West Virginia is one of the the schools that has been mentioned as a possible destination for soon-to-be transfer quarterback Tate Martell, and it would appear there is mutual interest between the two sides.
Schuyler Callihan of DubV Nation reports that Martell was in Morgantown on Sunday taking an official visit with the Mountaineers. West Virginia could be a fit for Martell with quarterback Will Grier leaving for the NFL Draft, especially if Martell is somehow able to obtain an eligibility waiver to play immediately.
Martell entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal last week, which means teams are free to contact him about the possibility of joining their program. While it does not necessarily mean he will transfer from Ohio State, Martell’s social media activity indicated he is finished with the Buckeyes.
It looked like Martell was finally going to get a chance to start at Ohio State in 2019 with Dwayne Haskins turning pro, but Georgia quarterback Justin Fields is transferring to Columbus. Martell originally said he would not leave Ohio State for an incoming player who has not been with the program, but the former five-star recruit obviously changed his mind.
The Camping World Bowl already had a hint of controversy before the first quarter even ended on Friday.
Members of the Syracuse Orange appeared to believe that the West Virginia Mountaineers were faking injuries on defense to try to slow down their offense, and that accusation sparked a brief on-field scuffle during the first quarter of Friday’s game.
Many on Twitter, including a number of Syracuse fans, saw things the same way — as did a handful of fans from rival teams who faced the Mountaineers this season.
The Orange are known as one of the quicker offenses in the NCAA, and they like to run a lot of plays. It’s not implausible that a rival team might think to adopt a tactic like that.
Faking injuries is not an accusation thrown around lightly, but it has been thrown around at times. It will be interesting to see if Dino Babers or his team decide to make anything of this after the game.
West Virginia’s athletic director issued a statement on social media to address rumors surrounding Dana Holgorsen.
For background, two reporters said on Thursday that Holgorsen wanted the Texas Tech job, but Red Raiders athletic director Kirby Hocutt declined to interview him.
Holgorsen has been the head coach at West Virginia since 2011 and is 61-40 in his career with the Mountaineers. Prior to getting the West Virginia job, he was an assistant under Mike Leach at Texas Tech.
Here is what West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said about Holgorsen.
Hocutt likely did not interview Holgorsen because he already knew whom he was going to hire for the job. Texas Tech seems to have already found its replacement for Kliff Kingsbury.
In about a month, bowl season will start in college football with the lower-profile games between less successful but still bowl-eligible squads. Every team has two games at most before the bowl slate is set, and some teams are playing so well right now that potential bowl rivals are kind of hoping that things work out so they can avoid that foe.
Which are the teams playing so well right now that nobody is going to want to face them in December and January? Some are obvious, and some are lesser-known. For some, they have a difficult style of play to gameplan for, while others are simply going to have a huge chip on their shoulder. Here are ten teams that are very much going to cause some trouble for someone in bowl season.
The Wolverines are deserved favorites as they head to Columbus for the biggest game of their season, and as long as Jim Harbaugh beats Urban Meyer for the first time in the rivalry, they should see off Northwestern and make the Playoff. It’s far from a foregone conclusion — rivalry games are tough, especially on the road — but few teams are playing better than the Wolverines. They boast an exceptional defense and finally seem to have the offense capable of carrying them. Ask Penn State how their trip to Ann Arbor went — a 35-point loss. If they make the playoff, they’ll be a popular dark horse to win it.
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen has never been one to hold his tongue when a good opportunity to spout off presents itself, and he may or may not have found a way to take a swipe at two rival programs with one sentence on Tuesday.
Holgorsen was discussing his upcoming opponent, Kansas, with the media when a reporter asked for his thoughts on the Jayhawks having eight different players on their roster with an interception this season. The coach had a simple explanation for that.
“Those came from Rutgers,” he said, according to James Kratch of NJ.com.
A quote that began circulating around Twitter made Holgorsen sound a bit more ruthless:
Kansas had three interceptions and six total turnovers against Rutgers earlier this year, so that’s what Holgorsen was referring to. However, as Kratch notes, he made the initial comment about Rutgers and then another person in the room said “the Rutgers factor,” and Holgorson merely agreed.
Either way, we wouldn’t be surprised if Kansas uses Holgorsen’s remark as bulletin board material heading into Saturday’s game. Heck, we’ve already seen one coach fabricate bulletin board material to motivate his team this year. The Jayhawks might want to do the same.
West Virginia and Tennessee are playing some depth chart games ahead of their matchup on Saturday.
The Mountaineers released their first official depth chart this season. Though most positions appeared to have the players stacked in order of status, some positions simply had players divided by “OR.”
Take a look at their running back position, for instance:
“RB: Kennedy McKoy, OR Martell Pettaway, OR Alec Sinkfield OR Leddie Brown”
So what’s the deal with that? West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said he did it to mimic Tennessee, which had done that first.
Teams can only get away with that in the first week because opponents will then have game film they can study to learn who the starters and backups are. For now, teams are looking for any edge possible. If that means keeping some mystery to their depth chart, they’ll take advantage of it.
College football season is just around the corner, and it will only be a matter of time before the legitimate preseason polls are out. Too much weight can be put into these, but they’re the best we have before games are played, so they’re worth paying attention to.
That said, it’s a good bet these polls will overrate some teams. There will even be other teams who aren’t ranked, but are experiencing a lot of hype for various reasons that they might not live up to, at least in 2018. Here are ten such teams that might disappoint once the 2018 college football season kicks off.
To be clear, the Cornhuskers have a bright future, and it’s not as if anyone is really expecting them to challenge for the Big Ten title this year. Still, the expectations for new coach Scott Frost might be a little high in his first year. The Huskers are coming from a four-win season and face a very difficult schedule. There are also major questions about a defense that allowed 36 points per game in 2017. The trajectory of the Nebraska program was good, and scrapping for bowl eligibility is actually a step forward, but don’t be shocked if that’s all they end up doing.
Oklahoma and West Virginia met Saturday night in an important Big 12 game, one that was not short on intensity.
Prior to the game, the visiting Sooners made their way to midfield and began jumping around on the Mountaineers logo. That, not surprisingly, did not sit well with members of the West Virginia team. The result was the two teams meeting at midfield. Here are a few videos of the scuffle.
Oklahoma came into the game atop the Big 12 standings with a perfect 7-0 record in conference play. West Virginia wasn’t far behind. The Mountaineers were in third place with a 5-1 conference record.
West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett, who was recently named the starter by Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen, prefers to watch football surrounded only by men. How do we know this? Well, a tweet the senior sent last week pretty much says it all.
Trickett learned the hard way that everything a player does on social media is magnified when he sent a sexist tweet about watching football with girls. He later deactivated his Twitter account, but not before Deadspin captured a screenshot.
Naturally, Trickett issued an apology on Tuesday night after his tweet went viral.
“I sent out a tweet on July 17 which was misunderstood,” he said, via Allan Taylor of MetroNews. “I apologize for any confusion that the tweet has caused. I never intended for it to be derogatory or hurtful, but rather a tongue-in-cheek comment, while watching a CFL football game with a female family member. Again, I am sorry that my tweet was misunderstood, and I will use a better choice of words in the future.”
Trickett pretty much lost the luxury of being able to say the tweet wasn’t derogatory when he used #TheseHoesAintLoyal. It was derogatory, and it was the exact reason coaches wish all of their players would just give up Twitter.
New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan came to the defense of rookie quarterback Geno Smith on Monday, and he took a shot at West Virginia in the process. A number of players who were teammates with Smith at West Virginia last season were quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as saying the team lacked leadership. Smith was not mentioned by name, but he was the Mountaineers’ quarterback.
“Last year we didn’t have, you know, a lot of leadership,” junior running back Dustin Garrison said.
Several other players said they felt the Mountaineers were not a team last season, but more about individuals. When asked if the report makes him question Smith’s leadership ability, Ryan immediately defended the rookie.
“No, but it tells me I’m glad my kid never went there. Tell you that much,” Rex said, via Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News. “I don’t get that. Geno was a tremendous player for West Virginia. Sometimes, I don’t know, you have to ask them. I certainly don’t get that. When somebody leaves your deal, I guess that’s up to them, you’d have to ask them.”
West Virginia looked like one of the best teams in the country last year after the first six weeks of the season, but they quickly fell apart and capped things off with an embarrassing loss to Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Smith fell off a bit, but for the most part defense was the issue. There was very little Geno could have done about a 55-34 loss to Oklahoma State or a 50-49 loss to Oklahoma.
We don’t know if Smith lacked leadership skills, but we do know it’s easy for a team to blame a player who has moved on even if their struggles weren’t his fault. My guess is that’s what is going on at West Virginia.