ETI - Maryland Edition

Euphoria abounds as our intrepid pair of travelers recaps WVU's smackdown of Maryland.

Duke: Hello, I'm Duke

Jimbo: And, I'm Jimbo.

Duke: Getting up Saturday morning for the first coffee of the day at the team hotel, we naturally grabbed a copy of the Washington Post. It carried an article about Maryland's defense and the sting of the Clemson loss. The Maryland defense felt that they had let the team down. In order to get the team going in the right direction the Post article described how the players ran extra wind sprints, had several days of heavy hitting, and had a team-meeting speech from their All-American linebacker D'Qwell Jackson about "toughening up." Jimbo, when a team is talking like this it translates into one thing, "Must Win!" Rich Rodriguez, however, had the formula for this Maryland must win. Do you know the formula?

Jimbo: You bet I know the formula. Coach Rodriguez preaches, "Play physically on every snap!" There was no doubt that this team did just that. Owen Schmitt and Jason Gwaltney were giving us "Thunder and Thunder." Adam Bednarik and Pat White ran hard as they dragged defenders. The defense supplied ESPN with the complete Top 10 plays of Saturday as we "Jacked Them Up!" It is reported that personal injury attorney Edgar Synder is bringing a class action suit against Maryland QB Sam Hollenbach, as Hollenbach perfectly positioned his receivers for numerous highlight hits. Duke, I saw a season worth of busted ribs and whiplash-inducing, neck-snapping hits.

Duke: Jimbo, in the second half I asked you, "Where is two-time Helmet Sticker winner Darius Reynaud?" Shortly thereafter, Darius ran a timely 27-yard reverse for a first down. That run, however, was not enough for a third sticker. In our 2005 Kick Off edition I wrote, "I'll be riding the Owen Schmitt and Steve Slaton wagons. In the Blue-Gold game Schmitt not only looked strong at fullback, but I liked his work at the superback position. He makes a quick first step to the open hole and then he runs downhill with bodies flying everywhere." I'm not doing an "I told you so," but it feels good to see this big guy rumbling down field. John Madden would love this guy and I could see him calling Owen "Schmittie!" Schmittee gets a big Duke helmet sticker.

Jimbo: There were so many big plays. The third down conversion in the fourth quarter by Pat White, when he rolled out to his left and hit Vaughn Rivers was huge. Duke, this may be a season defining win, as we showed tremendous character in shutting down Maryland scoring opportunities in the first quarter. A past WVU team's motto was "hold the rope," and they showed what that meant against the Terps.

While everyone pulled the rope nobody pulled any harder than Jay Henry. Jimbo's helmet sticker of the week goes to WVU's mike linebacker, as Jay had six tackles, including two big third down stops, a sack, and a fumble recovery.

Duke: All right, Jimbo let's jump into the fan mail! Let's open the first envelope.

Fact or Fiction: Based upon the Maryland game the running back situation is starting to clear up

Jimbo: Fact. Jason Gwaltney and Owen Schmidt should get the majority of the carries. Jason and Owen carried in pressure situations and delivered.

Duke: Fact. Williams and Colson will still play a key role this season, but Jason and Schmittee were driving bus in forth quarter. Jason Gwaltney's stats were not eye-popping, but he played big in the fourth quarter and in the red zone. We racked up an incredible 301 net rushing yards -- and this wasn't Wofford.

Fact or Fiction: All the discussion about Coach Friedgen's NFL experience and being a football genius as reasons for beating WVU and Coach Rodriguez are malarkey.

Jimbo: Fact. This gives us two in a row against Maryland. Without Scott McBrien, Coach Freidgen has been an average coach. Coach Rodriguez has not only beat Freidgen two years in row, but he has also owns four in a row over Syracuse, with the last one being against long time NFL defensive coordinator Greg Robinson.

Duke: Fact. Hats off, Jimbo, as we addressed this before, and you weren't buying it. I must admit I wondered if there was something to this, but we took Maryland to the wood shed.

Duke: What do have for us today Trivia Boy?

Trivia Boy: Looking over West Virginia's history of great running backs, West Virginia's 1,000 yards rushers in reverse chronological order Quincy Wilson, Avon Cobourne, Amos Zereoue, Adrian Murrell, Robert Walker, and Robert Alexander. Who was the running back before Alexander to last rush for 1,000 yards?

Duke: Now for the Big Finish!

Duke: Concerning the sites and sounds of College Park, a big boo to the University of Maryland for putting The Pride in seats that were essentially outside the stadium. We would never put an opponent's band in similar seats.

Jimbo: Hats off to The Pride. They out perform each band they go against. The Pride appeared to cover the entire field during their half time performance and when the Maryland band took the field it looked and sounded like they had twenty-member band.

Duke: Our column is called Excuse the Inconvenience, but perhaps this week's edition should be Excuse the Euphoria. You just don't get a win like this very often. This may not rise to the level of the 2002 road wins against Virginia Tech (21-18) and Pitt (24-17), but it comes pretty close. With this win you start to sense something special.

After the game the West Virginia fans were going crazy. When the team completed its prayer, Coach Rodriguez pulled the team together right in front of the fans. Coach then pointed to The Pride and they played "Hail West Virginia!" Coach Rodriguez and the players sang the fight song to the fans with Coach pumping his fist at "Its West Virginia now we cheer Rah, Rah!" The emotions continued as fans left the stadium as you could hear, "Let's go Mountaineers!" echoing throughout the exit ramps of Byrd Stadium. It brings goose bumps thinking about it. It was one of those very magical moments and it really was great day to be a Mountaineer. Jimbo, that had to be fun ride home for the team.

Jimbo: Duke it was a great day to be a Mountaineer. Good question Trivia Boy! I think A.B. Brown and Major Harris came close but I'm pretty sure it was Artie Owens.

Trivia Boy: Good job Jimbo. Mr. Owens did it twice as he rushed for 1,055 yards in 1975 and 1,130 yards in 1974.

Jimbo: Duke, I have another thought on being physical. The coaches can talk about being physical until they are blue in the face, but the players must have the ability to be physical. I believe that Mike Barwis, Director of Strength and Conditioning, and his staff deserve helmet stickers for our physical play on Saturday. One team flinched Saturday in the heat, and it wasn't us.

And the final observation: Let's go 1 and 0 one more time and Beat East Carolina!

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