Jimbo: And I'm Jimbo.
Duke: Old grads and young lads, the final score in a workmanlike performance was West Virginia 37, Connecticut 11. It was another great road trip as the foliage (even though about tens days past peak) was beautiful. And, as always, we got the opportunity to meet up with our old road-warrior Mountaineer friends and meet some new ones. This time I had the opportunity to meet Danny Buggs – a fantastic person that really adds a lot of spirit to this team.
But finally, "The Game" is here. Rarely, very rarely indeed, does the "Dream Game" circled in red in the preseason and played this deep into the season come to pass. Normally someone trips up, and the dream game becomes just another game in a long schedule. Well, not this time – expectations and reality meet as the #4 ranked and undefeated West Virginia University Mountaineers meet the #6 and undefeated University of Louisville Cardinals. It almost has an Ali–Frazier aura to it.
Jimbo: Duke, I'm so ready for this! We've had this game circled since the schedules were announced. I ran into a quote that really hit me for this game. Bear Bryant said, "There's no substitute for guts." This game will be all about guts and who wants it more. The Cardinal fans will most certainly be stoked, but for the good teams that doesn't have much of an effect. Coach Rodriguez and his staff have marched into some extremely hostile venues and come away with hard-fought wins. Rich showed his stuff early in his career when WVU went into Blacksburg for an evening game against nationally-ranked Virginia Tech and walked away with an impressive win.
Duke: Jimbo this game will certainly take "guts." Louisville has a chip on its shoulder the size of Mount Rushmore after they collapsed in the fourth quarter in last year's game. While you are whipping out quotes, my favorite belongs to legendary Notre Dame Head Coach Knute Rockne in his famous locker room pep talk:
"We're going inside of 'em, we're going outside of 'em -- inside of 'em! outside of 'em! -- and when we get them on the run once, we're going to keep 'em on the run. And we're not going to pass unless their secondary comes up too close. But don't forget, men -- we're gonna get 'em on the run, we're gonna go, go, go, go! -- and we aren't going to stop until we go over that goal line! And don't forget, men -- today is the day we're gonna win. They can't lick us -- and that's how it goes ... The first platoon men -- go in there and fight, fight, fight, fight, fight! What do you say, men?"
I think that Coach Rockne was futuristic as he must have been thinking about Pat White and Steve Slaton, as Rich will have them going inside and outside and we are not going pass unless their secondary comes up too close and we are going to go, go, go and fight, fight, fight!
Jimbo: To our readers, we apologize for this rather unorthodox article – we are simply ready for this game. The next ten days in the office will be difficult. Employees will come into my office looking for direction on business questions and my response might be, "Antonio get back Brohm is going deep!" or "easy Charles Pugh, easy!" Also we try, we really do, to provide a fan's insight of the game – both sides - but this game is, in fact, our season. I am really uncomfortable about putting this much weight into one game, but the cold hard fact is that it is. The national media constantly discusses the possibility of a one-loss team beating us to the BCS game so if we lose one game our chances for a BCS bow, for the most part, disappear. Coach Rodriguez' preaches his goal is to win the Big East Championship and everything will take care of itself, but we all know that our goal is one step higher this year – the National Championship. With that in mind, I am dropping one more quote on you by none other than Coach Vince Lombardi. It is part of his famous No. 1 Speech.
"There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that's first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don't ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.
"Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he's got to play from the ground up — from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.
"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."
And combining the speeches from Coach Rockne and Lombardi - Louisville can't lick us -- and that's how it goes and I believe that our finest hour will be as we lay exhausted on the field of battle – victorious. I hope to see you all in Louisville and let's root our team on to victory! So as always Duke let's load the wagons and head to Louisville and let's go, go, go and fight, fight, fight and go 1-0 one more time!