and sense of unity with a tough road game. The Pride and our fans were tremendous. As usual, we met some new WVU fans and friends, and this time they were from Virginia Beach. Jimbo, their Ford F-350 was the biggest truck I have ever seen!
Lastly, as I told you Saturday morning at the Blacksburg IHOP, we needed this game or the press would come down on us and the Big East like a ton of bricks. Sure enough, on College Game Day Trev Alberts, Mark May, and Kirk Herbstreit each took their turn kicking us and the Big East in the gut. The trip home was made even worse by rain all the way, and by sitting through two terrible accidents on US-460 and I-79. I'm just glad to be home and safe. Let's reload the wagon and beat UConn.
Jimbo: Duke, the loss hurts, but I am proud of this team. Even though we were down 16-0 we continued to fight back and got back into this game. And with 28 seconds to go on their 41-yard we had an opportunity to win game. Concerning Alberts, May, and Herbstreit, we should be playing for ourselves and not for the national press. We are now in rough water and we must right the ship. So let's go 1 and 0 one more time!