West Virginia Mountaineers in the NFL Roundup: Week 6

Rookie Rasul Douglas recorded his second interception of 2017 while Bruce Irvin notched his second sack of the season.

  • CB Rasul DouglasPhiladelphia Eagles: The rookie started his fourth-straight game this season and played 56 snaps (68 percent). In that time he recorded 2 tackles, 3 passes defended and 1 interception. Douglas now has two interceptions on the season.

  • LB Najee Goode – Philadelphia Eagles: Goode played 5 snaps on defense and 23 on special teams but did not record a statistic.
  • CB Daryl WorleyCarolina Panthers: Despite starting the game, Worley only played 23 defensive snaps (37 percent) and was also in on 15 special team snaps (47 percent). Worley finished the game with 3 solo tackles.
  • RB Charles SimsTampa Bay Buccaneers: For the first time this season, Sims did not receive a single carry. However, he did have a season-high 45 receiving yards on 4 receptions.
  • DL Will Clarke – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Clarke did not record a statistic in a 38-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
  • G Quinton SpainTennessee Titans: Spain started his sixth-consecutive game this season and helped as the Titans rushed for 168 total yards and 2 touchdowns in a 36-22 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
  • QB Geno SmithNew York Giants: Smith was active for the game but did not see the field.
  • S Karl JosephOakland Raiders: Joseph was in on 64 defensive snaps (98 percent) and recorded 6 tackles (5 solo) and 1 pass defensed.
  • LB Bruce Irvin – Oakland Raiders: The former first-round pick started his sixth-consecutive game and was in on 58 defensive snaps (89 percent). He finished with 6 tackles (1 solo), 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB hit. The sack was his second of the season.

  • WR Tavon AustinLos Angeles Rams: After seeing six carries in each of the last two games, Austin finished the day with 2 carries for 0 yards against the Jaguars. He was only in on 9 out of a possible 59 offensive snaps and did not see any time on special teams.

Players on the Practice Squad

Inactives

Injured Reserve

Players on a Bye Week

Source: Smoking Musket

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Seniors leaving major impact on WVU program

West Virginia’s game at 1 p.m. Sunday against TCU will be Senior Day and will honor the hard work and dedication of the senior class prior to kickoff.

The five seniors, Michaela Abam, Heather Kaleiohi, Carla Portillo, Amandine Pierre-Louis and Alli Magaletta, have combined for 5,290 minutes and 16 goals this season, along with 21,801 career minutes and 76 career goals.

Abam has been named the team’s leading scorer each season and was also named one of two 2017 team captains, alongside junior defender Bianca St. Georges. As a sophomore in 2015, she set the WVU women’s soccer single game scoring record, at four, in an 8-0 Villanova shutout. She is also the most experienced soccer player in NCAA Division I women’s soccer with 87 career matches played. Portillo and Pierre-Louis also rank in the top 10, with 86 and 85, respectively, earning them the second and seventh places. Abam has also been named to the 2017 women’s MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List and was also selected as a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which is won by the student-athlete with the best combination of community service, academic standing, character and competition.

Kaleiohi scored her first career goal in the same game that Abam set the scoring record in. Since 2014, she’s played 2,779 minutes and added 11 more goals to her stat sheet. She also holds the record for the two quickest goals scored in WVU history: in 2016 against Richmond in 47 seconds and later that season against Northern Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament in 49 seconds.

Portillo was a 2016 NSCAA All-Central Region Second Team and All-Big 12 First Team honoree. Of the record 86 matches played, she has also made 63 career starts. That ranks her second most in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history.

Magaletta began her collegiate soccer journey at Missouri, before transferring to WVU in 2016, a season in which she started all 27 matches. All three of her 2016 season goals were game winners, which ranked third-best on the team. She’s contributed five goals so far in 2017 and has played 3,238 minutes in a Mountaineer jersey.

Pierre-Louis, the sole senior defender, redshirted in 2013. In 2014, she was named to the All-Big 12 Newcomer Team and helped propel the Mountaineers to the third straight Big 12 Championship with two of three goals against Oklahoma. In 2016, she was named to the All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 All-Tournament Team. She has played in 85 career games, which ranks seventh for most games played in NCAA Division I women’s soccer history.

This group of seniors won Big 12 regular season championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016, along with conference tournament titles in 2014 and 2016. In addition, they have recorded a 70-10-7 (26-1-2 in conference) record as a class and also made program history in 2016 as the first team in program history to clinch a College Cup appearance.

Source: The DA Online

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United Bank Playbook: Baylor

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Dana Holgorsen hopes to end a clear pattern that has emerged in West Virginia’s brief five-game series with Baylor – win by close margins at home and get blown out on the road.
 
In 2012, when West Virginia first joined the Big 12, the Mountaineers outlasted the Bears, 70-63, in one of the wildest shootouts ever played in Morgantown. A year later, Baylor took West Virginia out to the woodshed with a 73-42 at retiring Floyd Casey Stadium.
 
Then it was back to Morgantown where West Virginia pulled off a stunning 41-27 upset over the fourth-ranked Bears, ruining Baylor’s quest to qualify for college football’s first-ever playoff.
 
Two years ago, at beautiful new McLane Stadium, the Bears were once again unfriendly as they ran and passed at will in a 62-38 victory.
 
And last year, Holgorsen got kicked out of Hal Mumme’s “Air Raid Club” when he tried just 26 passes, completing only 10, in a 24-21 come-from-behind victory over Baylor. The Bears led 14-3 at one point in the second quarter and the Mountaineers didn’t finally take the lead until late in the third quarter when Gary Jennings made a 58-yard touchdown catch.
 
This year, Holgorsen doesn’t know what to expect because everything at Baylor is so much different than what he was used to.
 
Art Briles is becoming a fading memory, and after one year with Jim Grobe as its interim coach, Baylor has placed its long-term fortunes in the hands of 42-year-old former Temple coach Matt Rhule.
 
Rhule was a walk-on linebacker for Joe Paterno at Penn State, then got into the coaching profession at Albright College in 1998. His assistant coaching resume includes stops at Buffalo working for Craig Cirbus, at UCLA working for Bob Toledo, at Western Carolina for Kent Briggs, at Temple for Al Golden and then one year working for Tom Coughlin for the New York Giants before being named Temple’s head coach in 2013.
 
“I don’t have a whole lot of familiarity with any of their coaches,” Holgorsen admitted Tuesday. “There’s just nothing in the past that I can pull from, which is odd in the Big 12. Usually, everybody you play in the Big 12 you have a whole lot of knowledge from the past that you can pull from. This is different, so we have to do a good job as a coaching staff of researching who these guys are; researching what their philosophies are. Luckily we have six games to be able to pull from and obviously we’ll do that.”
 
Beyond those six games, it’s clear from what Rhule once did at Temple is that he is going to patiently build his football program from the ground up. After winning just two of 12 games his first season in 2013, he won six the following year before posting consecutive 10-win seasons and a pair of first-place finishes in the East Division of the American Conference.
 
“Coach Rhule is a defensive guy,” Holgorsen noted. “He got Temple to the point where they were leading the country in defense.”
 
Based on what he’s done so far at Baylor, he’s been playing a lot of guys with an eye toward the future.
 
“They’re playing more people than we’re playing,” Holgorsen noted.
 
Zach Smith, Baylor’s starting quarterback in last year’s loss in Morgantown, has earned one of Baylor’s coveted single-digit jerseys based on the way he played in competitive losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State.
 
Smith completed 33-of-50 passes for 463 yards in a 49-41 defeat to the then-No. 3 Sooners, and followed that up with a 291-yard, one-touchdown performance in a 13-point loss at Kansas State.
 
The West Virginia defensive coaches praised Smith’s toughness, recalling the number of times he was hit during last year’s game while continuing to perform at a high level. The wide receivers Smith is throwing the football to look like the Baylor receivers of old, although he is missing game-breaker Chris Platt, out for the season after suffering a knee injury against Oklahoma.
 
Denzel Mims, a 6-foot-3-inch, 197-pound sophomore from Daingerfield, Texas, has emerged as Smith’s No. 1 option with 27 catches for 553 yards and seven touchdowns. Pooh Stricklin, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder from Waco, has caught 22 passes for 290 yards but is still seeking his first touchdown catch.
 
All 12 of Smith’s touchdown passes this year have gone to either Platt or Mims.
 
True freshman John Lovett, a former three-star prospect running back from Burlington, New Jersey, has emerged as Baylor’s top ground gainer while stud runner Terence Williams continues to recuperate from offseason shoulder surgery.
 
The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder ran 11 times for 90 yards and scored one touchdown in last year’s game in Morgantown, but has carried just 32 times for 148 yards in three games so far this season.
 
Lovett has gotten the bulk of the carries and leads the team with 383 yards, three touchdowns and a sparkling 5.3-yards-per-carry average. His best game so far came against Kansas State when he ran for 95 yards, 74 of those on one run going for a touchdown.
 
“They are still deep at running back and receiver,” Holgorsen said.
 
Baylor’s offensive two-deep features 14 sophomores and freshmen, while the defensive two-deep is comprised of 15 sophomores and freshmen. Two true freshmen (strongside linebacker Jalen Pitre and corner Harrison Hand) and a redshirt freshman (rush linebacker Deonte Williams) are starting on a Bear defense that is giving up 40 points and 517.7 yards per game.
 
“They’re a four-down team that wants to pressure you hard up front and their linebackers are extremely aggressive,” Holgorsen said.
 
Oklahoma State put 59 points on the scoreboard last Saturday in Stillwater, the Cowboys accumulating 747 yards of total offense in pinning a sixth loss on Baylor.
 

Twenty-third-ranked West Virginia has had its own problems defensively, allowing an alarming 210.7 yards per game on the ground and an average of 27.8 points per game. In last Saturday’s 46-35 come-from-behind victory over Texas Tech, the Mountaineers surrendered 513 total yards, including 190 rushing.
 
But in the fourth quarter when defensive coordinator Tony Gibson decided to dial back the pressure, his defense gave up just 16 yards and completely shut down the Red Raiders on third down (0 for 4). West Virginia didn’t allow a single rushing yard in the fourth quarter and harassed quarterback Nic Shimonek enough to force him into misfiring six out of nine times through the air, with his last throw being picked off by senior safety Kyzir White with 1:49 left in the game.
 
Quarterback Will Grier had another eye-opening offensive performance despite getting sacked four times and being pressured constantly, with the junior completing 32-of-41 passes for 352 yards and a season-high five touchdowns.
 
Grier has now thrown 21 touchdown passes – 12 going to mid-season All-American wide receiver David Sills V, who now shows 39 catches for 601 yards.
 
Junior Gary Jennings Jr. leads West Virginia with 48 catches but has only gotten into the end zone once so far this year.
 
No. 3 receiver Ka’Raun White has really come on in West Virginia’s last two games against TCU and Texas Tech, with the senior catching six passes for 138 yards and a touchdown against the Horned Frogs and adding eight catches for 114 yards and two scores last Saturday against Texas Tech. He shows 31 catches for 461 yards and five touchdowns, while improving sophomore Marcus Simms gives Grier an explosive fourth option with 17 catches for 315 yards and three touchdowns.
 
Senior tailback Justin Crawford saw his streak of five straight 100-yard rushing games come to an end against Texas Tech with just 47 yards, dropping him to second this week in the Big 12 rushing race behind Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill.
 
As a result, he is looking for a bounce-back performance on Saturday in Waco.
 
“We need to run the ball better,” Holgorsen said. “I told the team that on Sunday, and we’ve addressed it and we’re going to work hard on that. You have to have the mentality that we’re going to run the ball, which I didn’t see last week.”
 
In just 19 career games at WVU, Crawford is now 20th in career rushing with 1,786 yards and needs only 152 yards to pass A.B. Brown for 19th place. Crawford ran for a season-high 125 yards three weeks ago at Kansas, but he has yet to come close to the 331-yard performance he put forth against Oklahoma last year or the 209 yards he had against Baylor in the regular-season finale.
 
It’s homecoming for Baylor this weekend, and the Bears would like nothing more than to get their first victory of the season against the Mountaineers in front of old alums, friends and family.
 
West Virginia (4-2, 2-1) is looking to stay in that five-team logjam in second place in the Big 12 standings behind league-leading TCU.
 
The top two teams at the end of the season will meet at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, December 2 for the Big 12 Championship.
 
Getting a rare victory in nearby Waco would keep WVU on a course toward Arlington.
 
“It’s going to be a challenge for us,” Holgorsen said. “We’re 0-2 in Waco, so that’s a lot of motivation to be able to change that. We have to be prepared for a wild homecoming atmosphere; a night game. The last time they played there at night they should have beaten Oklahoma.
 
“That will grab your attention. What they have done to us the last two times there will grab your attention.”
 
An 8 p.m. kickoff has been established for Saturday’s game, with television coverage being on either FS2 or FS1 based on what happens with the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros.
 
If the Yankees and the Astros go to a game seven, the West Virginia-Baylor game will move to FS2.
 
Statewide radio coverage remains the same, beginning with the Mountaineer Tailgate Show (Dan Zangrilli, Dale Wolfley and Jed Drenning) at 4:30 p.m. EST leading into regular network coverage with Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace and Jed Drenning at 7 p.m. on stations throughout West Virginia, online through WVUsports.com and the popular mobile app TuneIn.
 

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Smoking Musket Top 25: What In The Hell Do We Do With Everyone But Alabama?

Smoking Musket Top 25 – Week 8

Rank Team Points Previous Movement
Rank Team Points Previous Movement
1 Alabama (4) 100 1
2 Penn State 94 4 +2
3 TCU 91 10 +7
4 Georgia 87 6 +2
5 Wisconsin 84 8 +3
6 Ohio State 77 9 +2
7 Miami 72 13 +6
8 Oklahoma 70 3 -5
9 Clemson 69 2 -7
10 USC 66 12 +2
11 Oklahoma State 66 15 +4
12 Washington 55 5 -7
13 South Florida 50 17 +4
14 Virginia Tech 48 19 +5
15 Michigan 44 7 -8
16 NC State 43 24 +8
17 Notre Dame 34 23 +6
18 Michigan State 32 NR
19 Washington State 29 11 -8
20 Auburn 22 14 -6
21 UCF 22 25 +4
22 West Virginia 17 21 -1
23 Stanford 16 NR
24 SDSU 8 NR
25 Mississippi State 4 NR

My apologies for not getting this up last week. Between the heart-breaking loss, a busy work week and kids, this one slipped through the cracks. This poll takes into account the last two weeks worth of football games and because of that, you see a lot of movement in both directions.

So last time, some of our writers began to entertain the notion that Clemson Tigers, not Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide army of mechanical death robots, might be the number one team in the land. Then this week, Clemson went ahead and lost starting quarterback Kelly Bryant to a nasty concussion and to the Syracuse Orange. Not to be outdone, last week Baker Mayfield’s Oklahoma Sooner got told who their daddy was by Iowa St. Cyclones.

Penn State Nittany Lions have so far avoided the whole top 5 curse but now will begin to see what they are made up. Their three week stretch may be one of the toughest in the country: vs. #19 Michigan Wolverines; at #6 Ohio State Buckeyes; at #18 Michigan State Spartans. Come out of that unscathed and we can talk about #1 votes.

If the top of the poll is tough, the last 5-8 spots in this thing are down right arduous. My eyes tell me West Virginia Mountaineers is a top 25 school. Their offensive numbers tell me they are a top 25 school. Yet two of the three top 25 schools they’ve played they’ve lost to because of their own mistakes. Where in the heck am I supposed to rank this ADHD of a team? More so, who is the 25th best team in the country? Is it Texas A&M Aggies, the Mississippi St. Bulldogs, Memphis Tigers who beat both #25 UCLA Bruins and #25 Navy Midshipmen but lost to [at the time] unranked UCF?

What about the LSU Tigers? I said this friends, LSU is the West Virginia of the SEC. They went out and lost to Troy. They lost to Mississippi State in embarrassing fashion. Now in back to back weeks they’ve beaten #21 Florida Gators in The Swamp and suffocated the Auburn Tigers. What am I supposed to do with this team?

Given the way this season is going, expect a brand new 2-25 next week.

Source: Smoking Musket

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Carter brings leadership, experience to young WVU team

Nearly seven months have passed and the agony of defeat is still fresh in the mind of West Virginia senior guard Jevon Carter.

Following WVU’s season-ending loss to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 last March, Carter and the Mountaineers entered the offseason working towards their shot at redemption.

Carter says the disappointment from last year’s narrow loss to Gonzaga isn’t going away until the Mountaineers reach their ultimate goal.

“It won’t change till I win the championship,” Carter said. “I’m just ready to get back out there.”

The offseason grind is something that Carter has embraced head-on.

Throughout this past offseason, Carter worked on improving every aspect of his game and also worked out with NBA star and current Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul.

“(Jevon’s) playing at a really, really high level right now,” said WVU head coach Bob Huggins. “The game slowed down for him. If he’s not the best on the ball defender in the country, he’s right up there.”

According to Carter, he usually dedicates about 20 hours per week to basketball and has put in as much as 10 hours in a single day, but the motivation strikes more during days in which he feels doubt.

“When I feel like I can’t do it, that’s when I feel like I need to come in here the most,” Carter said. “So that’s why I just never stop.”

Along the way, Carter also took a glance at his future and the chance at a potential professional basketball career.

In April, Carter entered his name into the NBA Draft lottery, but withdrew his name in May. The point of this move was to have the opportunity to workout for NBA teams and see what he needed to improve upon in order to improve his draft stock after he graduates.

This move is one that Carter recommends to college basketball underclassmen.

“It can only help you,” Carter said. “You go and learn things you didn’t know. You get to show your face around NBA guys. You get to see who you have to go against to get to that level. It’s just a lot of stuff you can learn.”

Not once did Carter ever think about going through the draft process and leaving WVU.

“I always knew I was coming back,” Carter said.

If Carter’s game has shown anything, it’s that he’s well on his way to a career at the next level.

As a junior last season, Carter was named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year and led the Mountaineers in scoring and assists. His success last season earned him a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 team, but he knows he can’t read too much into a preseason honor.

“It just goes to show that hard work can get you where you want to be,” Carter said. “But that’s just a preseason award. I can’t really get much off of that. I still got to go and produce this year.”

Carter is just one of two seniors returning to WVU for this upcoming season, joining guard Daxter Miles Jr.

The Mountaineers possess a young team that consists of some returning talent, but mostly underclassmen. Out of WVU’s 13 players, nine of them are either freshmen or sophomores.

Carter believes his leadership will be a necessity for this young WVU team during the upcoming season.

“We’re young,” Carter said. “We definitely need my leadership now more than ever.”

That leadership may prove to be a critical part of WVU’s season as Carter and the Mountaineers look to surpass last season’s Sweet 16 appearance and play for a national championship.

“I feel like you always got something to prove no matter who you’re playing against, where’re you’re playing at,” Carter said. “It’s always who’s the best or who’s the best that day.”

Source: The DA Online

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Experienced Backcourt Usually Means Great Success

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Do you want to have a good college basketball team? Then have experienced guards.
 
You can certainly get by with inexperienced guards, but when you’ve got backcourt players with tons of experience like West Virginia does with seniors Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr., it makes things a whole lot easier.
 
With those two West Virginia has got the most experienced starting backcourt of any Power 5 team in America, and the second-most experience to Vermont’s Cam Ward and Trae Bell-Hayes among starting backcourts in the country this year.
 
Go back and research the last seven Mountaineer teams to make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. All of them had veteran, battle-tested backcourts, including last year’s Sweet 16 team with juniors Carter and Miles.
 
In 2015, West Virginia started two seniors in its Sweet 16 game against Kentucky in Juwan Staten and Gary Browne.
 
In 2010, it was junior Joe Mazzulla and senior Da’Sean Butler and their combined 289 career college games going up against Duke in the Final Four. In 2008, it was senior Darris Nichols and junior Alex Ruoff in the lineup against Xavier in the Sweet 16.
 
In 2006, John Beilein had three senior ball handlers in J.D. Collins, Mike Gansey and Joe Herber when the Mountaineers faced Texas in the Sweet 16. A year before that, those three also manned the backcourt when West Virginia lost to Louisville in the Elite Eight.
 
And even back to 1998 when Gale Catlett’s team upset its way to its Sweet 16 game against Utah, he did so with two experienced backcourt players in seniors Jarrod West and Adrian Pledger.
 
Therefore, when you’ve got older players with the basketball in their hands, you’ve always got a chance.
 
“It’s a lot more than them knowing,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said last week. “I think their teammates have to trust them. When they get on their teammates, their teammates have to know that they’ve earned that. They’ve got to know what they’re talking about.”
 
For Carter and Miles, they’ve got four years’ worth of Big 12 basketball stored up in their melons. Both have been key players during the Mountaineers’ three-year run that has seen them win 79, lose just 28 and reach the NCAA Tournament all three seasons.
 
So, when JC and Dax talk, people listen.
 
“We’ve got a lot of guys that haven’t really got a chance to experience what the college season has to offer so we definitely need my leadership, now more than ever,” Carter said.
 
What does that entail?
 
“Take everything in, live in the moment; don’t get too high and don’t get too low,” Carter explained. “Coach Huggs is going to throw a lot at you. Don’t take how he’s saying it but instead what he’s actually saying.”
 
That was the same thing Da’Sean Butler was telling his guys back in 2010.
 
“I think Da’Sean Butler was a great example,” Huggins said. “He got on guys but they knew how hard he worked, they knew his understanding of what was supposed to happen and so you listen. It’s very much a respect thing.”
 
Huggins said that also applies to coaches.
 
“If you don’t respect your coach or think he knows what he’s talking about you’re not going to pay him a whole lot of attention. That’s life. That’s why it’s so important those guys not just lead you in experience, they lead you in effort, they lead you with all of the so-called intangible things that make your team a lot better.”
 
He certainly has that with Carter, who the coaches say ranks right up there with the hardest working players they have ever coached.
 
Huggins admits there were times last year when he had to shut down Carter to keep him from wearing down at the end of the season.
 
“It’s hard to get him out of practice. Some of them it’s hard to get them into practice,” Huggins said. “Da was that way. You take them out and you turn around and they’re back in.”
 
This year, Huggins said he will keep an eye on how much he’s playing his veteran guards to a degree.
 
“It depends on the game,” he said. “When the other team is really trying to slow it down he’s going to play more minutes. It comes down to more possessions than it does time.”
 
Huggins mentioned Juwan Staten, who played heavy minutes during his junior year in 2014 when the Mountaineers were playing a slower style, but less minutes during his senior season in 2015 when they sped teams up.
 
“Wanny came in and he was playing like 39 minutes a game and he was down to whatever it was, 28 or 29, and he said he wasn’t getting the same kind of touches and the reality is we had more possessions so he had the ball more in 29 minutes than he did in 39 minutes,” Huggins explained. “That’s because of the speed of the game.
 
“I think (Carter is) an NBA player,” Huggins added. “When you take exhibition games and everything that’s 100 games. He better get used to it.”
 
Carter said so far he sees a lot of similarities between this year’s team and the other three that reached the NCAA Tournament during his WVU career.
 
“I think our press is going to be as effective as it’s always been. I think we shoot it a whole lot better,” Carter said. “We’ve got more guys that are consistently in the gym getting up shots and working to get better. I still feel like we turn the ball over too much and we still rebound it real well, I think; we’re just young.”
 
Young up front, perhaps, but certainly not in the backcourt.
 

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WVU Readies for No. 22 Iowa State

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AMES, Iowa – The West Virginia University volleyball team heads to Ames, Iowa, for a Big 12 tilt with Iowa State on Wednesday evening at the Hilton Coliseum. The Mountaineers (13-6, 2-4) and Cyclones are set to square off in a 7:30 p.m. ET match.
 
Under head coach Christy Johnson-Lynch, the Cyclones boast a 12-4 mark with a 3-3 record in Big 12 action. Jess Schaben leads the team with 3.00 kills per set, racking up 180 total swings on the year. Setter Monique Harris averages 8.42 assists per set, good for seventh in the league, while Genesis Miranda ranks fifth with 14 aces. Hali Hillegas leads the conference with 5.65 digs per set, as Iowa State leads the league with a team average of 17.38. The Cyclones also rank second in the league – one mark ahead of the Mountaineers – with 2.96 blocks per set, totaling 177 blocks thus far this season. Of note, three Cyclones rank inside the league’s top 10 for blocks per set, with Grace Lazard coming in fourth with 1.13, followed by Alexis Conaway (1.10) and Avery Rhodes (1.09)
 
“They (Iowa State) are very good,” said third-year coach Reed Sunahara. “They are very well coached. They have a lot of tradition. It’s a tough place to play, but if we take care of our side of the court, good things will come.”
 
This week marks the 14th all-time meeting between the Mountaineers and the Cyclones. Iowa State leads the series, 12-1, and took both matches last season. However, WVU took ISU to five sets in its first meeting of the 2016 season on Sept. 30, dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Cyclones inside the WVU Coliseum. The two teams first met in 1994 before becoming conference opponents in 2012. ISU owns all 10 prior league matches.
 
“We just have to keep doing what we are doing,” Sunahara said. “We have to keep working hard, individually and collectively. That’s what we are going to do for the next couple days to get ready for Wednesday’s match vs. Iowa State. It’s a tough week. It’s tough any time that you travel or are out of town. You just have to make the best of it.”
 
The Mountaineers are coming off a 3-1 win over Oklahoma in Morgantown on Friday. West Virginia won in set scores of 18-25, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-16 over the Sooners, defeating OU for the first time in program history. Four Mountaineers finished the night hitting .300 or better, with the team hitting .213 on the evening. Sophomore outside hitter Payton Caffrey paved the way for WVU with 19 kills (.343), followed by sophomore right side Natania Levak with nine. Senior middle blocker Mia Swanegan hit a team-high. 375, recording eight kills in the match. Sophomore setter Erin Slinde assisted on 39 kills, while senior Gianna Gotterba had a team-high 11 digs. Freshman middle blocker Katie DeMeo also recorded eight block assists for the Mountaineers, while Swanegan and Levak posted six apiece.
 
Of note, Caffrey continues to lead the Big 12 with 0.43 aces per set and ranks inside the top 10 in points and kills (eighth). Additionally, Slinde sits inside the top five in service aces and assists (fourth). The sophomore setter averages 0.30 service aces and 10.28 assists per set. Freshman defensive specialist Lindsay Proctor also ranks ninth in service aces, averaging 0.21 aces per set. Swanegan ranks third with 1.17 blocks per set, while DeMeo ranks eighth with 1.07 blocks per set. Freshman defensive specialist Alexa Hasting also ranks ninth with 3.46 digs per set.
 
As a team, West Virginia is hitting .239 and holding its opponents to a .166 clip, while out blocking its opponents, 165.5-128.5. The Mountaineers lead the Big 12 in service aces, averaging 1.43 aces per set. West Virginia also ranks third in blocks per set (2.40) and fourth in hitting percentage (.239) and opponent hitting percentage (.166).
 
Following the match, the Mountaineers will return to Morgantown for another Big 12 tilt against Kansas State on Saturday, Oct. 21. First serve is set for 1 p.m. ET at the WVU Coliseum. Saturday’s match also marks the Mountaineers’ annual pink match for breast cancer awareness. West Virginia will don pink jerseys in support of the cause. WVU Medicine will be sponsoring the match and collecting donations to the WVU Cancer Institute. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match and can get the WVU sports official “pink” t-shirt with a donation of $10 or more to WVU Medicine.
 
“It’s going to be a great day,” Sunahara said. “It’s a good event for a good cause. Kansas State is very good. Again, they have a lot of tradition, and they have been one of the best teams in the conference year-in and year-out. We look forward to being at home playing in front of our crowd.
 
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUVolleyball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
 

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Miles on Preseason Jerry West Award List

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list members for the 2018 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor in its fourth year recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
 
“Jerry West is one of the best shooting guards to ever play the game and by far one of the most competitive personalities in the game as well,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “These twenty collegiate athletes have worked tirelessly to earn their spots on this watch list and have shown similar work ethics and skills as the esteemed Jerry West.”

Jerry West attended West Virginia University and averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. He led his team to the NCAA Championship game in 1959 and was named a consensus All-American in 1959 and 1960. In the summer of 1960, he was co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team and won an Olympic gold medal. As a professional player, West played 14 seasons in the NBA with the Lakers making the All-NBA First Team 10 times. West won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team not winning the championship. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

“Now in its fourth year, this award’s committee continually compiles a list of the best shooting guards in collegiate basketball,” said Jerry West, a 1979 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is truly an honor be associated with this award and I am looking forward to seeing the level of competitiveness and talent each of these candidates exhibits this upcoming season.”

By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2018 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. West and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.  The winner of the 2018 Jerry West Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 6, 2018. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Malik Monk, Kentucky (2017), Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015). For more information on the 2018 Jerry West Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.
 
– Continued –
2018 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Candidates 

Allonzo Trier Arizona
Mustapha Heron Auburn
Jerome Robinson Boston College 
TJ Haws BYU
Marcus Foster Creighton
Grayson Allen Duke
KeVaughn Allen Florida
MJ Walker Florida State
Rob Gray Houston
Malik Newman Kansas
Hamidou Diallo Kentucky
Lonnie Walker Miami 
Quinndary Weatherspoon Mississippi St. 
E.C. Matthews Rhode Island
Khadeen Carrington Seton Hall 
Shamorie Ponds St. John’s
Tyus Battle Syracuse
Andrew Jones Texas
De’Anthony Melton USC
Daxter Miles Jr. West Virginia

    *Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2017-18 season*
 
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
 
For more information:
Visit us online: www.hoophall.com or www.hoophallawards.com
… on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BHOF
… on Twitter/Instagram: @hoophall WestAward CBBAwards
… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA
 

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Mountaineers in the Pros: Week 6

Rasul Douglas/Photo by Philadelphia Eagles

In this week’s report, Rasul Douglas continues to make plays, Charles Sims shows off his hands and Bruce Irvin tallies his second sack of the season.

Tavon Austin
Los Angeles Rams (NFL) 
WR | 5-8 | 179
Baltimore, Md.
 
Tavon Austin rushed twice for zero yards in the Los Angeles Rams’ 27-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Austin did not catch a pass in the victory.

Twitter: @Tayaustin01
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – vs. Arizona (in London) – 1 p.m. ET
 
Don Barclay
Green Bay Packers (NFL) 
OL | 6-4 | 305
Harmony, Pa.

The Packers placed Don Barclay on the injured reserve/designated to return list on Sept. 3. The six-year veteran is recovering from a foot injury suffered during the preseason.
 
Twitter: @Barclay_64
Next Game: Injured Reserve/Designated to Return
 
Will Clarke
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) 
DE | 6-6 | 275
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Will Clarke did not register a tackle in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 38-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Clarke was featured on nine defensive snaps and 14 special teams snaps in the game.

Twitter: @W_Clarke98
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at Buffalo – 1 p.m. ET
 
Rasul Douglas
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) 
CB | 6-2 | 209
East Orange, N.J.

Rasul Douglas started at cornerback and earned his second interception of the season in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 28-23 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Douglas finished with two tackles and three passes defended in the game. With the victory, the Eagles moved to 5-1 on the season.

Twitter: n/a
Next Game: Monday, October 23 – vs. Washington – 8:30 p.m. ET
 
Terence Garvin
Seattle Seahawks (NFL) 
LB | 6-3 | 235
Baltimore, Md.

Terence Garvin and the Seattle Seahawks were on bye in Week 6. Seattle returns to action on Sunday against the New York Giants.

Twitter: @T_Garvin28
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at New York Giants – 4:25 p.m. ET
 
Shelton Gibson
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) 
WR | 5-11 | 191
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Shelton Gibson was inactive in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 28-23 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.

Twitter: @sheltongibson
Next Game: Monday, October 23 – vs. Washington – 8:30 p.m. ET

Mark Glowinski
Seattle Seahawks (NFL) 
OL | 6-4 | 310
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Mark Glowinski and the Seattle Seahawks were on bye in Week 6. This week, the team will travel to New York for a matchup against the Giants.

Twitter: @MarkGlowinski73
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at New York Giants – 4:25 p.m. ET

 
Najee Goode
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) 
LB | 6-0 | 244
Cleveland, Ohio

Najee Goode did not record a tackle in five defensive snaps in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 28-23 win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. Goode also played 23 snaps on special teams.

Twitter: @All_Goode53
Next Game: Monday, October 23 – vs. Washington – 8:30 p.m. ET
 
Bruce Irvin
Oakland Raiders (NFL) 
LB | 6-3 | 260
Atlanta, Ga.

Bruce Irvin started at linebacker and recorded six tackles for the Oakland Raiders in Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Irvin notched his second sack of the season in the contest and tied his season-best in tackles.

Twitter: @BIrvin_WVU11
Next Game: Thursday, October 19 – vs. Kansas City – 8:25 p.m. ET

Adam Jones 
Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) 
CB | 5-10 | 180
Atlanta, Ga.

Adam Jones and the Cincinnati Bengals were on bye in Week 6. The team will be back in action on Sunday with an AFC North showdown at Pittsburgh.
 
Twitter: @REALPACMAN24
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at Pittsburgh – 4:25 p.m. ET
 
Karl Joseph
Oakland Raiders (NFL) 
S | 5-10 | 205
Orlando, Fla.

Karl Joseph started at safety and finished with six tackles in the Oakland Raiders’ 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Joseph tallied five solo tackles and defended one pass in the loss.

Instagram: @k_8joseph
Next Game: Thursday, October 19 – vs. Kansas City – 8:25 p.m. ET
 
Nick Kwiatkoski
Chicago Bears (NFL) 
LB | 6-2 | 242
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Nick Kwiatkoski was inactive for the Chicago Bears in Sunday’s 27-24 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Twitter: @nkwiatkoski27
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – vs. Carolina – 1 p.m. ET
   
Adam Pankey
Green Bay Packers (NFL) 
OL | 6-5| 313
Hamilton, Ohio

Adam Pankey was inactive for the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s 23-10 loss to the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings.

Twitter: @Big_Pank_57
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – vs. New Orleans – 1 p.m. ET
 
Charles Sims
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) 
RB | 6-0 | 211
Houston, Texas

Charles Sims caught four passes for 45 yards in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 38-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Sims was targeted five times in the affair, playing 27 offensive snaps.

Twitter: @csims34
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at Buffalo – 1 p.m. ET
  
Wendell Smallwood
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) 
RB | 5-10 | 208
Wilmington, Del.

Wendell Smallwood was inactive for the Philadelphia Eagles in Thursday night’s 28-23 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Twitter: @wsmallwood28
Next Game: Monday, October 23 – vs. Washington – 8:30 p.m. ET
                
Geno Smith
New York Giants (NFL) 
QB | 6-3 | 221
Lakemont, Ga.

Geno Smith was active but did not play in the New York Giants’ 23-10 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. The victory was the Giants first of the season.
 
Twitter: @GenoSmith7
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – vs. Seattle – 4:25 p.m. ET
 
Quinton Spain
Tennessee Titans (NFL) 
OL | 6-4 | 330
Petersburg, Va.

Quinton Spain started at left guard for the Tennessee Titans in Monday night’s 36-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts. The team finished with 473 yards of total offense in the win.

Twitter: @quinton_spain
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at Cleveland – 1 p.m. ET
 
Keith Tandy
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) 
S | 5-10 | 205
Hopkinsville, Ky.

Keith Tandy was inactive in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 38-33 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
 
Twitter: @kytandy
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at Buffalo – 1 p.m. ET
 
J.T. Thomas
New York Giants
LB | 6-1 | 236
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The New York Giants placed J.T. Thomas (groin) on injured reserve on Sept. 28.
 
Twitter: @TheRealJT3
Next Game: Injured Reserve
 
Kevin White
Chicago Bears (NFL) 
WR | 6-3 | 216
Plainfield, N.J.

The Chicago Bears placed Kevin White (collarbone) on the injured reserve list on Sept. 11.

Twitter: @mrkevinwhite
Next Game: Injured Reserve
 
Daryl Worley
Carolina Panthers (NFL) 
CB | 6-1 | 205
Philadelphia, Pa.
 
Daryl Worley started at cornerback and registered three tackles for the Carolina Panthers in Thursday night’s 28-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Twitter: @dworley7
Next Game: Sunday, October 22 – at Chicago – 1 p.m. ET

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Kickoff time for the Oklahoma State game has been announced, and we don’t like it one bit.


Good morning, everyone! Welcome to The Rundown, your one-stop shop for what’s trending in the Mountaineer sports world and beyond. The debut edition yesterday seemed to be pretty well received so, as long as there’s something to talk about, we’re going to keep this thing rolling. Now, ON TO THE RUNDOWN!

ANOTHER F*CKIN NOON GAME: You’d think a marquee matchup with the Oklahoma State Cowboys would warrant at least a 3:30PM kickoff, right? Well, apparently not.

It was announced yesterday that West Virginia’s matchup with the current No. 10 team in the country will start at Noon on October 28th. We got the ol’ six day window on the network decision so, while we know it will be on the ESPN family of channels, we won’t know exactly which one until this time next week.

By the way, you can probably kiss any chances of getting College GameDay in Morgantown for this game. I’d say it’s damn near impossible to get fans from the GameDay location and into the stadium within minutes.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR YOUNG ADULT SON: Congratulations are in order for Logan Holgorsen after his commitment to the North Texas Mean Green. Logan, of course, is the son of West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen, and a quarterback at Morgantown High School.

So now in addition to being a FAU blog during bye weeks, we’re going to have to become a North Texas blog as well. I guess we’ll just root for an Owls vs. Mean Green Conference USA championship game every season.

GET DANTE TO THE UNDER ARMOUR GAME: West Virginia commit Dante Stills is an entrant in the Dream Fearlessly contest for a spot in the Under Armour All-American Game in January. If Dante receives enough votes in this contest, and is one of the final two entrants, he’ll get a chance to play in front of a national audience. He’s currently about half a percent behind in the vote for the opening round, which closes today at Noon. Let’s see if we can push our guy to the next round and show him love from Mountaineer Nation.

You can vote for Dante by going to the Dream Fearlessly website and clicking through the bracket until you find his matchup. Get those votes in before Noon!

Around the League and Beyond…

THE BUTCH JONES HOT SEAT (SB Nation): Things are going less than stellar for Butch Jones at Tennessee. Okay, so that’s probably a bit of an understatement. Things are going horribly wrong in Knoxville, and Butch is about to be engulfed in flames. It’s got to the point now that beating the Kentucky Wildcats IN FOOTBALL is something that will be a challenge, and will probably get you fired if you fail to do so.

Things aren’t all bad for Butch though. If he does get fired, he has a role waiting for him as Randall J. Weems in the live action production of Recess.


THE NBA IS BACK TONIGHT (The Ringer): We’re entering into the greatest time of the year to be a sports fan. We’re deep into the football season, the World Series is just a week away, the NHL season has started, and now the NBA makes its return tonight. There’s not a single night between here and next Spring that you can’t find some sporting event on television. Enjoy the good life, folks, because summer will come faster than you know it and we’ll be forced into the sports doldrums.

Procrastination Corner…

I’ve got to give a shoutout to the guys and girls at the mothership. The college football staff have been putting out some excellent video content lately. If you’re not already watching on a weekly basis, ‘Wake Up, College Football!’ is a must watch.

And that’s it!

Have another link you’d like to share? Feel free to do so in the comments or as a FanPost.

Source: Smoking Musket

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