Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the sunny with a chance of rain opinions of the day.
- Has there ever been a worse weekend for FBS competition in the history of the state of West Virginia?
No. No. A thousand times no.
West Virginia University scheduling Long Island University for a 5 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium is just shameful, and Marshall University didn’t do much better by scheduling North Carolina Central for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
As twin bills go, these two games don’t fill the bill.
West Virginians have no choice this weekend. They can drive to Morgantown to watch a mediocre game or they can travel to Huntington to witness a blowout.
Heard of pick your poison? Well, this is pick your boredom.
LIU, which is 2-13 during the last three seasons after becoming the Sharks, got hammered 48-10 last week by Florida International. The Panthers’ victory was their first since 2019, after posting an 0-5 record in 2020.
The Sharks’ defense was toothless, as FIU quarterback Max Bortenschlager completed 14 of 17 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Besides that, running back D’Vonte Prue rushed for 165 yards and three TDs on just five carries. That’s right — five. Oh yeah, and wideout Bryce Singleton added 149 yards and a TD on six catches.
And here’s an interesting stat. FIU ran just three third-down plays in the entire game. Also, FIU averaged 10.6 yards per rush.
Here’s another fun fact for state natives. Famous college basketball coach Clair Bee, who was born in Grafton and led LIU’s basketball team to a pair of undefeated seasons in the late 1930s, also coached the LIU football teams in the ’30s when they were nicknamed the Blackbirds.
Is any of that enough encouragement to tease Mountaineer fans into attending the WVU-LIU game Saturday? Probably not.
The same probably would be true for Marshall vs. N.C. Central, except for one notable exception: The Herd turned in a highlight reel of a game by absolutely pummeling Navy 49-7 Saturday in Annapolis, Maryland.
So now MU fans who didn’t drive to Navy will show up at “The Joan” so they can witness another blowout victory first-hand. And yes, it will be a blowout.
Granted, the Eagles did win their 2021 opener over Alcorn State, 25-14, but it took a 77-yard punt return by Brandon Codrington for a touchdown with 11:21 remaining to give N.C. Central the win.
Otherwise, Central, which is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, has struggled in recent seasons. In 2018, the Eagles had a 5-6 record, followed by 4-8 in 2019. N.C. Central didn’t play a game in the COVID-ravaged 2020 season.
Talk about must-not-see TV, this is the quintessential doubleheader. But for those in the audience who possess more school spirit than common sense, both games will be televised on ESPN+.
Happy viewing — but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- Conference USA enjoyed an uncharacteristically successful first weekend.
The biggest victories were UTSA’s 37-30 win at Illinois and Charlotte’s 31-28 victory over Duke. That gave C-USA a pair of opening-weekend victories over Power Five conference opponents. Marshall’s win over Navy would rank third.
Meanwhile, in the Big 12, Oklahoma and Iowa State both struggled while winning, West Virginia lost and Kansas actually won. What a wild weekend.
Not to be confused with this coming weekend.