West Virginia: Brown should be fine by Thursday

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As if the four interceptions and lost fumble were not enough of a bad day for West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Brown in the loss at Auburn Sept. 19 -- the last time the Mountaineers played -- the tail end of the game provided an exclamation point no one wanted to see.

That's when Brown was violently slammed to the natural grass in the fourth quarter, came up gimpy and was replaced for the remainder of the game by freshman Geno Starks.

But there is good news on the injury.

Perhaps the most enlightening component heading into the Colorado game Thursday night was that Brown's injury was to his left (non-throwing) shoulder, and he has had plenty of time off to heal because of the off week.

Brown, while maybe not 100 percent, should be in the lineup against visiting Colorado.

"Jarrett has a contusion underneath the shoulder," West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said last week.

"I guess it would be determined as a bruise/sprain from what I have been told by the medical people. He has been getting treatment pretty much non-stop."

For his part, Brown shrugged off the notion that a left shoulder injury would have much of an impact on what he can do against Colorado.

"My shoulder feels a little better and I can lift my arm, but it's not my throwing arm, so that's good."

Rebuffing the naysayers

Some will look at Colorado's 1-2 record, the 54 points Toledo rolled up on the Big 12 Conference Buffaloes in Week 2 or the way coach Dan Hawkins' team has averaged just 91.7 yards rushing a game and say, "Well, West Virginia shouldn't have much trouble with these guys."

Not so says Stewart.

He sees it from a different perspective.

Stewart chooses to look at the way Colorado bounced back after an 0-2 start, wiped out Wyoming Sept. 19, 24-0, and how quarterback Cody Hawkins -- the coach's son -- has thrown for 753 yards.

"I see a lot of talent from this Colorado team," Stewart said "A lot of misfiring, but a lot of talent, and it was shown [last] week against a very tough Wyoming team.

"They played very hard against Colorado State and Toledo, but they were just misfiring.

"So, I see a talented group of people that beat us last year. They have good running backs, quarterback and receivers."

Calling on the crowd

The nationally televised game (ESPN) Thursday night has been declared a "Gold Rush" for which fans are being asked to wear gold shirts. It is one thing to be visibly in unison, quite another to be vocally in unison.

The latter is something offensive lineman Josh Jenkins took away as a lasting impression at Auburn and hopes the Mountaineer Field crowd can learn from.

"After experiencing Auburn's crowd, and they were pretty wild, we need to get our crowd wild, too," Jenkins said.

"The atmosphere was crazy. It was so loud there that you couldn't even hear yourself think. It was something else."


Colin Dunlap can be reached at cdunlap@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1459.


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