Some football and some hoops
by Jim Buzzerd
Things didn’t go well for the West Virginia University football team in Saturday’s 38-14 loss to Iowa State. Already dealing with injuries, the list of the walking wounded increased Saturday. Cornerback Keith Washington was a game time decision and was ruled out. The other corner, Hakeem Bailey was dismissed for targeting, and quarterback Austin Kendall had to leave the game when he was injured on the Mountaineers’ second offensive possession.
Jack Allison came on in relief of Kendall and played well the remainder of the first half and had WVU tied at 14 at the 30-minute mark. The defense held up reasonably well considering true freshmen Tykee Smith and Nicktroy Fortune were in the secondary. WVU was down just a touchdown heading into the final period, but the Mountaineer offense could not move the ball in the second half and the young defense wore down in the final period.
As of Monday Kendall was listed as questionable to play this Saturday against his former team; the Oklahoma Sooners. The Sooners are ranked fifth in both polls this week and boast yet another transfer quarterback who is making a bid to become the third consecutive Heisman winner at that school. This year’s candidate is Jalen Hurts, formerly from Alabama.
Vegas believes Hurts will have his way with the young WVU secondary as the Sooners opened as a 33.5 point favorite over the Mountaineers. You have to go all the way back to 2001 to find a game where WVU was a bigger underdog when Miami was a 35 point favorite. The game is at noon on FOX.
Less ominous news came from the WVU basketball team’s annual Gold-Blue Debut game held Friday night. There is a good amount of positive buzz surrounding the team this year, but let’s keep in mind that last season’s 15-21 team was expected to be a Top 15 team. Nevertheless it does appear coach Bob Huggins has put together a nice looking roster with as many as five newcomers expected to contribute. Which brings up the interesting result of Friday’s scrimmage.
The Gold team beat the Blue team 67-54 and that is interesting because the Blue team was Derek Culver, Jordan McCabe, Emmitt Matthews, Oscar Tshiebwe, Chase Harler, Brandon Knapper and Sean McNeil. There is a chance the opening night starting five could come from that group. The first four mentioned are almost certain starters.
The gold team was made up of mostly newcomers and some of them opened some eyes from what I’ve heard. If there was an opening night starter on the Gold team it was likely Jermaine Haley who was a starter in 24 games last season. Haley had 15 points for the gold team on 6 of 9 shooting. The only other veteran on the Gold team was Logan Routt who scored 12 points, also on 6 of 9 shooting. I watched Routt play in Spain and the senior has continued to get better. I expect a solid season from him.
Other Gold standouts were Arkansas transfer Gabe Osabuohien. Word is he’s not a scorer but he had eight rebounds and four assists and drew raves for his court presence. He’s still awaiting the NCAA to rule on his eligibility for this season. JUCO transfer Taz Sherman led the Gold team with 18 points on 4 of 6 three point shooting. Freshman guard Miles McBride added 11 points, but received good reviews for holding McCabe to six points.