You are looking live at Jack Trice Stadium, the second and final natural grass surface WVU will play on during this regular season. It’s a little choppy near the numbers, but it’s not in bad shape. and it’s been cut recently, so it won’t slow-foot WVU’s fleet-footed players.
It’s not a big stadium, but it’ feels big and open. As Dave Hickman reminded me, it’s Iowa, but there are open corners and people sitting on blankets on grassy hills watching the game. The stands go out and up more than just up and something Dave and others have people have pointed out is it’s not unlike WVU’s plan when it opened the new Mountaineer Field.
Oh, and it’s windy as hell. With an flat topography and an open layout, the flags are straightened out, left to right, “IOWA STATE” end zone to “CYCLONES” end zone. Chilly, too. Safe to say the Mountaineers haven’t played or practiced in conditions like this this season — remember, they were inside during the snowy days before the TCU game.
Yet here we are, in Iowa on Thanksgiving for a rivalry game! And it’s just like we expected.
Here’s the paraphrased version of a real conversation from September:
Chuck McGill: We need to figure out what to do with that Thanksgiving weekend.
Me: Indeed. Probably better for me to cover football.
CM: Right, it’ll still be early in basketball season. Plenty more chances there later.
Me: Plus, what if they’re, like, 10-0 or 9-1. What if they’re somewhere around No. 1?
CM: Certainly. You can’t miss that game.
Remember that? Remember when we were stoking up this rivalry and talking, sincerely, about the how the Mountaineers were in a perilous position to go into Jack Trice Stadium one way and come out a very different way?
Ju-uust a bit outside.
I actually spent time looking at schedules this morning to see if or how I could get to Orlando tomorrow, but the Chuckin’ Hugginses took care of that. I guess, WVU could still go into the stadium one way and come out some other way — and one other way could be bowl eligible!
Been chasing that thing for seven weeks now. The last time the Mountaineers won a game, Mitt Romney was enjoying “momentum” in the presidential race.
And that was according to Nate Silver!
The whole thing just makes you a little queasy right?
Hey, that reminds me. Need another reason to adore Tavon Austin? His great game Saturday ruined the great game Paul Rhoads had last Saturday.
There was plenty to feel good about, but the joy was brief. Rhoads was debriefed on what the Mountaineers had done that same night against Oklahoma. A box score showed receiver Tavon Austin carried the ball 21 times for 344 yards.
“We got back here and put the tape on and saw where he was lining up and how he was gaining all the yards,” Rhoads said,” and then soon after that, we vomited.”
Creep with me as I roll through hood…