What a weekend! You didn't have to look very hard to find some head scratching events in the sports world last weekend. I'll point first to the Bill Belichick call Sunday night with his Patriots up by six points with just over two minutes to go in Indianapolis. His team needed two yards for a first down. The problem was he was on his own 28 yard line and it was fourth down.
Those who had high hopes for the 2009 West Virginia University Football Team might be reevaluating their assessment of the Mountaineers this week. Sure, there is still much for coach Bill Stewart's team to play for beginning this Friday night against fifth ranked Cincinnati, then in two weeks against Pitt. Thing is the football team has not looked sharp on defense and quarterback Jarrett Brown has been struggling in the passing game. Injuries are mounting as well.
The fact that West Virginia University's Football Team is 6-2 right now may be a bit of smoke and mirrors. A reoccurring theme has been emerging all season and that is West Virginia's defense is making opposing quarterbacks look like All Americans. UCONN put up over 350 yards a week ago. Last Friday South Florida freshman B.J. Daniels threw for three touchdowns in a 31-19 win over the Mountaineers. Going into the season it was widely thought that this West Virginia defense would be a strength. Things have worked out differently.
The stabbing in the early morning hours of October 18 which left a Connecticut football player dead allowed West Virginia University football fans the opportunity to put some much needed good will in the bank. A week after Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard lost his life to a single stab wound to the abdomen during an on campus altercation, his Husky teammates were in Morgantown to play the Mountaineers.
West Virginia University's football team won their Big East opener 34-13 last Saturday in the Syracuse Carrier Dome. The turnover prone Mountaineers cleaned up their act by losing the ball just once on the afternoon. Ball security issues still remain as WVU fumbled three times, but lost just one of them. Able to keep the ball in their possession, West Virginia took full advantage and scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and cruised to a 27-0 halftime lead.
There have been a few times when this space was used to rant on the egomaniacle NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, otherwise known as T.O. That abbreviation has found another way to cause an annoyance to me. That T.O. is the abbreviation for turnover, in particular the ones the West Virginia University football team has been committing.
I'm sure many of you know more about this than I do, but those who aren't up to speed, here is some interesting news. There is a former Berkeley Springs High School player on the West Virginia University football team. For the uninitiated, his name is Bryan Logsdon and his is one of the more unique stories in college sports.
Two games into his senior season some West Virginia University football fans were calling Jarrett Brown a first round draft pick next year. That was because he had just played two impressive games against Liberty and East Carolina in his first season as a starter. Even the most ardent Brown fan will have to rethink that stand after Saturday's performance.
West Virginia University's football team spotted East Carolina 10 points last Saturday, gave them 10 more due to some bonehead plays by the punt return team, and won going away 35-20. The loss avenges a 24-3 loss to the Pirates last year in Greenville when the Mountaineers entered the game ranked eighth in the country. It was the uninspired play in that loss which signaled that the coaching transition was going to require some time to take hold. A subsequent loss to Colorado confirmed that.
Not sure what West Virginia University's football players were expecting from Liberty last Saturday, but there were plenty of fans who left the stadium scratching their collective heads following the Mountaineers' 33-20 season opening win. That is because Liberty put up a good fight with some players who are clearly pretty good.