by Jim Buzzerd
COVID wins again
The West Virginia University Football Team was forced to cancel the preciously postponed game with Oklahoma last Saturday. The November 28 game was postponed because of COVID issues within the Oklahoma program. Last Thursday it was announced that the game with Oklahoma would be cancelled. The statement read:
Due to a surge of positive Covid-19 cases and contact tracing within the football program, West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and WVU’s medical officials have paused all football activities, including workouts and games, for the next seven days. In an effort to reduce and eliminate the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the pause of all football activities will cancel West Virginia’s football game this Saturday against Oklahoma, and the contest will not be rescheduled.
“Our intent is to get this spread under control as soon as possible for the health and safety of all involved,” Lyons said. “We are beyond disappointed not to play our final home game of the season and honor our seniors, but we need to act now and reevaluate our situation after December 17.”
Head coach Neal Brown has indicated the team wants to play in a bowl game. Some teams are opting out of bowl games this season and some bowls are deciding not to have their game. With those two factors in play and the current quarantine for the Mountaineers a bowl game seems to be a 50-50 proposition at best. If there is a bowl game WVU will be without its leading tackler Tony Fields who has decided to leave the team to prepare himself for the NFL.
COVID in the Robert Morris basketball program cost WVU its game with the Colonials last Wednesday, but West Virginia was able to get North Texas to come to Morgantown for a Friday afternoon game. The lackadaisical Mountaineers were 6-33 from the field in the first half and trailed 29-21 at the half. West Virginia outscored the Mean Green 41-21 in the second half to win 62-50 setting up the more anticipated Sunday game with the 19th ranked Richmond Spiders.
If you didn’t get to see the game, you missed one of the best halves of basketball played by the Mountaineers in some time. Against the Spiders in the first half WVU made 23-35 field goals, or 66%, including 6-9 from long distance. Yep, less than 48 hours earlier the same team was 6-33 in a half! Anyway, West Virginia led the talented Spiders 52-30 at the half. WVU extended the lead to 30 points in the first three minutes of the second half and coasted to an 87-71 win.
That win lifted the Mountaineers to eighth in the AP Top 25 and seventh in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. Next up is an early start to Big 12 play as the Mountaineers host Iowa State this Friday in a late 9 p.m. start on ESPNU. The Mountaineers will get Kansas before Christmas meeting the Jayhawks next Tuesday in another 9 p.m. game on ESPN2.