Jimbo: And I'm Jimbo.
Duke: Last week at Maryland I experienced euphoria. This week , it's something else entirely. We turned the ball over four times, Owen Schmitt carried the ball only four times and Jason Gwaltney averaged a dismal 1.8 yards per carry. Where is Steve Slaton? Why was Pernell Williams carrying the ball in short-yardage situations? Jason Colson continues to be stopped by the first tackler, and we had a whopping 127 net rushing yards. Freshman kicker Pat McAfee missed two field goals and an extra point while booting a kick-off out of bounds, wide receiver Rayshawn Bolden, who defines "dog house", finally gets into a game and commits a personal foul, and we are now playing two redshirt freshmen on what started out as an experienced offensive line. East Carolina held the ball for 31:53 to our 28:07, and Adam Bednarik is getting hurt in each game and not getting enough height on deep balls. West Virginia took not showing your next opponent anything to a new level, but of all things they run our trickiest play (i.e., throwing to the tight end)! Jimbo, give me your read on this and please don't give me your "I have to be careful with my thoughts because I'm having dinner with the Rodriguez family tonight" take!
Jimbo: Duke that is pretty harsh. I'll be the first to admit that this wasn't our finest hour, but we are exactly where we want to be -- four and zero. We played a hungry and underrated East Carolina team that was sandwiched between two difficult games in Maryland and Virginia Tech. I must admit I'm confused on why we continue to tweak the lineman each week. One week John Bradshaw plays the entire game the next week he doesn't play the second half. This past week Ryan Stanchek plays the entire second half? I guess Jeremy Hines, who was on the Rimington Trophy Watch List is clearly demoted to bench? Not to forget that we moved our best lineman, Dan Mozes, to center! If you want the reason for the inconsistency you have to start with the line play.
Duke: When it comes to helmet stickers, I feel like former NFL head coach Jim Mora, but instead of screaming, "playoffs?" I'm saying "helmet stickers?" That being said, my nine-year-old daughter, Alexandra, wanted a Mike Lorello jersey. Since Mike continues to play big, he gets my Helmet Sticker. I did consider two-time winner Darius Reynaud and Brandon Myles, as these guys are quietly stringing together some very solid performances. Jimbo, I'm starting to develop confidence in Myles.
Jimbo: I'm feeling your confidence in the wide receivers, and I'm adding the linebacking crew also. Both of these groups had question marks coming into the season and both are quietly making plays. Each week a new linebacker tops the list for my helmet sticker. Last week it was Jay Henry and this week I have to split it between Kevin "Boo" McLee and Marc Magro as each played with the fire and intensity needed every Saturday. Boo had eleven tackles that included 2-1/2 tackles for losses and ½ sack while Marc had 9 tackles that included two tackles for losses and two sacks.
Duke: All right, Jimbo let's jump into the fan mail! Let's open the first envelope.
Fact or Fiction: The Virginia Tech game is a "Must Win" game?
Jimbo: As usual the Big East's integrity is on the line. The national media including the likes of Kirk Herbstreit, Mark May, and the recently released to the work force Trev Alberts completely overrate this. It's a must win only to keep our record perfect, but if we lose we can still accomplish our number one goal which is to win the Big East and play in a BCS game. That is a tough one Duke, but because of the Big East factor the answer is Fact.
Duke: I think this is fiction. You're right in that we can still accomplish our goals of the Big East Championship and a BCS Bowl, and that is why I don't rate this as a must win. Our only must wins will come against Big East opponents. If we do recieve a a BCS berth then that will be a must win, but as you say Jimbo, let's play one game at a time.
Toss Up!: Who is West Virginia biggest rival in the past ten years, Virginia Tech or Pitt?
Jimbo: Our records against Virginia Tech and Pitt over the last ten years are 3-7 and 6-4, respectively. I would have to say Virginia Tech because of the intensity of game and the fact that they have been rated much higher over the last ten years. While many fans still consider Pitt the #1 rivalry, in reality I would say it's Virginia Tech.
Duke: Jimbo, I'm taking Pitt. Jack Fleming had one cry, "Beat Pitt!" and what was good for Jack is good for me. Pitt had no business beating us last year and I'd like to return a major beating on them this year. With Virginia Tech the series is done and who knows when we will play them again. Out of sight, out of mind. It appears that the Maryland series is really starting to heat up and will replace Virginia Tech. My only concern is that if we string four or five good whipping on the "genius", Ralph Friedgen, and he may pull a Gary Williams, Maryland basketball coach, and discontinue the series.
Fact or Fiction: Virginia Tech's uniform color combination is the worst in the NCAA?
Duke: Fact. The official university school colors are Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange. The colors were introduced in 1896 and were chosen by a committee because they made a "unique combination" not worn elsewhere at the time.
Jimbo: They must have used that same insightful logic in selecting their mascot, the HokieBird. According their web site the HokieBird evolved from a turkey. Be serious, a turkey? Their nickname probably didn't evolve from turkey, but too much Wild Turkey! While Oregon's green and yellow uniforms give Tech a run for their money, I do not believe there is an uglier uniform in college football. Fact
Duke: What do have for us today Trivia Boy?
Trivia Boy: All right guys, who were Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside? By the way I'm asking about the West Virginia's Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside, not Army's Heisman trophy winners Felix "Doc" Blanchard (Mr. Inside) and Glenn Davis (Mr. Outside).
Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
Duke: Concerning the sights and sounds of Morgantown the Maniacs were strong again even with lowly East Carolina. I can't wait to see them next week against Virginia Tech. Jimbo, I'm glad the university ditched the new entrance song, "Bring ‘Em Out," and brought back "Let's Get It Started!"
Jimbo: What about South Florida drubbing of Louisville 45-14? Everyone outside of Morgantown, including the fearless ESPN Game Day crew and the writers at CBSSportsline had given Louisville the Big East championship. Louisville must have been looking ahead to their next game against Florida Atlantic.
Duke: Congratulations to Marshall University for ending the nation's longest losing streak. The Golden Knights of Central Florida had lost 17 in a row before beating the Herd. And keeping the focus in Florida, I think we have a tough one coming up, as even Penn State fans have told me that USF was their toughest game to date. And don't forget, our contest will be a night game in Tampa.
Jimbo: Mr. Outside? Mr. Inside? Trivia Boy, you have stumped me.
Trivia Boy: Apparently Jimbo you need to study your 1982 media guide a little more. Easy Stuff! You get a pass as this was a couple of years before your freshman year. Linebacker Darryl Talley was Mr. Outside and his partner Dennis Fowlkes was Mr. Inside. Darryl and Dennis both lettered together from 1979 through 1982 and are amazingly still ranked #2 and #3 in career tackles behind Grant Wiley.
Jimbo: All right, you got me this time, but I'll rebound next week! Enough of the games! I have a serious thought: Let's go 1 and 0 one more time and Beat Virginia Tech!