The gold and blue’s golden arm goes down
There is no doubt that the Mountaineer fan base will still care about, and take part in festive duties to root for WVU to get a win no matter what bowl game we end up in. Our spirits are down, however, as frustration has reared its ugly head once more over the course of the past two weeks in Division I football for us.
Successful recruiting efforts landed Will Grier, with a whole offseason to prep and get ready to back up the hype about his potential. The Mounties lost a close one while opening the season with a real game against Virginia Tech.
Grier gave the Hokies a battle in his debut, and continued to deliver down the stretch. The only bad game Grier had this season was against Oklahoma State in Morgantown in late October. On that day, the turnover gods smiled on the Mountaineers, giving the home team early scoring opportunities that fizzled into nothing before the Cowboys dug in and took control for the win.
We haven’t had an arm like his on our side for some time, and it all came crashing down in the first quarter at the goal line against Texas at Mountaineer Field two weekends ago. It was like a half-second after we saw that discombobulated finger, and then we said “Yeah, that’s his throwing hand.”
It was truly a “wind out of the sails” moment for the team, the university and the fans there in person as well as those watching at home. How do you begin to process it when that game is just getting underway? The hope to beat the Longhorns and then go into Norman and give the Sooners a run for their money the following week all seemed to vanish quickly.
The possibilities of running the table and landing a Big 12 Conference Championship game bid went right off the tracks there and then after Grier was injured, and obviously we knew it. It was almost as if there was a rainbow over the Texas bench when you saw their sideline on television. They knew that the gridiron injury jackpot had hit in their favor.
Also when looking at the Longhorns’ bench, you could see some big boys and big-time athletes wearing orange that will never be starters. They come from football factories in the south and mid-west where the game is huge at big high schools with overwhelming numbers.
When considering just how competitive the Mountaineer football team has been in the Big 12 since joining the conference, it’s comical to hear the callings for the coach’s head from some people who apparently don’t understand the difficulty of recruiting for a Division I coach headquartered in Morgantown, located some 4-6 hours from the Atlantic Ocean, depending on the route you take.
Dana Holgerson has a good record. If you want a closer look, delve into it, look at the stats. While you’re in there, look at the pre-Don Nehlen numbers. Praise Donnie N for laying the tracks, and try to keep up and grasp the fact that we aren’t in the Big East anymore.
Unless Nick Saban or Jimbo Fisher are coming home, I like Dana. If anyone has further information on how we grounded the Iowa State Cyclones in the midst of their Big 12 run, and coaching advice for next year, then please contact the university’s athletic department.