Chip Shots

by Jim Buzzerd

Things I think

In its first three wins of the 2018 season the West Virginia University Football Team was prone to slow starts. At Texas Tech Saturday the opposite was true as the Mountaineers scored four first quarter touchdowns and raced to a 35-10 halftime lead. They looked like the offense many have been expecting. Then the second half began and it looked like the Mountaineers had already gone back to Morgantown. In the end the result was a 42-34  stressful victory.

The WVU offense failed to score in the second half and actually needed a defensive touchdown on an interception return by Keith Washington to keep the Red Raiders from coming all the way back to win the game. It was maddening to watch, because if you’ve been a Mountaineer fan long enough; you’ve seen this scenario play out before. Dropped passes, overthrown passes, penalties, bad line play and one crazy misplay on fourth down by the defense conspired to put the Mountaineers in position to lose the game.
Washington’s interception saved the day and at this point the Texas Tech game is just another W on the ledger. And it could be a quality win down the road. With the results of other college football games Saturday the win vaulted the Mountaineers into the Top 10 of both major polls. West Virginia moved three spots to ninth in the AP Poll and four spots to eighth in the Coaches Poll.

I’m not sure what to make of that. WVU looked like a Top Ten Team in the first half Saturday, but not in the second half. The bottom line is West Virginia won and got a bump in the polls. Maybe the players and coaches can figure out what needs to occur to get this team playing well for four quarters. They are running out of teams on the schedule that will allow WVU to play less than four quarters and still win. Having said that, if there is a team left that WVU could beat with a less than good effort in might be Kansas, this week’s opponent. Game time is noon on ESPN2.

I was looking forward to watching The Ryder Cup last weekend, but that turned sour by early Saturday, well, if you’re a fan of the USA. The Americans won the first session on Friday 3-1, then were swept 4-0 in the afternoon and it only got worse. The USA ended up losing 17.5 to 10.5 meaning they won just 7.5 points of the 24 remaining points after Friday’s first session.

The golf was uninspiring, but a couple things worth mentioning came to light. Controversy seems to follow Patrick Reed and last weekend was no different. Reed has had great Ryder Cup success enjoying an 8-1-3 record in two Ryder Cups while playing with Jordan Spieth. Captain Jim Furyk opted to pair Spieth with Justin Thomas and Reed with Tiger Woods.

Spieth and Thomas did fine, but Reed and Woods struggled. Long story short, someone on Twitter Saturday suggested Reed did not want to play with Spieth. Reed’s wife Justine jumped into the fray suggesting it was Spieth who did not want to partner with Reed. It was Mrs. Reed’s Twitter comments in April that helped fuel the debate of the rift between Reed and his parents.

Last weekend also reminded me that over Thanksgiving this November we’ll have the option to pay money to watch Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods go head to head on the golf course. This event was announced in August and had forgot about it, what a dumb idea!

The winner is supposed to get $9 million to boot. I like both players, but this event smells of greed. Ten or 12 years ago this idea might be compelling, but neither is anywhere close to where they were then. Why anyone would pay money just to help further line the pockets of two of golf’s richest men is beyond me. I’ll pass. Phil is reportedly worth north of $350 million and Tiger more than double that. If they want to pony up $9 million of their own money, I’d pay to see it.