You are looking live at one of the wonders of the world. Behold Godzillatron, a video board so big it has a Wikipedia page.
You know that story from the Orange Bowl about how a wee Geno used to sit outside his home in Miramar and watch the bowl games on the Jumbotron? His mom can see today’s game from the very same spot. True story.
I’m not going to get too “Ohh! Lookit!” about this place and show you things that are just things, but the things here are indeed top shelf. The facilities are really quite impressive. I’d go watch a track meet just because of the track stadium. Also, they have a track stadium. You wonder how a kid who grows up a fan and gets a tour as a recruit ever says no.
And that video board is amazing.
OK, got that out of my system. Pregame notes: No Shawne Alston, of course, and no Travis Bell again. Cornerback Avery Williams and safety Matt Moro are both out for the fifth time in five games this season and I want to point out that they were both supposed to give WVU some depth in 2012. Moro was very good n the spring and there was cautious thought Williams was good enough to push for a starting spot.
The available Mountaineers are wearing white on white and it looks like Texas will wear its orange on white. WVU is 16-7 in its look since 2001 — and that’s not bad since that’s mostly road games. Exception: The Whiteout in 2008 that was not — repeat: NOT! — about Pat White.
More significantly is this date in history. The Mountaineers are 10-5 all-time on October 6 including a slobberknocker 56 years ago today. It was a spirited competition among the gridders that made onlookers say “Huzzah,” I tell you. Final score: WVU 7, Texas 6. And it was a night game, too.
I’m thinking we’re going to see a little more offense tonight, yes?
Onto the live action. Creep with me as I roll through the hood …
Just looking at this and I have no idea where the posts went in the final five minutes of the game, and then the postgame. I was blogging from the field where Dana was partying wth his family … and nothing?
We’re just laughing in the press box about that throw and catch.
And … AND … Gus Johnson is calling this game in the booth directly to my right. He’s calling it for me.
And yet another momentous moment. This is fantastic.
Another enormous momentum swing there. WVU was looking to take the game, but the penalty stung and the turnovers is just enormous. WVU’s defense, which just did a few things, has to stand up again.
Curious why Texas didn’t punt, though. It’s loud here and probably effective. Last time WVU was pinned, WVU imploded. WVU’s sideline reaction was priceless, keyed by Dana and DeForest.
Pat Miller stands up … always liked him.
WVU defends the pass. I’m surprised Texas is doing this…
Francis with perhaps the biggest play of the game there. WVU was having issues on second down and the sack makes it third-and-13 with 8:34 to go…
Stedman’s touchdown sets the school’s single-season record. Fun game here and a terrific atmosphere. Be here in 2014.
How does the helmet come off after the play ends without there being a penalty?
Well, 5-for-5 on fourth down and that was blue ribbon stuff there on the throw and the catch and the hanging on by Tavon.
Nice wiggle by Buie right there … took a 10-yard head start and ran into the safety.
The bobble on the kick return was bad, but he did turn in a good play despite the way it started. And there may be a question about WVU went away from running Buie on the perimeter?
I’m pretty sure mistakes make Stedman Baileys. It’s just not the other way around. He saved WVU there.
It is instead a touchdown — and Texas is doing a number on WVU’s run defense.
Slight internet glitch, but we’re good. WVU could really use a stop on this third down.
WVU does not need this: Isaih Bruce down on the field. Not so bold to say he’s their best overall defender.
OK, I’ll say it: Something weird would have to happen for Bailey to not win the Biletnikoff. That was a big-time play — and the throw was just about the only play it could be. After ALLLLL of that, WVU is in the lead.
Little wrinkle there. Cody Clay was the deep back and Garrison takes basically a fullback belly play for seven yards.
Screen pass early candidate for Benny Hill Highlight of the Week. You thoughts?
There’s a 28-yard throw by Geno for an eight-yard gain. It works.
Thirty-seven minutes into the game, we see the hot potato.
Half the quarter for three points there? I think that’s probably a Texas win.
Texas seems to have WVU figured out, yes? Lots of quality play calls.
That was a wheel route and WVU derailed it. Good to know that was part of the halftime talk.
Weak effort by Jenkins there. Texas picking on the perimeter of WVU’s defense now. Basically challenging those players to take on blocks or make tackles.
Credit Bitancurt. Shaky at the start, but icy to end it — and really, that’s him. He’s cool.
Curious moment there. Third-and-5 and it’s a dive to Buie, who dances around and it tackled with three seconds to go. That was dangerous … and Josh Jenkins was flagged for holding. WVU needs halftime badly here.
That’s a bad sign. Buie is open and Geno makes a great throw and Buie should walk in, but Buie trips.
Gut check time here for WVU. Texas gets the ball to start the second half.
A first for me: The press box is literally rocking up here.
And you just saw the Texas offense to something. You would have never guessed this scenario after Joseph forced that turnover.
That’s three plays up the rail. Texas found something and the corner/safety combos haven’t communicated coverage right yet
Pat Miller got lost there. It was third and 11.
You still need to see the Texas offense do something, right? Basically half of their 201 yards have come on two plays.
Bad throw by Geno. Woods walks into the end zone if the throw leads like it should.
Buie is getting a lot of extra yards, but Texas seems extra-invested in making him fumble.
First WVU turnover with first-team offense in 425 snaps, first turnover overall in 266 snaps.
This Jump Around is insane. Texas sideline went berserk.
Scratch that — you would probably take that over a defensive touchdown.
Uncle Mo wearing burnt orange right now. You don’t want Bitancurt punting from the end zone.
Starting to see some adjustments here now. Texas overloaded the line last possession and squibbed it to Tavon on this kick. I want a flea flicker NOW.
You could sense it. These games are about extra possessions and WVU wasted one. Texas was grateful and made it work.
…aaaaand Gray gets 49 yards and makes Joseph look like a rookie in the secondary.
And circle this sequence here. That could be a huge swing for the Longhorns. They were hanging on after the turnover, but they make a play on defense and special teams and get the ball back just about where they got it.
You never forget your first! Bitancurt’s debut effort comes with a high snap and is partly blocked. That was oddly exciting. I was prepared for anything.
And Ty Bitancurt is your punter. He’s never punted in college.
Again, Dana doesn’t run or much like trick plays. Looks like that was the play call on first down, too.
And this is a fumble, no question
Hey, largest crowd ever at Texas.
Lord, Karl Joseph annihilated that guy. Might have to move him up in the order.
No idea what Garrett Hop was doing on that play be he adrenaline’d himself out of the play when he could have made it.
And this crowd is very quiet. WVU up 21-7 and the only bad moment for the offense is a missed field goal.
That one … he should have run left.
WVU was 0-for-4 on fourth down this season, is 3-for-3 today. They look supremely confident, no matter the down or distance, and the line is handling itself really well.
Fourth-and-9. Of course they’re going for it …
Braun got away with a false start there, but nice blocking by Clarke to spring it and Bailey to open the left side.
Wrinkle! Screen play goes for a 16 yards.
Two good series in a row for WVU … and that initial third down play was just good design. Other than that, that side has been fine.
And on that third-and-7 before the penalty, both corners were behind the sticks.
Back judge threw the flag before the timeout. He was watching and so was I. But Texas has already called two timeouts.
More Bruce. That kid on the move is fun to watch.
Upside of not punting? Corey Smith’s fresh leg on kickoffs.
Dave Hickman wanted a punt badly there. I disagreed. And Texas can’t make the tackle that Baylor couldn’t make.
Well, will Dana go for it again? Has to, right? Funny how fourth-down decisions have been something we’ve talked about all season, right?
Five-wide and Texas makes the tackle Baylor couldn’t make.
Now really, who predicted this? Fourth-and-2 and WVU never hesitates, puts Buie behind Clay in the I and runs off tackle to the left for three yards.
Also, Ty Bitancurt has now had seven field goals blocked in his career. That seems like a lot.
WVU holds and did a pretty good job on fourth down. I imagine both teams watched Florence’s scramble at the end of the first half last week. But, man, if Bergeron catches that, he scores — and yes, I realize it wasn’t intended for him.
Batting sixth, Karl Joseph.
WVU does everything right there and pushes the play out wide and Garvin can’t clean it up.
Third-and-6 and Jenkins is eight yards off the ball and backpeddaling at the snap. I don’t get it.
Funny, but a glaring difference between the two teams is special teams. WVU had the better start, but ultimately, you are who you are. Texas has blocked 80 kicks nos since 1998 and 58 since 2002. Only Fresno State (!) has more (65).
“In hindsight, I probably should have gone for it.”
There’s that flip back again and there’s another cut back by Tavon. That’s not an accident. Great block by Stedman, too.
I suppose the bad news for you is that Texas scored and Texas converted a third down, and the Longhorns are good at that and the WVU defense is not good at that. But the bright side, I suppose, is Texas needed a little slight of hand on that drive. May have just caught WVU on that one.
Looks like Petteway blew that one up. First-and-goal at the 8 and the Texas Wildcat gets three yards. Texas has field goal issues this season.
Snow is in and saved a touchdown there.
That’s a Boise State play there. Loaded up the left side and sneaked the running back out the right side and WVU let it go. Big play on third and eight.
And that was equally odd. They ran two extra tackles out, started in an old T formation and motioned the extra tackles right … and gained a yard.
Odd maneuver by the defense. The LBs creep and just before the snap the corners drop back.
Pat Miller and Doug Rigg both start.
That was easier than probably anyone expected. WVU converts a third-and-3 in the noise when Geno sticks one in Tavon’s stomach for nine yards. Buie breaks a tackle and gains 30. Geno splits two defenders for a touchdown.
And a lot of the country goes, “Oh. Oh, my.”
So Tavon submits a 44-yard return to start the game and itlooks liek the return was supposed to go right and Tavon simply went left and beat one man. First-and-10 at the 46.
And Geno changes to a run to start and it gains three.
Texas wins the toss and defers. WVU gets the ball to start.
Nice touch by the Texas band to play WVU’s alma mater. Pity the PA called it the University of West Virginia’s alma mater. We’re still in the getting-to-know-you phase, right?
I can’t get enough of this Arizona v. Stanford game. Rich broke Stanford and made the Cardinal play the way the Cardinal doesn’t want to play … and Stanford forced overtime. The Wildcats had 92 snaps with nine or so minutes to go. they went into overtime taking a knee on snap 96.
And Cody Clay has been the first-team fullback. It also looks like Jewone Snow is a first-team linebacker in place of Doug Rigg, which would be a development. Snow has barely played this season.
Also not certain this means anything, but WVU’s going good-on-good on the field and Brodrick Jenkins is covering Stedman Bailey and Pat Miller is covering J.D. Woods. When they go with the next group, Nana Kyeremeh is covering Ivan McCartney and Rick Rumph is covering Ryan Nehlen.
So Jenkins and Miller are most likely starting.
Not sure if this is worth anything, but I’ll pass it along. Travares Copeland is from this neat little town in Northern Virgina and I’ve heard he’s been very good in practice lately and was hot this week. He made the trip and he’s been catching passes in warmups, so who knows, maybe he’s put into the game. Maybe he catches Texas off guard because Copeland hasn’t played this season, so he’s not on film. Copeland was also a quarterback in high school.
Dana doesn’t have much trickery in his playbook and I can’t remember even a story about a trick play from his past. But …
We said earlier in the week WVU was 1-18 all-time before crowds of 75,000 or larger. The win was at Oklahoma in 1982. That was also WVU’s last road win against a top-10 team. The Mountaineers have lost 12 straight on the road against top 10 teams.
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