Royal Review: West Virginia - Pittsburgh

The Duke concludes his review of the regular season on an understandably down note.

When I got home last night, the family told me they were as sorry for me as if I had played in the game. For true WVU fans, it does hurt that adly. The following are my Royal 10 Views of the weekend:

10. The old adage that bad things happen in threes was true for me on Saturday. When we were leaving the house for my daughter's ice skating lessons, my oldest daughter fell down the stairsand hurt her back. Then, as I pulled the car out of the garage, I ripped the left mirror off the car. The final jewel in the crown, you can guess.

9. I've heard a lot of fan discussion about WVU's offensive line as a whole this year. The prevailing thought is that it stepped back a notch with the loss of Coach Rick Trickett and with the addition of new Coach Greg Frey. A couple of thoughts on this:

1) WVU lost two key seniors in Dan Mozes and Jeremy Sheffey

2) and all the current lineman are underclassman,

3) I recall in Coach Trickett's days there were games where the offensive line didn't look very good, and those teams didn't go 12-0 every year, either.

4) An offensive line isn't meant to hold out eight or nine in the box. For first time, this year I'm going to concede that we need a more balanced offense so that West Virginia doesn't face so many overloads up front.

Lastly, Coach Rodriguez is concerned about interceptions, but in the losses how many more turnovers could WVU have suffered? Fumbles are just as bad as interceptions.

8. I felt like I was watching the South Florida nightmare again. The offense couldn't get into a rhythm, Pat White gets hurt and WVU loses. You can almost sense in any first quarter of West Virginia's games as to what direction the day is going.

7. The loss hurts. But if WVU had lost to Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida last night in the identical circumstances the loss would sting just as badly. That being said, the Pitt employees at work will be waiting on Monday and if the Cincinnati Bengals don't beat Pittsburgh tonight, I'm in big trouble.

6. The only good thing resulting from the game last night was that we resolved a season long debate at our tailgate last night. The question is - when wearing a game jersey as a fan is it necessary to let the jersey hang outside the pants, or can you tuck it in?

Some were adamant that you must let the jersey hang outside, but some believed that if worn in a more formal setting (e.g. Club Section of NFL stadium) with khaki pants and turtle neck that the jersey can be tucked inside. The resolution came on a fine line distinction. If you tuck the jersey in, it must have some slack that hangs slightly over the belt and you must be careful not to tuck in the number. This was termed "Tuck & Pouch." In no case can the jersey be tucked tightly in with no slack (i.e. "Tuck & Tight").

The final conclusion was if wearing jeans you must let the jersey hang outside, but if wearing khakis you can let the jersey hang outside or go "Tuck & Pouch." On Friday ESPN's Michael Wilbon brought up an interesting topic on Wedgie Proof Underwear on Pardon the Interruption (PTI). We'll focus on this important topic next year.

5. It is always a treat to listen to football parents, especially after their kids graduate. Last night I had the opportunity to discuss Mountaineer football with Grant Wiley's mother, Lynne. Like Grant, her motor was going the whole time. Grant is doing well in New York and has been involved in numerous TV shoots to the point I lost track going through the list. It is hard to believe Grant played at 230 pounds, but is now about 175.

4. Some fans try to make light of this loss and say, "It's only a game and the sun will come up tomorrow." I don't buy into this. The game doesn't rank up in the top three with religion, family and work, but it plays a large role in terms of the West Virginia community and state pride. A win last night creates a brighter light over the University and the State of West Virginia. In the past couple of weeks there has been significant excitement due to the successes of the football team and the possibilities of a National Championship.

3. I was able to watch College Game Day with the 7:45 pm kickoff. Lee Corso said that before you check-out you should check-off seeing an Army-Navy game and watch the cadets' march into the stadium. This game is certainly on my checklist of things to do before I depart this earth. Speaking of mortality issues, a couple of us have wondered if we'd be in soft dirt before we get the chance to play for another National Championship. I thought this was going to be checked off my list right up to the last drive last night.

2. Congratulations to all the seniors. You made significant contributions and sacrifices in making a West Virginia University a great football school. Despite the empty feeling you may have over the next couple of days, the resume you created for the University, with two BCS bowl games including the win over Georgia and the Gator Bowl victory is really second to none.

1. To all the readers of Blue and Gold News, I'm wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you at the bowl game!


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