Jimbo: And I'm Jimbo.
Duke: The last time we heard The Pride in an official football game was January 1, 2005 so hearing "Hail West Virginia!" was really nice. Hearing "Country Roads" is always special. Seeing the cheerleaders strain to eke out that last pushup is good stuff. And lastly, hearing "Let's Bring on the Mountaineers" brings chills. But Jimbo, I must say that is where the euphoria ends. I left with a major question: What's going on with the running game?
Trivia Boy is not here yet, but what is "4.0, 4.3, 5.3, 5.6, and 2.3?" That is our yards per carry of the top five running backs, Colson, Gwaltney, Slaton, Williams, and Schmitt. Mind you we just didn't play The Ohio State University in the Shoe, we played Wofford at Mountaineer Field! I don't believe it is just the backs. The offensive line did not appear to be pushing back the significantly smaller Wofford defensive line. So despite gaining 339 net rushing yards, I'm really concerned as we head toward College Park.
Jimbo: Duke, do you have a favorite shirt that you won't wear because you are saving it for a special occasion? That is what Coach Rodriguez is doing with the total offensive plan. He is holding back facets of the offense so we have opposing defenses staying honest and guessing. At the right time, he will unleash the full arsenal. In the first two games the package was pretty basic. This is the reason why he will use the two quarterback system all year, because it is another weapon we can use against our opponents.
Duke: I really have mixed thoughts on this two quarterback system. Does Ohio State win against Texas if they are not going back and forth between Justin Zwick and Troy Smith? I hope you are right with your favorite shirt analogy. The running game is struggling and Jason Gwaltney appears to be pressing. The crowd gets excited after each of Jason's carries, but he had 11 carries for only 44 yards, and that included a 19-yard run in the fourth quarter. It appears to me you have ten very average carries at best.
Jimbo, following the old boxing cliché, you have to knock out the champion, I am again giving my helmet sticker to Darius Reynaud. He climbed the latter to snag Bednarik's high pass and to score our first touchdown. That is the type of playmaking ability Coach Rodriguez looks for in his wide receivers. Brandon Myles appears to be improving and on his way to becoming the player he was projected to be last year. On defense I have to give Mike Lorello a helmet sticker, as he continues to make one big play after another.
Jimbo: The defense put together another stellar effort with just one bad play, as Wofford connected on a long pass in the third quarter. Jimbo's helmet sticker of the week goes to Bobby Hathaway. Bobby put in a stellar defensive effort with eight tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Great job Bobby!
Duke: All right, Jimbo let's jump into the fan mail! Let's open the first envelope.
Pretender or Contender?: Pitt will contend for the Big East Championship
Duke: The easy answer is no, after seeing their dreadful loss to Ohio University. The season, however, is a marathon, and I believe by year's end they will creep back into the hunt. So I say Contender. I must add that I was surprised how weak Tyler Palko's arm looked on the two interceptions Ohio returned for scores. There were media folks listing him as a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy. Maybe that big white head band is too tight.
Jimbo: The University of Pittsburgh hired Dave Wannstedt to bring Pitt back to the elite status of college football. With the 0-2 start how many of the Pitt faithful are wondering if he is the second coming of Walt Harris? The Panthers will not compete this year for a Big East title due to the numerous holes in their defensive line and an offense that seems to be struggling more than the West Coast version we saw in Syracuse. Pitt has fallen to pretender mode till further review.
Over/Under: West Virginia will achieve their magic 200 rushing yard figure against Maryland
Jimbo: The West Virginia offense is loaded with running backs and you must include the quarterback numbers in that mix, Duke. The number of different weapons this team has on offense is great, and it creates a video room nightmare for opposing coaches. In regards to your earlier Gwaltney comments, yes, expectations are high, but let's give Jason some time to learn how the spread really works. We will have over 200 yards against Maryland.
Duke: Under. I'm not seeing it right now and you won't see our quarterbacks padding the totals by rushing for a combined 129 yards like they did against Wofford.
Duke: This is a tough one. I would like to know DEEP down if Coach Tressel and Coach Rodriguez are doing this for the good of the team or the good of the two quarterbacks. I think in a close game if one quarterback is playing well the other quarterback sits. Fiction.
Jimbo: As I stated earlier this system is working. Adam Bednarik goes 6-6 with a passing and rushing touchdown while Pat White rushed for 107 yards. This team has no hidden agendas from an individual standpoint and has truly embraced the "Spot The Ball" mentality. This team is playing as a team, period. Fact.
Duke: What do have for us today Trivia Boy?
Trivia Boy: This is one of my favorite trivia questions. Before West Virginia became the West Virginia "Mountaineers" they were the West Virginia "____________." Bonus points if you can name the year they switched to the Mountaineers.
Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
Duke: Concerning the sites and sounds of Morgantown it was AWESOME to see the Maniacs fill up the student body section with a sea of gold. Just awesome!
Jimbo: It is very emotional watching a player lay motionless on the field. You could hear a pin drop. I've seen this on TV, but never in a live game. It is even more emotional watching the injured player lift his thumb signaling that he is OK while being wheeled from the field.
Duke: Well said, Jimbo. Last year the drum line started to get a little jiggy when they first came onto to field and it is continuing this year to a greater degree. Call me old school, but I vote for less jiggy and more formal/traditional. It is great to hear that the Pride is going to Maryland. We'll need everyone for this game.
Jimbo: Good question Trivia Boy, I think it was the "Snakes," but I can't give you the year we switched to "Mountaineers."
[Editor's Note: It was in 1905.]
The Maryland game is huge as it is always seems to be the barometer for our season. Duke, we are loading the wagon for our second road trip of the season and I forgot that I have one more observation: Let's go 1 and 0 one more time and Beat Maryland!