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Year of the Bearcat
Tony Caridi
[ Tony's Take Home ]
Posted by Tony Caridi on Monday, November 24, 2008 (1:30 pm)
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I’m not surprised that Cincinnati beat Pitt on Saturday. After watching the Bearcats in person and then on television against Louisville, you get a feeling that they are this season’s team of destiny in the Big East. Think about it: UC’s defense is experienced and nasty and they’ve been able to keep winning despite the fact they’ve used five different quarterbacks.

If you’re dreaming about a Syracuse upset of the Bearcats this weekend, don’t waste your time. Lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same spot and Syracuse won’t win two straight games on the road.

How many quarterbacks have ever played the game of college football? I don’t the answer, but I do know that West Virginia University has the quarterback that’s rushed for more yards than any other in the history of the game. Pat White’s accomplishment is simply amazing. Spend a moment to think about all the quarterbacks you’ve seen play the game and realize that no one has ever accomplished what he’s done.

The record book will show he’s the best-ever rushing quarterback, but he has the best mental approach and desire to win of any athlete I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch.

Not once – never - have I ever heard Pat White complain about anything. He’s a walking definition of how the game is supposed to be played.

***

I bet you the Delaware State basketball team will not score 42 points against the Mountaineers Tuesday night in Charleston. They may score less or more but not exactly 42. That’s because Coach Greg Jackson’s Hornets have scored exactly 42 points in each of their last three games. It’s true. They posted 42 against Dayton, Ohio State, and Kentucky.

The Hornets are in the midst of playing eight straight games on the road. Before they return home they’ll also play the Mountaineers and Connecticut. Ouch.

If the Hornets get 42 against the Mountaineers Tuesday night, forget what I wrote above about Syracuse winning two straight on the road.

***

West Virginia will be a heavy favorite to beat Delaware State, but aside from winning or losing, the Mountaineers must show significant improvement in valuing the basketball. It’s early, but after two games WVU is averaging 17 turnovers and that number should be about 10.

The Mountaineers will see a familiar face when they meet Iowa on Friday. Former Mountaineer guard Devin Bawinkle is averaging 10 minutes per game. Both of Bawinkle’s parents graduated from Iowa.

***

I know the results are not posted yet on MSNsportsNET.com but I would like to congratulate Sean Cleary’s outstanding women’s cross country team for its fourth-place finish at this year’s NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. It is the best-ever finish for the Mountaineers, topping their ninth-place finish last year. The best news about today: all seven performers in this year’s meet return for 2009.

***
It should be a fun week in the world of Mountaineer sports. We have a basketball date in Charleston on Tuesday, the Backyard Brawl on Friday afternoon in Pittsburgh and basketball in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday. Enjoy.
Tony Caridi begins his 13th full season as radio play-by-play announcer for Mountaineer football and basketball on MSN and his 24th overall with the network. Tony has become a household name throughout the state for his work on MSN. Prior to 1997, Caridi served as play-by-play man for the network's football replay telecasts. Along with his play-by-play duties, Caridi continues to serve as a co-host and feature contributor for the popular television shows Mountaineer Magazine and Mountaineer Jammin'.

Follow Tony on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tonycaridi


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