It’s A Christmas Miracle!

dog-house

Since the Friday before the South Florida game, there have been many rumors and tons of speculation about Noel Devine’s academic status. While he most likely did not get a 4.0, he is cleared to play in the bowl game and beyond.

“He’s out of my dog house, but still on the leash,” Stewart said.

[Source: WV Gazette]

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

Watching Noel Devine on Saturday made the eyes jump out of my skull. 

 

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Dougity Dog: Devine Intervention

When Noel Devine was in high school, his highlight reel was the stuff of legend. Millions of people watched his YouTube videos in complete awe of his skills.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this newest epic by Dougity Dog becomes the college compliment to Devine’s high school glory. And if you think this is good, just wait until next year.

Caution: Noel Devine’s ankle-breaking moves may be NSFW.

Also note the new sidebar to the left. It will feature links to all of WVMF’s (aka Dougity Dog’s) videos and features. Highly recommended.

UPDATE: Forgot to credit ZProductionZ for the awesome introduction to the video.  Our sincere apologies — and mad props for the quality work.

Noel Devine Still A Mountaineer

Noel Devine has decided to remain a Mountaineer after initially pondering a transfer following Rodriguez’s departure. This, while at first a huge relief, is also a huge coup for any incoming staff. Devine is still a marquee name across the country and will allow the new coach to use a player of his stature as a building block in recruiting.

And hey, at this point, isn’t this the best news we’ve had in weeks?

[BlueGoldNews]

Louisville Game Recap


Forgive me father, for I am about to sin…

Well, that certainly was a steaming pile of dog shit, wasn’t it? Surely, none of us have witnessed a more poorly conceived effort than the one that CRR put together Thursday night. It’s like he popped a couple Xanax and lost all ability for creative thought (and consciousness). Seriously, what was that?

  1. What was with the 71 consecutive Pat White runs straight up the middle? (I haven’t rewatched the game, so I don’t know the exact number). It’s like CRR’s play-calling shrinks significantly when we’re facing a test. At some point, you can tell he’s actively trying not to lose, rather than to win. To me, this is embarrassing. The last thing a top 10 program does is play not to lose, at home, to a 17 point underdog. You just don’t do it. You step on their throat from the word go and blow them out of the damn stadium. When we took the 17 point lead, that’s what should have happened. Instead, we played grab-ass for the next 15 minutes. What a fucking joke.
  2. Where is Steve Slaton? Outside of the Sugar Bowl, has there ever been a worse big-game player in a Mountaineer uniform? Last year, he put the ball on the turf over-and-over against Louisville and then delivered a whopping 43 yards against South Florida. This year, he has averaged 62.3 yards in our three biggest games (South Florida, Rutgers, and Louisville). It’s obvious that Rodriguez doesn’t trust him in important situations, which is saying a lot when you’re talking about a former Heisman trophy candidate.
  3. Don’t let Owen Schmitt punt. Just don’t. If you’re going to go for it on 4th down, go for it. If not, trot McAfee out there and let him punt. He is the fucking punter for God’s sake. I can’t get mad at Owen Schmitt as it’s his job to be a fullback, not a punter. This one, as always, falls on CRR. And while I’m at it, we were lucky to get 9 yards on that punt. It traveled 3 at the most.
  4. Noel Devine must play more. There’s just no way around this. Everytime he touches the ball, the entire stadium holds its breath. Not because he might fumble, as is the case with Slaton, but because he might break a run or somebody’s ankles. He’s a game-changer, both with score and momentum. That kick-return was just another example of this. If Slaton is busy throwing up on himself in big games, give the kid a chance. He’s only the most heralded recruit in Mountaineer history.

So that’s about it. If you saw me after the game, you almost undoubtedly told me a “win is a win.” I then undoubtedly wanted to punch you in the face. I came pretty close a couple times, too. If you want to be one of the best of the best, a win is never a win. Style points always count. Walk into the stadium, no matter who the opponent, and fuck them up. Easy as that.

Now, we need to get that memo to CRR.

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Two Heisman Hopefuls, Or None?


Unfortunately, and it pains me to say this, but one of these two is going to have to start to play badly for the other one to win the Heisman. Blasphemous? Hardly. Hear me out.

In the end, I think our season would be better served by neither winning the Heisman. They are both equally awesome players — maybe a slight edge to Pat White — and both steal a great deal of the others “stats.”

Think about it. When does Pat White’s Heisman stock go up? When Slaton has a tough game. And vice-versa. When they both dazzle, which is bound to happen more often than not, they’ll end up splitting votes.

You might bring up Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. Both won Heismans. Both played on the same team. Well, two things: 1) Steve Slaton is not Reggie Bush. That’s only a compliment to Bush, not a knock on Slaton. Bush was a highlight reel waiting to happen. Slaton is also a home-run hitter, but not in the same way; and 2) Leinart was Bush’s elder. When Leinart won, he was the sole leader of the Trojans. Sure, it was Bush’s breakout season, but it was still Leinart’s show.

At WVU, it’s both Pat’s and Steve’s show. They share it almost equally. My hope is that they both blow it up, split votes, finish 2nd and 3rd (or something like that) in the Heisman, and we go to the National Championship.

Then Devine wins it in 2009.

Sweet Fancy Moses We’re Good


Noel Devine was the most hyped recruit in the history of West Virginia University, and that includes Robert Alexander and Jason Gwaltney. Needless to say, so far, he has lived up to every bit of that hype, both on and off the field.

It’s tough to find anyone in the local or national media NOT loving Noel Devine. This is good for my WVU football perma-erection. Here is what Stewart Mandel has to say in his latest blog:

4) That Noel Devine is all that. It’s always interesting how some freshmen take longer than others to adjust to college. Among the nation’s elite recruits last February, USC signee Joe McKnight was the one expected to have the most immediate impact. Trojans practice observers are convinced McKnight will eventually deliver on his Reggie Bush-like promise, but so far he’s off to a rough start, injuring a knee ligament in preseason camp and mostly struggling in his limited on-field appearances so far. (Saturday night against Nebraska he had one carry for 5 yards and dropped an easy catch.) Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said afterward McKnight’s freshman season hasn’t been all that different so far from Bush’s, who didn’t truly begin making an impact until later in the year. “We need to do a better job of giving him more easy opportunities,” said Sarksian.

West Virginia’s Devine, on the other hand, has wasted no time making his presence felt. After using him sparingly in the Mountaineers’ first two games, coach Rich Rodriguez unleashed the former YouTube sensation in Thursday night’s nationally televised 31-14 win over Maryland, and while the Terps’ defense did an admirable job against WVU stars Pat White and Steve Slaton (holding them to a combined 159 yards on 37 attempts), they had no answer for the electrifying freshman Devine, who burst for runs of 76 and 31 yards and finished with 136 yards on just five carries. Devine’s recruiting stock slipped last winter because so many schools backed off him due to his academic and character concerns. I have not the foggiest idea how he’s doing in Morgantown academically and socially; football-wise, however, he’s already well ahead of the curve.

Be afraid. Be very very afraid. Actually, just go ahead and forfeit. At least it won’t be as messy as what White + Slaton + Devine + Schmitt + Reynaud have in store for you.

3 Down

Well, well, Ralphy, make that four years in a row that you have not been able to figure out the Mountaineers. This time, the Terps simply didn’t have the talent or the depth to play with the Mountaineers.

Here is a delayed recap of my thoughts of the game:

First, I thought Thursday’s victory was a GREAT team win. After sleep walking through the first and second series, the D really stepped up last night. I loved the pressure and man coverage. I have never had such a swing of emotion from thinking this is one of our worst D’s ever to later in the same game saying well these guys are not so bad.

I see a lot of people are being hard on Pat White, who did have an off night for him yet was still pretty good. I would remind people that we wore him out against Marshall and I sure his body and mind were still not together five days last. He got really beat up last week.

As for the rising star of the game, Noel Devine. Obviously, Charley has tackled this in detail, but there is one point I would like to make. Last year, the team was limited because they didn’t have enough top talent after Slaton and White. Now, with Devine, it looks like Rod can plug him in and the offense will not miss a beat. This will be huge. Last year, I don’t think they put Maryland away in the third quarter liked they did this season. Why? Because of Devine. His talent alone was the difference. When you combine this with the defense, I’m officially giddy for the rest of this season.

Now comes the break with Maryland. Good thing. Because the Fridge would stand no chance next year. But right now, I’m going to enjoy this season. I hope you do too.

"The Next Great One"

Instruments Up

A few years ago, when Pac-Man was still returning punts, the Mountaineers had a slogan entitled “Instruments Up!” I’m pretty sure they even had t-shirts made. “Instruments Up!” told the band that they better be ready to get that fight song rolling, because we were a threat to take it to the house at any time.

For the past few years, at least under White and Slaton, this has been just as true. We were a home-run threat at all times. Or at least I thought we were. Apparently I had no idea just how dangerous we could be.

Enter Noel Devine.

Last night was a watershed moment. I would venture a guess that no Mountaineer fan know exactly where our program will go from here. Devine is a force like we have not seen before. Rodriguez, White, and Slaton have taken our program to the next level, but Devine has the ability to catapult us into the stratosphere. That rarefied air where programs like USC, Florida, and Ohio State operate.

Devine will affect recruiting. Devine will affect marketing. Devine will affect exposure. How much? No one knows. But it will happen.

If the YouTube highlight reel was step #1 in the making of the legend of Noel Devine, then last night was step #2.

I have no idea what step #3 is — yet — but I have a feeling I will enjoy it.

My Religion Is Noel Devine

My Religion Is Noel Devine

62 Points Is Acceptable


…and next week, 80 is a possibility. But first, let’s recap Western Michigan’s beatdown.

1) We absolutely could have scored 80 points. And this wouldn’t be anything like the 80 we hung on Rutgers in 2001. This was a good Western Michigan team and we embarrassed their defense. Even playing a cover-0 and stacking 9+ in the box, we racked up our usual 300+ rushing yards. If not for numerous dropped interceptions and stubborn play-calling in the first half (more on this next), this one would have been even more of a laugher.

2) The first half play-calling left a lot to be desired. CRR even said as much in the post-game presser. If teams –I don’t care how good or bad they are — are going to stack 9+ in the box, we have to throw. Pat White has the ability and accuracy to pick apart these cover-o type schemes. Sure, we threw a little bit more, but 18 total pass attempts is just not enough to keep defenses honest. This should gradually change throughout the season as we become more balanced.

3) The offensive line is not an overnight success. Sure, they played decently in the second half, but Slaton’s first-half numbers (21 yards rushing) show that there is a lot of work to be done. I feel confident it will get there eventually, but it better improve before we take a step up in athleticism with Maryland two weeks away. Let’s hope there is a lot of progress made during this Saturday’s bye week.

4) Noel Devine is the real-deal. Witness.

5) Right now, there is a not a player in this world (past or present) that I trust more than Pat White. If we have to get it done, I have complete faith in #5. No matter what circumstances, he keeps my football Saturdays worry free. Here is one reason why:

Well, that pretty much wraps up Western Michigan. They were a scrappy team that was simply over-matched. Let’s hope they go on and win the MAC to improve our SOS.

Last week’s picks:

Stiles:

WVU (-24) 48
Western Michigan 17
ACTUAL: 62-24 (difference = 21 points)

Oregon State -6.5 vs. Utah (Thursday) = W
Missouri -5 vs. Illinois (in St. Louis) = W
Georgia Tech +3 @ Notre Dame = W
Virginia Tech -27.5 vs. ECU = L
BC -6.5 vs. Wake Forest = W

Season record = 5-1

Charley West:

WVU (-24) 42
Western Michigan 13
ACTUAL: 62-24 (difference = 31 points)

Syracuse +3 vs. Washington (Friday) = L
UAB +21 @ Michigan State = L
Georgia Tech +3 @ Notre Dame = W
Missouri -5 vs. Illinois (in St. Louis) = W
Colorado -2.5 vs. Colorado State (in Denver) = W

Season record = 4-2

One Talented MotherF%&#$!


This article is from July, but it’s a nice wrap up on Noel Devine.

Call me a sucker, but I’m pulling for the guy.

Just Kick It Out Of Bounds


This year, the NCAA decided to jump on the WVU bandwagon and made it easier for the Mountaineers to score every time we touched the ball. Sure, we didn’t need the help, but we appreciate the thought. The thank you card is in the mail.

The rule change I am talking about is kickoffs now occurring from the 30 yard line instead of the 35. Just a 5 yard move, right? No big deal. But think about this for a second. We have one of the strongest legged kickers and one of the best return units in the country. If you don’t believe me, read a little more from Mitch Vingle and Bill Stewart:

WVU’s identity revolves around speed. The Mountaineers are drunk with the stuff. White. Steve Slaton. Darius Reynaud. Noel Devine. Brandon Hogan. Vaughn Rivers. Antonio Lewis. Jock Sanders. Ellis Lankster.

WVU was No. 12 nationally in kickoff returns last season. Think they won’t be better with another 5 yards and all that speed?

“We’re going to change some of our kickoff return schemes,’’ Stewart said. “We don’t think people around the country can kick off as deep.’’

Giving WVU’s speed a chance to burn.

“But we’ve got some explosive, talented freshmen. Noel Devine. Brandon Hogan. Jock Sanders. Ellis Lankster. These guys have really impressed us thus far. They haven’t played with the lights on yet, but they’ve been impressive.’’

As should WVU’s special teams this season.

Ah, now you’re starting to see just how awesome this is going to be. Not only do we have Darius Reynaud, who is a threat to take it deep every time he touches the ball, but now we have added a few guys who seem built for kickoff returns. I am talking about Noel Devine, my man-crush Brandon Hogan, and Jock Sanders.

This is scary stuff. Think topless pictures of Rosie O’Donnell scary.

OK, I’m sorry for that. Friends don’t give other friends those mental pictures. But at least you know just how scary I was talking about. Really, really scary.

I will try to make up for it with some cheerleaders later today.