Duke: Hello, I'm Duke
Jimbo: And I'm Jimbo.
Duke: Well, 'Old Grads and Young Lads', the preseason is over and the regular season starts Thursday night against Maryland. The Marshall game resembled the third week of the NFL preseason while the Eastern Washington contest resembled the fourth, when the NFL pulls their quarterback and running back early in order to protect them for the regular season and to also look at the second and third teams.
Jimbo, our second team quarterback Jarrett Brown was very impressive. On Jarrett's first nice play fans around me were saying he's pretty good, but by his tenth play there was a look in their eyes like we have an issue here. Their eyes said, "How do you keep this guy off the field? Jarrett looked to be extremely poised, but will he be that poised with faster opponents and more pressure?
Jimbo: During the summer we both heard some chatter that Jarrett Brown should start and we both thought that it was ridiculous. Please - Pat White just won the Sugar Bowl and you also don't lose your job when you are playing at a high level and Pat continues to play at a high level. I still believe West Virginia's quarterback is Pat White, but you can't ignore Jarrett's talents. We may be going back to the two quarterback system? I was also impressed with Nate Sowers and West Virginia's answer to Rudy, Markell Harrison, as they both scored touchdowns.
Duke: Good analogy Jimbo. Remember when Rudy gets up on the chair in the Notre Dame locker room and recites Knute Rockne's famous Rah! Rah! speech? Can you picture Markell doing his best Rich impersonation on the chair, "Listen up! You know the formula right? Play every play as hard as you can - every play. Be physical on every snap. Every player be physical on every snap. Have some fun. Keep your poise and make sure them Pitt Panthers know when they are done playing the Mountaineers after 60 minutes, they better lace their shoes up a little tighter, put a little more tape on, put a little more air in their helmet and they better do what? Spot the Ball!"
Duke: Let's open some mail from our fans. Trivia Boy grab a question from the Mail Bag.
Trivia Boy: Duke and Jimbo let's imagine this past summer that the Rodriguez' are barbecuing with their closest friends and one of Rich's buddies asks while popping a cold one, "Hey Rich let's cut the bull, who would you rather put a beat down on this year? Maryland's Coach Friedgen or Pitt's Coach Wannstedt?"
Jimbo: Rich's buddy better get Rich to pop more than one to get him to answer this one, but I'm going with Coach Friedgen. Transfer Scott McBrien started this train and then Coach Friedgen's made a comment that Coach Rodriguez's offensive was gimmicky. After last year's win at College Park Rich, Rich rounded up the team to sing the fight song to the fans. At the end of the fight song he pumped his fist in the air just like Coach Friedgen does after Maryland's wins clearly acknowledging (to me) Coach Friedgen's antics.
Duke: I also thought it was Coach Friedgen, but last year Coach Wannstedt clearly got under Coach Rodriguez' skin. Wannstedt made recruiting comments about nabbing all the Western Pennsylvania recruits. Coach Rodriguez' rebuttal after the Pitt game was classic, "It [Pitt win] may help us recruiting a little bit since we supposedly have a hard time in certain parts of Western Pennsylvania." To which he added later concerning recruiting in Western PA, "We have to worry about a bowl game while other teams don't have to worry about that." If I'm looking at Rich's private calendar it has the Pitt game circled in red.
Duke: Jimbo and I had a second to catch up to the newest Mountaineer, Mr. Brady Campbell and discuss his first day on the job.
Duke: So Brady how was it leading the team onto the field for the first time? Was it everything you thought it would be?
Brady Campbell: Leading the team onto the field was incredible. It was what I have been dreaming of for months and months. The adrenaline, intensity, noise, and excitement made the experience unforgettable. The run onto the field was everything that I had expected it to be and much, much more.
Jimbo: Brady it looked like you had mastered most of the Mountaineer traditions, but it appeared that you struggled with the shirt toss. How do you plan to improve on this?
Brady Campbell: That's pretty good that you noticed. I struggled with the shirt toss for one reason - lack of practice. I had never fired a shirt out of the sling-shot before and honestly had no clue what I was doing. The cheerleaders that were holding the sling-shot also were new to firing and accidentally twisted one side or the other a few times. I plan to practice and be ready to hit the upper deck!
Duke: What was one thing that surprised you the most in your first game?
Brady Campbell: The single biggest surprise that I have had is DURING the game and how drained of energy you become by the end of the second half. I could have literally laid down on the field and gone to sleep after the games. Another surprise that I hadn't really planned for was the extreme soreness that comes later in the evening and following few days. You would have thought I was out there cracking heads with the other football players from the aches and pains that I now suffer!
Duke: Brady, thanks for your time and the very best this season.
Brady Campbell: Likewise guys it's been a pleasure. Keep up the good work and hope to see you Thursday night!
Jimbo: Sounds like Brady may need a little time with Mr. Michael Barwis! What do you have for us today Trivia Boy?
Trivia Boy: Tough one today guys! Which current Big East football coach has the longest consecutive tenure as head coach in Big East?
Duke: Now for the Big Finish!
There isn't crying in baseball and Joey Porter, the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, there isn't kissing in football! Jimbo, how would Coach Rodriguez react if Dan Mozes came to the sideline and planted a big one on him?
Jimbo: Wow, I'm not going to think about that, but I know there isn't kissing in football. By the way, sincere best wishes to a full recovery to Louisville's Michael Bush. We always want to play teams at their very best. Michael is an awesome talent who we'll see on the next level in the NFL.
From one great running back to another, I can't wait to see Steve Slaton playing against Maryland. Coach Friedgen had recruited Steve, but wanted him to play defensive back and if you recall Steve didn't get an opportunity to run against Maryland last year. He should be ready to roll!
Duke: Good call Jimbo. Congratulations to the Big East! To Rutgers, great job over Illinois and Syracuse, you tried to pull your weight with the double overtime loss to Iowa. With Pitt and Louisville both winning, the Big East is looking very solid while the ACC continued to looking absolutely horrible with terrible performances against Troy and Akron.
Jimbo: Trivia Boy, I don't know the answer and at this point I don't care. I am ready for the Maryland on Thursday night. When Coach Rodriguez took over the reins at West Virginia, Maryland convincingly beat WVU 32-30, 48-17, 34-7, and 41-7, but then the tide turned with a 19-16 win in 2004 and a 31-19 road victory last year. Now the Fridge decides that he doesn't like this series and backs out of two games. Let's continue to beat Fridge and the Terps like a piñata and go 1-0 one more time!