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Can WVU pull another BSC upset?

December 21, 2011
MICKEY FURFARI FAN-FARE , The Inter-Mountain

MORGANTOWN - To Najee Goode, it is "beautiful luck" that West Virginia is playing Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 in Miami, Fla.

"I jumped into the air when they announced on TV that we were going to play on the beach," said the 6-foot-1, 240-pound linebacker from Cleveland, Ohio.

"I enjoyed playing in a BCS bowl (Fiesta) when I first came in. Now it's definitely a chance to do it again at the beach."

West Virginia upset heavily favored Oklahoma on Jan. 2, 2008 in the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.

Goode earned a spot on the all-BIG EAST Conference first team for his play this season.

He was credited with 84 tackled, 12.5 tackles for lost yardage, and four sacks from his middle linebacker position.

"Clemson was explosive in beating Virginia Tech in the playoff for the ACC Championship," Goode said. "The Tigers are 10-3 and are ranked 16th nationally."

The Mountaineers, 9-3 and ranked 23rd, finished in a three-way tie for the BIG EAST Conference crown with Cincinnati and Louisville.

But West Virginia University won the BCS bid on the conference's tie-breaking rules.

"It was a tough situation for us after we lost to Louisville," Goode recalled. "But things worked out for us as we won our last three games and Cincinnati beat Connecticut in its last game."

Goode said, "We've got to make some plays to beat Clemson. We had that opportunity and beat Oklahoma when I was a freshman.

"We're having time (after final exams) to become familiar with our opponent. Clemson has a good quarterback who is really good.

"He makes a lot of good decisions. From watching tapes, you could see that the Tigers are explosive."

Goode things the WVU defense has gotten better as the younger players gradually improved with experience as the season progressed.

Goode singled out fellow defensive standouts Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin for praise as big contributors to the defense.

He added, "And we got some breaks when needed an interception, fumble recovery, etc," he noted. "And I think the defense continues to get better."

 
 

 

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