Going back to the week before Maryland, if fans were told this team would be sitting at 5-6, and have beaten Virginia Tech, Iowa State and Texas, with the opportunity to make a bowl game if they beat Kansas, most fans would consider that a success — right?
West Virginia has given itself the opportunity to play in a bowl game as they now sit one win away from bowl eligibility, with one game left on the schedule: a Saturday night matchup against Kansas.
Kansas (2-9, 1-7 Big 12) is capable of beating some of the more talented teams in the league. Two weeks ago, the Jayhawks stomped into Austin, and defeated the Longhorns 57-56 in overtime, and then lost by three points late to TCU last week. This group is young, hungry, and would love to spoil West Virginia’s season by beating them this weekend. West Virginia’s defense should hopefully be able to follow up last weekend’s game against Texas. The Mountaineer defense limited Texas to only 152 yards passing, while forcing an interception.
This year has proved one thing for West Virginia: you are only as good as your quarterback. Jarret Doege has had a rollercoaster of a year. He has gone from hearing the crowd chant his backup’s name, to throwing for 370 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa State as well as 290 yards and three touchdowns this past week against Texas. If anything though, this team has gone as far as Doege has gone, and looking forward to next year there are a whole host of possibilities at the quarterback position.
Doege deciding to not walk on senior day this past Saturday, sends the message he will be coming back. We also know four-star recruit Nicco Marchiol will be coming in next year, opening the door for a possible competition. However, a veteran presence like Doege will more than likely give West Virginia the best chance to win Week 1, when they travel to Pitt. Doege is not Will Grier, he probably isn’t even Skyler Howard, but he is better than anything else this team has right now or in the immediate future.
Press Virginia 2.0?
Over the weekend, West Virginia’s men’s basketball team competed in the Charleston Classic. The Mountaineers finished third, after losing to Marquette on Friday night and coming back from a 10-point second half deficit to defeat Clemson on Sunday night.
West Virginia has forced 107 turnovers in five games, good enough for seventh in the nation. Looking ahead to West Virginia’s non-conference schedule, they have a lot of sure fire wins (probably) until they face UCONN on Dec. 8. Luckily for fans, UCONN currently ranks fourth in the country in turnovers forced, averaging 22.25 turnovers per game. If things hold steady, we might have a very old fashioned Big East clash.
Keep Not Losing
The Black Diamond Trophy counts in soccer too? West Virginia men’s soccer team is advancing to the Sweet Sixteen after beating Virginia Tech 1-1 (4-3) in penalty kick’s. Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium was rocking on Sunday, and now the No. 11 Mountaineers travel to face No. 6 Tulsa in the Sweet Sixteen on Saturday. Stay alive, and keep dancing!! And for those wondering, No. 14 Marshall lost at home to Providence 2-1, and No. 12 Penn State lost to Hofstra 8-2.
As we have now reached Thankgiving, it is a gentle reminder that Christmas music will be played everywhere starting Friday. Be sure to enjoy each other’s company this year as this year has been hard for so many. And let’s be thankful we are not the dumpster fire Virginia Tech football and Pitt basketball are. Happy Thanksgiving Mountaineers!!
Photo by Dale Sparks, All Pro Photography