Of course, the fact that the Mountaineers got up on the Eagles early and took their running game off-line probably had a little to do with that. As has become the pattern in recent games, the Mountaineers ran it down the throats of their opponents, but not in quite the same way as in any other previous game.
Early in the first quarter, it became clear what the BC strategy was – put a spy on Rasheed and make sure he was not going to beat them by running the football. That part worked, since Rasheed got less than 30 yards running. However, by placing that spy on Rasheed, it opened up seams that the double barrel shotgun of Avon Cobourne and Quincy Wilson fired into for over 100 yards apiece.
It was especially effective when both where in the backfield and the Mountaineers went with counter action – Rasheed would pull the spy with him to one side and then the quick hitting back going the other direction would split the defenders. It also helped that Rasheed hit several nice passes on the day, forcing BC to respect the pass and if not back out of the box, at least expand it a little.
On a beautiful November day when the sun shone through on Mountaineer field, the BC win served notice of an important fact to the college football world.
West Virginia, my friends, is for real.
In honor of the seniors and because of an incredibly played game, I have NO valleys this week, just peaks.
* Can we really say enough about this offensive line? I'm running out of accolades. Lord knows we've had some great lines at WVU in the past, and, while we don't have the star name that we may have enjoyed in other years, I think you have to make an argument that this could be the best line ever at WVU.
* The growth of Rasheed each week has just been fun to watch. He's playing like a guy in his senior year, rather than his first. Scratch that – I've seen a lot of seniors not play that heady a game.
* Avon being carried around by the fans. Given all that Avon has gone through to get where he is, you have to be happy for that moment. If it didn't bring tears to your eyes, you're a Pitt fan.
* Quincy is quietly climbing up the Big East rushing charts, and the fans of college football are finally waking up to our home state hammer.
* Let's give it up one time for the secondary! Yeah, the Eagles completed some passes – throwing 50 times will help that, but the WVU defensive backs kept BC's passing attack pretty much ineffective the whole game. St. Pierre is a good passer, but the boys in the back answered the challenge.
* And do we need to mention the D-line? This group has been dominating against the run since Maryland, and I can't wait to see how they handle the next team, which I hear has a good running game.
* Can you say kick the ball? Can you say eat the ball? I'll bet BC kicker Sandro Sciortino thought he was on a target range and had a big bull's-eye painted on his backside. Davis and company were awesome on the blocks, and the one before the half was HUGE.
* The receivers stepped up in this game, the execution and catching was by far the best all year.
* The game plan showed once again the growth of this coaching staff. They take what they can do, and beat you with it. There is a fire, a toughness, about this WVU team that, frankly, I haven't seen in a long time. That is a reflection of the men leading them.
*Pick a big hit. My favorite was still Moe Fofana's smack down on the third play of the game. We need a new term for this, "You have just been Fofanized."
I have to close with my favorite memory of one of the seniors. As many great plays as I've seen Avon, Upchurch, etc. make over the years, the one moment that stands out in my mind was the East Carolina game two years ago. I'm sure many of your remember the series. ECU quarterback David Garrard was taking the snap, and WVU had a linebacker, some sophomore kid named Davis, lined up uncovered. The ball snapped, and it was like James was shot out of a catapult. Garrard was down literally before he had set his feet. Sack. They line up again, and again this Davis kid is uncovered. Sack #2. They line up again, for 3rd and 864 or something like that, and AGAIN he's uncovered, I remember saying out loud, 'There is no way, they are setting them up for a screen or something.' Ball snapped. Sack #3.
That was probably the finest individual defensive series I have ever seen.
Thanks for the memory, Dirty. Thanks to all the seniors for all the memories.
Now let's go make a few more.