Jimbo: And I'm Jimbo.
Duke: On a beautiful Thanksgiving fall evening the Mountaineers walked away with an impressive 45-13 victory over Pitt. It didn't matter that it was 18°F at kickoff with a wind chill approaching zero. It didn't matter that the wind was howling or that the snow was falling. It didn't matter that the heated restrooms where fuller than a stuffed turkey. Any time you beat Pitt, it is a good day, no matter the circumstances.
The quarterbacks and running backs get the headlines, and rightly so. Pat White and Steve Slaton again had monster games. Today, though, I'm focusing on the offensive line, and in particular, Dan Mozes. This is long overdue. Dan Mozes is our emotional leader. You can see it in the pre-game, during the game, and in the post game. Last night when the game was over and while the fans were singing "Country Roads" you could see Dan's satisfaction as he walked off the field. It reminded me of a Vince Lombardi speech called, "What is Takes to be Number One." The last two paragraphs seem to capture Dan.
"And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat. I don't say these things because I believe in the "brute" nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."
Congratulations Dan Mozes on a great season!
Jimbo: On that note Duke, I'd to first congratulate all the seniors. It was great to see them leave Mountaineer Field with a big win over the Pitt Panthers. Mike Lorello, Travis Garrett, and Garin Justice have meant so much to the program. I'd like to give a special salute to Jahmile Addae. Jahmile has endured as much as any during his career at West Virginia. His shoulder injuries have been particularly difficult to deal with, and the scare that he had with his heart condition put him through some tough times as well. I could not think of a more fitting send off then for Jahmille to intercept a Pitt Panther pass and return it 40 yards for touchdown.
Duke: Let's get to the fan mail!
Fact or Fiction: Duke and Jimbo, we've had three weekday games in a row. It is difficult for the normal fan to leave work for a 7:30 pm kickoff, stay for the entire game, and go to work the next morning. It also limits the college atmosphere, as you can't tailgate as much. Do you think West Virginia should continue playing weekday games? I can understand one weekday game per year, but three?
Jimbo: There are definitely two sides to this issue. While it does take away from the college atmosphere, the coaches will tell you it is invaluable for recruiting. On Wednesdays and Thursdays you are the only show in town. In college football it is all about recruiting. Heck, look at the ugly jerseys wore by Virginia Tech. Coach Frank Beamer says that the recruits like them so guess what - Virginia Tech is going to wear ugly jerseys. I am going to say fact. Yes, we should play these games and suck it up a little for the team.
Duke: Fact. In the pre-game warm ups Coach Rodriguez and ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit spoke for 15-20 minutes. Auburn's Coach Tommy Tuberville may have overstated ESPN's influence on college football, but there is some truth to it. I've been told that Kirk spoke well of the Big East's future on last night's telecast. Personal relationships can develop during these Wednesday and Thursday pre-game conservations and thus we can receive more support for the program and the Big East.
Duke: Last week we interviewed Jason Williams who works for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals and this week we are catching up with another former Bengal. This week Jimbo and I had a chance to catch up with Bo Orlando and talk a little Mountaineer football.
Duke: Bo, thanks for your time. What have you been doing since retiring from the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Bo: I'm keeping busy in the loan & mortgage business and I couldn't stay away from football. I am coaching the defensive backs at Liberty (Pa.) High School. It has been a lot of fun, as this team is on a roll. We beat Easton 48-10 for the District XI 4A Championship and this week we beat Hazelton 42-7 in the sub-regional. This Saturday we play Frankford. I'm really impressed with the Lehigh Valley Conference and level of talent. I'd like to see the West Virginia coaches hit this area a little harder. They should know the level of talent and toughness of these kids as they already have a tremendous player in Adam Bednarik.
Duke: Bo, going back to your playing days many Mountaineer fans still believe that we should have won the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame on January 2, 1989. We had significant injuries to Major Harris, John Stroia, Jim Gray, and Darrell Whitmore. Looking back, if we were healthy for that game do you think we would have won?
Bo: With the numbers of seniors and with the talent we had on that team we could have beaten anybody in the country, but I'm not sure if we could have beaten Notre Dame on that day. I'm not sure if we were mentally prepared for that game. First, we had played in other bowl games, but this was West Virginia's first major bowl game. Second, Notre Dame and Coach Holtz just had more experience playing those types of games.
Jimbo: I'm going to put you on the Duke and Jimbo hot seat. Hypothetically, if Berwick High School, West Virginia, the Houston Oilers, San Diego Chargers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cincinnati Bengals were playing in their respective championship game and you had the choice to play in one more game which jersey would you put on?
Bo: Wow! That is a tough question, but it comes down to only two jerseys, Berwick and West Virginia. I have to say when I drive past Cheat Lake I still get goose bumps. It is like I never left. It is like we are going to Mountaineer Field. But, if I have to pick one I'd have to lean toward the Berwick jersey. Coach George Curry has meant everything to me. In fact, I still keep in touch with Coach Curry and consider him a great friend. My dad died when I was 15 years old and Coach Curry was there for me, a father figure. While I love the Mountaineers there is something very special about being a Berwick Bulldog.
Duke: Let me follow that up with: which coach had the most impact on you personally and your career as you played for the legendary George Curry, Hall-of-Fame Coach Don Nehlen, and several great NFL coaches including Pittsburgh Steelers' Bill Cowher?
Bo: Again, Coach Curry just meant so much to me. Coach Curry really instilled discipline. He'd tell you to keep your mouth shut and work hard. Coach Nehlen instilled the same discipline and so when I played in the NFL for Bobby Ross, Dave Shula, and Jack Pardee, I didn't need the discipline that the other players required because Coaches Curry and Nehlen had instilled those values in me.
Duke: What do you miss the most about Mountaineer Football?
Bo: No doubt, I miss the people and camaraderie of the players. After a game Brad Hunt and I would go to tailgates and we'd be there until midnight. I still keep in contact with a great lady and friend, Dory Custer. She was just a great person who made my years at West Virginia very special!
Duke: Bo thank you very much for your time and good luck against Frankford!
Bo: The same to you guys. I love talking about my Mountaineer days. Let's do it again!
Duke: What do have for us today Trivia Boy?
Trivia Boy: It is great to hear from old #26! I loved Bo's passion for the game. The question today is who was the other defense back that started along with Bo Orlando in the 1989 Fiesta Bowl and played from 1990-1994 with the Washington Redskins and in 1995 with the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
Duke: This is going back to last week, but this is some advice to the Rutgers team. If you are going to stomp up and down on the Louisville Cardinal logo before a game and are going to act like the Miami Hurricanes, at least play like the Miami Hurricanes. To receive a 56-5 beatdown, especially after such a show of bravado, is an embarrassment to yourselves and the university.
Jimbo: It was just super seeing 52,997 fans at the Backyard Brawl. Except for students that were home for Thanksgiving, we had a full house. There were many projections being tossed around that we'd only have 35,000 – 40,000 in attendance due to the weather.
Duke: Congratulations to Sam Huff for the retirement of #75. Mr. Huff, you received this honor with great humility and respect so let me complain for you. The presentation should have been done at half time, not between the first and second quarters. Heck, the second quarter action started and the presentation was not complete. Second, the presentation should have been down in the middle of the field. You don't hide Sam Huff in the corner of the stadium. I realize they wanted to do the presentation where his number was being memorialized in the stadium, but the east side of the stadium couldn't see anything.
Jimbo: Trivia Boy, that was an easy one! Alvoid Mays. Remember the rap song that Alvoid and Major Harris sang?
Trivia Boy: You're right on it Jimbo!
Jimbo: Well, we head into week number 11 and we all know what is on the line -- a BCS bowl. There is only one regular season game left, and we must win not only for ourselves, but for the Big East. We need to once again load the wagons, and this time silence the blasting cannons of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. For the last time this regular season,let's go 1 and 0 one more time!