Jimbo: And I'm Jimbo.
Duke: Well, Old Grads and Young Lads, the 2007 season kicked off in great fashion with a stomping of the Marshall University Thundering Herd. It was great to get back to the stadium and sit in my favorite seat. I only get the opportunity to sit there seven times a year and despite the cramped conditions it really is my favorite chair.
Jimbo, it was a big day for Steve Slaton and Pat White despite not having any really big plays. Many of us have residual images from last season of Pat and Steve ripping off 40-50 yard runs and it never really materialized in this game. It was the quietest 203 yards that I can remember for a running back. Pat was very efficient through the air, going 10-14 with two touchdown passes.
Jimbo: Duke, I'd agree with you on all counts. It was the most workmanlike performance that I can recall in recent memory. Zero turnovers in the first game in itself is impressive. While we had eight penalties for 75 yards, the penalties didn't affect the game. Charles Pugh, however, needs to watch himself as he is rising to Barrett Green levels with unsportsmanlike calls, and that will eventually hurt us. I guess the penalty that stuck out the most was Dan Mozes' – it was so unexpected.
Duke: A couple of other observations. I hadn't seen much information on defensive lineman #95 Jason Karns, but he played a solid game. At 6-5, 265 lbs the sophomore appears to be ready. I guess my biggest impression came in the pre-game when tight end Selvish Capers was warming up. BlueGoldNews.com's Kevin Kinder has made comments that he could play 15 years in the NFL as an offensive lineman and looking at him he is a monster with a big bump, big thighs, and no gut. This guy could add another 30-40 lbs - easily.
Jimbo: It appears to me that graduated Jahmile Addae changed his number from #4 to #8. Freshman Quinton Andrews played up to his off-season notices with a very solid game supported by his interception.
Going back to Steve Slaton, yes, he added 10 lbs of muscle in the off-season and, yes, he is extremely conditioned, but for him to carry the rock 33 times a game spells trouble. Coach Rodriguez said that he wants nine running backs and at this point I'd just like to have three or four. Coach Rodriguez needs to reduce Steve's carries to 20-25 and dish out the other ten to someone else. I trust that the purpose of his 33 carries wasn't to get Steve 200 yards.
Lastly it appears that Coach has settled on the #2 quarterback. Jarrett Brown appeared poised in his action and I'd to see him get a little more action in the Eastern Washington game.
Duke: Let's open some mail from our fans. Trivia Boy, grab a question from the Mail Bag.
Trivia Boy: Tough question guys, when you are at work around the water cooler and a non-Mountaineer brings up another recent Pacman Jones or Chris Henry incident is it your duty to support Pacman or Chris because they were Mountaineers? Or should you be objective and state your beliefs only on their merits?
Jimbo: You can only drink so much Kool-Aid. At some point you have to let their actions speak for themselves and not defend them. I'm a little worried about Pacman's actions as they appear to be backed by a nastier attitude - if you will - while Chris's actions appear to be more youthful indiscretion.
Duke: Jimbo, you can't defend their actions or you'll sound like Michael Irvin from ESPN on TO and lose credibility. That being said don't I don't like airing dirty laudry outside the family so I'd suggest saying little or nothing at all. What about Chris Henry showing up for the game this Saturday? He seems to come back at every open opportunity. Watching the current Mountaineers, they seem to respond positively to him.
Trivia Boy: Duke and Jimbo, on ESPN radio during the All Night program Jason Smith asked if you could completely erase a single play in NFL history/memory what would it be? I'd like to ask the same question - what five single plays from Mountaineer history would you erase?
Jimbo: Wow! You're hitting me with this after a great victory? Unfortunately, I live with these everyday.
5. In the 1989 Fiesta Bowl, Grantis Bell was not able to haul in Major Harris's pass early in the second half against Notre Dame. If we score on that drive the outcome of the game may have been different.
4. In 1996 against Miami, Tremain Mack blocked the punt with 29 seconds left on the clock and Miami carried it in for a touchdown. Everybody in the stands was yelling for the safety. It was tough loss as we were blown out by Syracuse in Morgantown the following week 30-7.
3. I'd love to take back the game tying field goal by Pitt in 1989. We were leading 31-9 going in the 4th and that tie was one of the worst losses ever.
2. Kellen Winslow's catch on a fourth and 13 in 2003 at Miami is a close #1. Nobody else in the country makes that catch to keep the drive alive. Miami then booted a 23-yard field goal for the 22-20 win. This was the game that Quincy Wilson became a legend as he avoided and ran over half the Miami team on his 33-yard touchdown reception.
1. I'd like to take back the hit that re-injured Jake Kelchner's bursa sac in the 1994 Sugar Bowl. We had the momentum with the early 7-0 lead and his injury just seemed to kill us. I can still remember Darren Studstill looking out his ear hole and the position of his chin strap. I don't know if we would have won that game, but it would have much closer than the 41-7 final. That group was a TEAM.
Duke: This is negative question on a positive weekend, but the question is asked. I'll stay away from the Pitt games as I can't give Pitt any satisfaction.
5. Players get injured all of the time as it is part of the game and we all feel badly when a player gets hurt, but it was particularly disppointing watching the scene after big Mike Compton broke his leg in the 1990 Boston College game. He was our big indestructable team leader so I'd like to forget that play
4. I'd like to take back Marc Bulger's interception in the 1997 game at Notre Dame. Amos Zereoue had a huge day and we really outplayed them.
3. Tremain Mack
2. In 1999 we had Virginia Tech beaten, 20-19. I cannot recall the West Virginia player, but he pulled up and did not hit Michael Vick as he was heading toward the sideline. Vick took advantage of this let up and scooted down the sideline for enough yardage to get within Shayne Graham's range to kick the game winning field goal.
1. Far and away #1. I'll always believe that West Virginia was better than Notre Dame in 1988/89. Despite all the significant injuries, if Michael Stonebreaker doesn't roll on Major Harris' shoulder and dislocate it, West Virginia wins the 1989 Fiesta Bowl and the National Championship.
Duke: What else do you have for us today Trivia Boy?
Trivia Boy: In the Coach Nehlen and Coach Rodriguez eras there have been four first round NFL picks. Can you name them, and as a bonus, which player was the highest selection?
Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
Jimbo: Congratulations to Coach Rodriguez for being named the Hula Bowl head coach. The game will be played on January 14, 2007. It could end up being a very nice west coast swing going from the BCS Championship Game on January 8th and then heading to Hawaii for the contest. Hopefully he can take a couple of his boys with him.
While I'm giving out congratulations, great job by Pitt and Rutgers for beating up on the ACC! Syracuse, you need to pull your weight!
Duke: I spoke to Maxwell Anderson's grandfather, "Buzz" Anderson, and he was one extremely proud grandfather as Maxwell earned a scholarship for his hard work and perseverance. Maxwell did a great job Saturday. It was a pleasant surprise to hear the number of fans calling out his name when he came into the game.
Jimbo: Here is an interesting stat as reported by ESPN the magazine - the top downloaded college fight song ringtones are 1. Yea Alabama 2. Buckeye Battle Cry 3. Texas Fight 4. Boomer Sooner 5. Here Comes Carolina 6. Notre Dame Victory March 7. Hail West Virginia!
Duke: As part of Who Dey Nation I went to the Packer-Bengal game Monday night to watch the return of the great Carson Palmer. On the Bengal post game show the "Play of the Drive" was – get this – a Chris Henry's block for a T.J. Houshmandzaheh's touchdown. Did Chris ever throw a meaningful block at WVU? Congratulations to Quincy Wilson for making the Bengal squad!
Stat Boy what did we miss?
Stat Boy: Well Duke going back to the Kick-off Edition Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy not Vince Young. And guys, how do you leave off the dropped Rasheed Marshall pass to John Pennington against Virginia Tech in 2004? That play actually lead to the play that caused the most damage: Tech blocked Brad Cooper's field goal and returned the ball 74 yards for a touchdown in the 19-13 loss. A 14-point swing!
Jimbo: Good call Stat Boy. Trivia Boy, I know the answer – in part. Pacman, Brian Jozwiak, and Renaldo Turnbull come to mind, but I can't think of the forth.
Trivia Boy: Good job Jimbo. The forth was Anthony Becht. Pacman went #6 to the Titans, Brian went #7 to the Chiefs, Renaldo went #14 to the Saints, and Anthony went #27 to the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!
Jimbo: All right Trivia Boy, I'll get you next week, but first let's get ready for the Buffalo Bulls, no I'm sorry, the Eastern Washington Eagles. Let's go 1-0 one more time.