Jimbo: And, I'm Jimbo.
Duke: Outlined against a blue, gray October sky the Four Mountaineers rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Pacman, Slim, Sheed, and Big Daddy. These are only aliases. Their real names are Adam Jones, Chris Henry, Rasheed Marshall, and Ben Lynch. They formed the crest of the Morgantown cyclone before which another fighting Rutgers team was swept over the precipice at the "Birthplace of College Football" yesterday afternoon as 35,000 spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the green plain below.
That was the Mountaineer version of the famous Four Horseman, Notre Dame-Army account written by the late Grantland Rice, but let's mix in a little modern day hip-hop from Black Eyed Peas and "Get It Started." Last week I said that Chris Henry is an enigma. Let me expand upon that this week by saying the West Virginia University football team is an enigma. I felt like I was riding the Mountaineer roller coaster. First ten minutes we're thinking blowout, then Rutgers ties the score. West Virginia reestablishes a solid lead, then Rutgers comes back. On the ride home, Jimbo, I was feeling pretty drained. Where does this leave us?
Jimbo: Well Duke, that is why we play the game. That is why keep score. Just because Rutgers is Rutgers, don't assume that we are supposed to blow these teams out every week. West Virginia has now defeated Rutgers ten straight times, and sooner or later they are going to beat us. They are a vastly improved program. Just look at their Michigan State win, their recent recruiting and coaching. Speaking of coaching, can you explain to me why the Rutgers coach, Greg Schiano, can scream like a lunatic and not be penalized, yet we celebrate a touchdown get flagged for unsportsmanlike penalties?
Duke: I can't. Watching Coach Schiano screaming on the field for as long as he did and then throwing his clip board down on the field sends a terrible message to the players. As we are very aware, players have their own issues. For a coach to conduct themselves in that manner is unacceptable. The coach should be their leader and mentor. Jimbo, last week you asked, "Pernell, where are you?" Today Pernell responded by saying, "Here I am Jimbo, I'm starting!" You called this a soap opera last week. How are you feeling now?
Jimbo: It still is a soap opera, but I'm glad that Pernell's redshirt is not going to waste. The quartet of Colson, Harris, Williams, and Rasheed Marshall, in my view, is just as good as having Avon Cobourne or Quincy Wilson. And speaking of Rasheed, can someone explain to me why on bad Rasheed Marshall pass results in our fans wanting to hang him in effigy?
Duke: First, when you are sitting 25 rows up in the stands it is easy to see the whole field. Second, many complaints are occurring when Rasheed is running at Mach 3, and then has a receiver break open. Third, many times a receiver does break open, but the play is already set to be underneath to another receiver or a running back. They're not looking at the whole picture.
These very fans also have a short memory when Rasheed throws a touchdown pass, makes a nice 20-yard run, or our receivers are drop a pass that hits them between the numbers. That being said, I'll agree that Rasheed is not Dan Marino, but he is not expected to be. He does, however, faithfully execute Coach Rodriguez's game plan.
By the way, Jimbo, pretty strong comments about the running game. I believe many would rather see old number 22 or 3 back in the Blue and Gold.
Jimbo: That is not going to happen, but what I would like to see happen is for another wide receiver besides Chris Henry make a play. Everyone needs their side kick, Batman needed Robin and Captain needed Tennille. Eddie Jackson and Brandon Myles have had plenty of opportunities to become a threat but because of dropped passes Henry is our only true go-to guy. If one of these guys steps it up in the next four games then you will see our "A" game on offense
Duke: Excellent point on the receivers, Jimbo. I recall Coach Don Nehlen's comments after a loss. In his post game press conference he said, "I know what I have and I know what I don't have". Likewise, I believe that Coach Rodriguez knows what he has and what he doesn't have. He knew that Jackson and Myles were not going to be the second receiver WVU has been looking for, and that is why he tried to fill in the gaps with Charles Hales and Dwayne Thompson. The problem with Hales and Thompson is that they are inexperienced at wide receiver and are learning the position under fire. Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
I was really impressed with the college atmosphere at Rutgers. The stadium is really a nice facility. I liked the look of the fall foliage and the big "R" in the end zone. The canon on the hill side that fired after scores was pretty cool. The Scarlet Knight riding the decorated horse looked realistic. I was a little surprised by the small student body turnout with the #14 team in the nation coming to town. Concerning their band, I've seen better high school bands, but at least they didn't amplify their tunes over the PA system. Jimbo, what did you think about the Birthplace of College Football?
Jimbo: Rutgers has great facilities and campus and that has to be a selling point to recruits. My only beef was with the PA system, which wasn't as loud as my 8-track tape stereo system in my basement. Most of the sound was directed toward the field, not the stands.
Duke: Jimbo, you asked me where the name "Rutgers" came from. The game day program gives us the answer. It states that the school was chartered in 1766 as Queen's College and then changed its name to Rutgers in 1825 to honor a former trustee and Revolutionary War veteran, Colonel Henry Rutgers.
Jimbo: Wow, where'd that come from? Good info. Now, back to the field. With Chris Henry potentially being out, PacMan Jones hurt, and Ben Lynch on the mend, this is great opportunity for players to step up and gain experience. A guy like Vaughn River or Dee McCann can gain valuable experience at the cornerback position.
Also, I love the blue pants, but please, not with the white jerseys. Keep the blue pants for home! Just for the record, all seniors should play in gold pants in their last home game.
Let's go 1 and 0 one more time. Beat Temple!