The View From 217

Saturday turned out to be one of the most beautiful days you could ever ask for to have your home opener. The temperature was nice, the breeze kept it cool, and there wasn't a drop of rain in sight.

There was a little football played on the new turf at Mountaineer Field on Saturday. Sure, UTC was way overmatched. Rich called off the dogs early, and the backups got some valuable game experience. Still, I think we learned several lessons on Saturday, not all from the field.

1. Rasheed Marshall is going to be pretty good. I think a lot of us already thought that, but he looked like he was in command on Saturday. If he had struggled, we would have been looking at a long road trip coming up. Still, Wisconsin is no easy place, but a decisive QB takes one of your worries away. And his speed will cause more problems for UW than ants at a picnic.

2. Grant Wiley is already really good. As if anyone didn't already know it, we have a somewhat decent little ballplayer there. If he keeps making catches like he did on Saturday, we may want to get him in at tight end a little. Except I think we need him knocking heads more than we need him on offense.

3. Tight Ends are alive and well. Hey, whaddaya know? Throws to the tight end. Two tight end sets. I formation. Holy cow, they do run conventional sets, even from the no huddle. Maybe these coaches have a clue. I certainly think so.

4. Cassell Smith made a depth chart move. Yo. If that is our third team back, we are pretty well stocked behind Avon.

5. No Overreactions. The players knew this was all about a large win. They knew anything less was not a good thing. That is why it was all business like after the game. No proclamations of conference titles or bowl games. Just the good feeling of a step in the right direction. Confidence is the key. And we certainly built a little in what we do this week.

6. Let's hear it for WVU Students! Wow, there still are some fans amongst the future alumni. For the record, I have been critical of student attendance. But I am also one who thinks that noon games should be banned in Morgantown. Give us a 4:00 game, and the people from Charleston have plenty of time to drive up and back, and the students get to sleep in past eight in the morning. I was a student once. And I hated getting up that early EVER, much less on Saturday. Excellent turnout by the students this week.

Great Idea of the Week: Showing a football game on the video board before the game. Brilliant. Fans in the Blue Lot could watch football all day long.

Horrible Idea of the Year: Showing Penn State during the Idea of the Week. I would rather watch reruns of the national nine ball championship from twenty years ago, than to watch Penn State do anything. The only thing worse would have been to show Pitt.

Glitch: After spending all day showing Penn State, the video board went on the fritz. What did you expect to happen when you have crap on it for three and a half hours? We were lucky the thing worked at all after making it show Penn State all day.

A couple of tips from the Blue Lot this week.

A. Jackrabbit starters will suffer on Saturday. Showing up on Friday night, getting too drunk to stand, and trying to make it on four hours sleep will ruin your Saturday tailgate. You can take that one to the bank. Your head weighs 100 lbs., your stomach is churning, you are tired, it is hot outside, and your cooler is depleted. Good luck with that one.

B. If you own an RV, and you park in the blue lot, chances are you saw some things that just made you scratch your head after the game. A couple of comments. Tackling the porta-johns is not an athletic event. Tipping one over with your buddy in it is not only not funny, but grounds for the beating of your life. I saw both on Saturday night. If you are those people, and you are reading this, know that you are an embarrassment to all of us.

C. I wish I had two days to sit and listen to Lynne Wiley (Grant's mom) talk. One of the truly nice people in the Mountaineer family. If I could bottle that up, and sell shots of it to everyone, there would be smiles and laughs to go around for everyone. The best linebacker to wear the old gold and blue for ten years was raised by great parents.

D. If you take a satellite to the parking lot remember a couple of things. Test it before you go. Nothing screws up your day like not knowing what you are doing. Park yourself in a spot that won't be ruined by the sun. You will have glare all day. But if you are facing west, you are going to get the sun right on your TV.

That is about it for this week. Except for one last item. It is always great to hang 50 on someone. And it didn't bother me one bit that my prediction from over a week ago was 56-10. Here's to hoping my ridiculous prediction for this week's game is as close.

Bill's Season Preview and Predictions


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