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WVU Win Would Heal Some Pain

January 2, 2008
There has never been a time in West Virginia football history when the fans of the gold and blue needed a win more than they do tonight against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Sure there have been tough losses and heartbreaks in the past, but never has Mountaineer football fans been put through so much in such little time.

The two-headed monster, known as the Pitt loss and Rodriguez’s departure, won’t soon stray from the minds of the WVU faithful, but win over the Sooners would go a long way in helping ease the pain suffered the last month.

For that reason, it’s a guarantee that most of the state will be glued to the television with more emotional ties to a game than ever before. The need to feel something good — football-wise — is firing up the maniacs like a couch in Sunnyside.

And with many of the experts not giving WVU the slightest chance for an upset win, the flames are rising like Rodriguez’s brand new Detroit bank account.

It’s also been well publicized how staggered the players were from the combination landed by the beast. But if there was ever such a thing as a crushing blow being a good one, it may have been the second punch which their former coach landed square on the chin.

Because before that jab, the Mountaineers were all but fried in the desert against the Sooners. WVU needed a spark and it came courtesy of Michigan. The devastation of playing in a second-tier bowl game, which this was to the players considering a win over Pitt meant the BCS title game, was something they would have never recovered from.

With a win, this group of WVU gridders can become one of the most loved and heroic teams in Mountaineer football history. And after all that they’ve been through, it would be disappointing to think they wouldn’t show up and give Oklahoma their best.

OWEN’S FINALE: It’ll be a sad note to see Owen Schmidt in a West Virginia uniform ever again after tonight’s contest.

The senior fullback has exemplified the blue collar work ethic which makes West Virginia what it is. The Mohawk wearing, run-you-over, multi-purpose player will definitely go down as one of the most popular gridders of all-time for the Mountaineers.

Schmidt’s play and inspiration to all WVU fans will be deeply missed. There will probably never be another like Owen come through Morgantown, but that’s what makes him so special.

Not to worry, though, because it’s a guarantee he’ll be playing on Sunday’s in the future.

COACHING UPDATE: There seems to be no clear cut candidate to fill the shoes of Rodriguez as WVU’s new football coach. It looked as if earlier this week that Butch Jones was going to be the man to take over the reins in Morgantown after being granted a second interview last week. But nothing has developed since.

The recent rumor floating around is that the Mountaineers will name a coach at the end of this week and that the top candidate is now Florida assistant coach Doc Holliday, who seems to be a fan-favorite for the job. But like coaching rumors in the past, take them for what they are, just rumors. There’s no way to really speculate what is going to happen, whether it be Jones, Holliday, Terry Bowden, Rick Trickett or even Bill Stewart.

It could even end up being a name that’s not even been mentioned for the job, you just never know. Stay tuned.



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