MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: WVU is clear underdog vs. ISU
Late Wednesday afternoon it was announced that the Saturday game with Oklahoma was postponed due to Covid issues in the Sooner program. It has been rescheduled to December 12th.
But Mountaineers fans were not deterred, as they immediately pivoted their focus to watching Bob Huggins and his 15th ranked West Virginia basketball team defeat quality opponents over the next three days to win the Crossover Classis played in South Dakota.
With Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver this WVU squad has one of the most imposing frontcourts in college basketball, but often has difficulties with perimeter scoring.
It will be an interesting team to watch, but fans will need to have patience with the inevitable stretches where they can’t get the ball to go through the hoop. Smooth does not describe this group, but they play hard and every opponent will be in for a grind.
Coach Huggins is not one to avoid taking on a challenge. When Tennessee had to opt out of its game next Wednesday in Indianapolis against #1 Gonzaga, WVU called and offered to step in fill the void.
THIS SATURDAY: It often can be informative to read the home town newspapers elsewhere to see how they describe the performance of their local team. Most of us viewed last Saturday’s game between Iowa State and Texas as just a good, entertaining battle to watch.
But that wasn’t the take down Texas way. After leading the entire day and giving up the game winning score with just over a minute to go, the knives have come out. With the Longhorns having big preseason expectations and now out of the Big 12 championship picture, there is talk of Coach Tom Herman not surviving the season.
Questions about play calling and a puzzling decision to try a fourth quarter fake punt when leading were front and center.
Read the Des Moines Register, however, and it is a totally different picture.
The Iowa State Cyclones for years were a second division Big 12 team, but have awakened and now are on the verge of playing in the league championship.
The dramatic win on the road was described as a win for the ages, the most significant in Iowa State football history.
To say that the Iowa sports scribes were giddy would be an understatement.
So when the Mountaineers travel to Ames this Saturday to take on the Cyclones, they will do so as clear underdogs. This will be a battle featuring two very good defenses, so scoring will be at a premium.
Pulling off the upset will not be easy, but there is something about playing a team coming off a “win for the ages” that is tempting. WEST VIRGINIA 17 IOWA STATE 16.