As I was walking out of Lane Stadium after the game, one of the friendlier Hokie fans shook my hand and congratulated me on the big win. He went on to say that we had two unbelievable running backs, a fact that I had been quite aware of for a long while. I thanked him and pointed out that the Hokies had a pretty good tandem of their own.
"Yes, but at least ours can be touched" was the Hokie fan's reply. I could not believe what I was hearing. All year all I heard about was the 'Untouchables' at Tech, and now a Hokie supporter was calling our running backs untouchable. It was great to hear that somebody was finally taking note of the amazing talent that we have here in Morgantown.
WVU's running back duo of Quincy Wilson and Avon Cobourne have been more impressive each week, and Wednesday night in Lane Stadium was no different. "Q and A" combined for 205 yards on the ground against a Virginia Tech defense that was holding opponents to only 80 rushing yards per game.
All season, critics of the Mountaineers have stated that our vaunted running attack was not going to be able to pull us through against the better teams in the league. Is the 13th ranked team in the country good enough? This duo is as good as any in the country and should be given the recognition.
The Mountaineer defense, which has been looked upon by many analysts as a major question mark, came up big against the Hokies as well. The gold and blue "D" was tested time after time and continued to respond. The goal line stand that the Mountaineer defense made on three plays from inside the one yard line was one of the best defensive performances I have ever had the pleasure of watching.
As if this stand was not enough, the defense made another red zone stand as Brian King, who the Hokies identified as a weakness in the Mountaineer secondary, picked off a pass that Mountaineer fans will never forget to preserve the upset.
King's open field tackle on Hokie quarterback Bryan Randall earlier in the quarter may have been a game saver for the Mountaineers as well. Coach Rod put the game in the hands of the defense, and the defense did not let him down.
The incredible season that the Mountaineers have experienced should result in some awards and recognition for players and coaches. If Grant Wiley and Avon Cobourne are not both first team Big East selections then it is a crime. Cobourne has also been named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker award, given annually to the nation's top running back, and should have a legitimate shot of going to Orlando as a finalist on December 12.
Rich Rodriquez should be rewarded for the spectacular turnaround as well. Coach Rod fits the definition of coach of the year and should, without a doubt, be the Big East's selection. The difference in one year has been amazing and players and coaches should be commended.
The past few weeks for Mountaineer fans have been truly amazing. This team has taken us to the top of the world. The season, however, is not over. The gold and blue have two games left and I am quite sure they intend to win them both. The Mountaineers are still alive for the Big East title and are assured no lower than a third place finish in the conference. Although the bowl game is on many fans' minds, this focused group of football players is not looking ahead.
The Backyard Brawl is next for the Mountaineers, and it will be another huge test. Pitt has one of their best teams in a long while, and their passing attack will, once again, test the Mountaineer secondary. I hope the Mountaineer faithful will follow the team to Pittsburgh and continue the support that has been so valuable all year. No matter what happens the rest of the season, every gold and blue fan should be proud to be a Mountaineer. BEAT PITT!