Update: Game story with quotes. Enjoy the waiting game!
11 am: Fun on press row today as people scheme travel plans for the bowl and try, for example, to squeeze in a trip to Las Vegas if WVU were to be in the Fiesta Bowl. … And that’s what today’s game has become.
11:06 am: You remember back when Rutgers was beginning to turn the corner? Tony Soprano was a very visible supporter, what with his B.A. in communications from Piscataway in 1983.
11:45 am: Saw Mohamed Sanu in uniform. He was deemed to be questionable on the injury report. Hasn’t been himself lately, which is a shame because he’s a talent. Preparing for him, and in particular the way Rutgers uses him, is a little like preparing for a triple option offense or a 3-3-5 defense. You don’t see it often at all.
11:59 am: The senior introductions are happening right now and it occurs to be WVU is 2-0 on Senior Day this season.
12:02 pm: J.T. Thomas III rocking the No. 41, as worn by his father. Ricky Kovatch approves.
12:11 pm: Fumble by Ryan Clarke and a pretty good illustration of what Eu meant about trying to make a play.
12:15 pm: Reps from the Orange and Fiesta bowls are in attendance as is a scout for the Minnesota Vikings and Steve Hale, the president of the Senior Bowl and father of special teams wiz Trippe Hale.
12:20 pm: Running back of the future Tavon Austin with another touch-and-touchdown. He’s scored the last three times he’s had the ball. Give J.D. Woods a major assist with his block on the perimeter on that one.
12:23 pm: Tavon’s season: 62 offensive touches, 764 yards, eight touchdowns.
12:32: Eu got pretty mad at himself for not keeping the ball on a read play with Noel. Had he kept and gone outside, Brad Starks was blocking and the sideline was open for a long, long run. Thus far, the downfield blocking is fantastic.
12:34 pm: Great route by Jock, great throw by Eu and another lost fumble by trying to make more out of a play.
12:36 pm: Josh Groban thinks holding onto the ball is so five years ago.
12:44 pm: Bill Stewart gets back on the horse. Ryan Clarke scores again. I thought he was stopped on the short runway goal line leap — again — but he improvised and maintained balance.
12:49 pm: Opponents are now 2-for-2 on fake punts this season. Nice play from my vantage point as the receiver snaked through the crowd at the line of scrimmage. That play accounts for four of the 14 yards passing for Rutgers.
12:54 pm: Eu is 11-for-12. Press box person says “Eleven straight completions for that youngster.”
12:56 pm: Jinx!
12:57 pm: Stewart was yelling at the official about the fumble and Rutgers was hurrying to get off the next play. Chris Beatty then stepped in and called a timeout. I have no clue why, if Stewart was so mad, he didn’t just call it himself. Also, that was an awful play for the offensive line.
1 pm: Fumble is overturned … but guys are ripping at the ball whenever WVU is in possession of it.
1:03 pm: Stewart was scared to death of Rutgers and its punt block to the point he was inviting us into his office to watch clips of the six blocks. Red almost got to that one.
1:04 pm: Sidetracked Colin Dunlap is very concerned about a fire in the parking lot. There is a lot of smoke coming from something, though.
1:51 pm: WVU begins the second half without its two most impratnat defensive players: Chris Neild’s snaps are being limited and Brandon Hogan is nowhere to be found.
1:54 pm: Hogan is out for the remainder of the regular season with a knee injury.
2:05: Clarke scores again for the 20th point of the game and Jock Sanders slowly pumps his fist awaiting the PAT for the magical 21st point. The 91-yard drive was WVU’s longest since the Marsall comeback.
2:10 pm: J.D. Woods is having a really interesting day. Nice blocks, a long reception, some strange plays standing on the sideline and a bizarre punt return.
2:16 pm: That’s embarrassing. Stewart didn’t know Smith had to sit out one snap. Wasted a timeout.
2:24 pm: Third fumble inside the 13.
2:33 pm: Ivan McCartney’s first college catch is quickly forgotten by The Poet’s 46-yard touchdown run. Austin has four two-touchdown games this season. He’s the leading rusher and receiver in this game. For the season he has 68 touches and nine touchdowns.
2:34 pm: Attendance is 48,386, lowest since a 13-7 loss to USF in 2008.
2:39 pm: Irvin’s second sack of the day is WVU’s seventh in the game.
2:45 pm: Nothing against the kid, and he’s had a fine season, but that penalty is probably the highlight of Gregg Pugnetti’s career.
3:06 pm: Mark Harrison continues the string of strong performances by my opponent player features. The quarter-filled stadium is chanting “USF.” I’m done.