The West Virginia University Mountaineers scored early and often in their 49-10 lopsided victory over the University of Nevada Las Vegas Rebels. Example, the Mountaineers’ first drive went something like 3 plays, 80 yards and was capped off with a 38yd touchdown pass from Gino Smith to Bradley Starks. On their very next drive the Mountaineers decided to hand the ball to a slightly injured Noel Devine and he galloped into the end zone for a 28 yard touchdown. About two drives later, Devine’s Floridian partner in big play crime, Jock Sanders, jumped into the scoring act by running a 10 yard touchdown.
The second quarter began exactly like the first for the Mountaineers, with a big play compliments of Devine. After taking what seemed like a routine hand off from Smith, Devine darted down the field for 48 yards and his second score of the day. Sincing that two touchdowns and 48 yards were special omens for the day, Smith and Starks decided to link up for their second touchdown pass connection (from 48 yards of course) of the day. With the Mountaineer defense showing no mercy to Omar Clayton and the UNLV offense (there were more 3 and outs than I cared to count), the score at the half was an amazing 35-0 in favor of WVU.
The Rebels decided to change field generals in the 3rd quarter as Coach Bobby Hauck called on true Freshmen Caleb Herring to lead the Rebel attack. Unfortunately for Hauck and his team, Herring threw an interception to WVU’s Keith Tandy that killed what was a relatively productive Rebel drive (think they earned 2 first downs). After a short return by Tandy, the Mountaineers drove the ball down the field and completed the drive with a third touchdown pass from Smith to Starks (4 yards this time). I watched Herring attempt to lead the Rebel offense once more to no avail. Again, the Rebel offense was sent off the field in five or six plays, and I decided to stop watching the game and turn to a more competitive one.
As I reflect on the three quarters of this game that I actually watched, I have to say the Mountaineers looked extremely dominant. Now, to be fair and keep this victory in perspective, UNLV came into this game with a 1-4 record and poor defensive rankings. So, I’m not sure if this game is a reflection of how good the now 4-1 Mountaineers are or if its a reflection of how bad the Rebels are. I think to get a better indication of what the Mountaineers are made of we need to watch Thursday’s match up against South Florida. USF Head Coach Skip Holtz and his Bulls come to Morgantown with a bitter taste in their mouths after losing their Big East opener to my brother’s favorite team (really weird because he’s a native and lifelong West Virginian), Syracuse 13-9. I’m not kin to Cleo the Psychic, but I will make this one prediction about Thursday’s WVU-USF game, it won’t be a rout like today’s WVU-UNLV game.
About the Author
Written by Jason Lee
Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, I've been a sports fan probably since I was about 9 years old! A 2002 graduate of Mount Union College (Alliance, OH), I've had the opportunity to cover some great high school football on the radio in both Ohio (working with WHBC in Canton) and in West Virginia (I currently work with Bristol Broadcasting in Charleston). I also keep an on-line journal/blogs on my own website.