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Life in West Virginia - Football Edition

By John Zickefoose


First of all, let me say that I’m no sports writer. In conversations on the subject of collegiate sports, I usually don’t have many revelations to offer, especially if there is more than one party in the conversation who has at least the minimal level of dedication required to leave the TV on SportsCenter for background noise from time to time. Having said that, I definitely am a fan, and I know I am in the majority of folks who find this to be one of the most exciting times of the year. Since the first week of college football has come and gone, it seems almost obligatory that I touch on this subject, so here goes; I am going to try my hand as an armchair Mountaineer football columnist.

To start, I have to say that the Mountaineers should consider themselves lucky that for the first time since 2010 they didn’t match up against Marshall for the season opener. While the Friends of Coal Bowl has in years past been close, WVU has always ended up trumping the Herd. But after seeing that mediocre performance against an FCS team like William & Mary, juxtaposed to the 52-14 shellacking that Marshall laid on Miami (OH), the result of a meet between Marshall and WVU this season might have been very different than in years past.

But it was not all doom and gloom for the Mountaineers. WVU ran the ball for over 170 yards, punter Nick O’Toole punted like he had some sort of bionic leg, averaging 50.6 yards, and the question of who will get the starting quarterback position seems to have been answered in Paul Millard, who had a good start and helped mount the comeback in the second half. And while the defense gave up a few massive pass plays that resulted in touchdowns that were sadly reminiscent of last year’s swiss cheese-inspired pass defense, the Mountaineer D managed to hold W&M to 17, which by last season’s measure is worthy of some note. All told, this team full of fresh blood managed to preserve its ten season streak of successful season openers, and that’s a good thing if you’re a WVU fan. I have heard it said that there’s no such thing as an ugly win, and so I’m going to stop worrying over it and start worrying over next week, when the Mountaineers travel to no. 16 Oklahoma for their first conference game of the season.

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