Jenn Menendez's West Virginia football chat transcript: 11.19.12

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Jenn Menendez: Alright, last game of the regular season Saturday, so thanks for joining me. Let's go!

WVUfan: Last game for the seniors. How much will this team be hurting next year without Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, and probably Stedman Bailey too?

Jenn Menendez: Well certainly the offense will be a very different animal without the poise of Smith back there and the explosive Austin. Add in Bailey (if he goes pro) and you've got a group that has nowhere near the talent that's there this year. Every year though young guys come up and surprise ya, so no way of knowing how bad things could be without getting through the spring.

Alan Gifford: Any way overall not to consider this season a disappointment

Jenn Menendez: I don't think so. This has to be considered a disappointing season. Anything less is spin. The Big 12 is talented, and yes it wasn't going to be easy, but I still think some of those losses were winnable. Had those games gone in another direction we wouldn't be measuring how disappointing things turned out.

Andrew: Although this doesn't look like a good basketball matchup, WVU and Kansas sounds like a great football match up for a 9-7 season. A fitting ending for the kind of rollercoaster season we've had. Do you get the same positive sense from coach holgerson and the team?

Jenn Menendez: Well 7-5 is the best they can finish as you know, and yeah I'd say it will be a fitting ending to a very up and down season. I can't fathom how West Virginia loses to Kansas even if they mix things up, so I'd say winning the last game and finishing 7-5 is at least a positive way to end things and head into the bowl game.

G.T. Lynn: Are you ready for a trip to San Diego?

Jenn Menendez: Sure am. I do think it seems most likely this team will go to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, or the Pinstripe, but I wouldn't rule out the Houston game either. The Holiday Bowl rep has been at the last two WVU games, including the Oklahoma game. That day he said WVU would be on the short list for their game if they won their last two games of the year. But...as TCU writer called it in a piece today, predicting the bowls can be a "fools errand."

JT: Have you heard anything coming out of Morgantown regarding the defensive coaching situation? It seems pretty obvious that there are some issues there as well as a lack of talent on that side of the ball.

Jenn Menendez: No I haven't. There is clearly a very loud debate among fans/followers about the issues on that side of the ball and where they ultimately stem from. I would think if any changes are made (and I have no idea what their plans are) they will be pretty silent until they happen.

Alan Gifford: What running backs are we losing next year

Jenn Menendez: Shawne Alston really - which will be a huge loss. I think many people underestimate the value he brings to this offense. Had a really nice conversation with him Tuesday about his plans after college football. He's looking at law schools but is of course not going to hang up on the NFL if someone calls.

JT: Any news on Alston's thigh injury? He looked really good last week so I hope that means he is nearing 100%.

Jenn Menendez: He sounds ready to go. I'm not sure he's near 100 percent but even Alston at 75 or 80 percent is a major addition. It's really amazing how well Alston and Austin complement each other in the backfield. Makes you wonder what could have been...

G.T. Lynn: I don't think talent on defense was as big as problem as people think. Thought lack of experience in both coaching staff and players was the biggest drawback. Et vous?

Jenn Menendez: Yeah, that's an important distinction and I'm glad you made it. A player can have talent but not be effective at using it because of a lack of experience, or lack of direction. I'd agree with you there.

Alan Gifford: What is the QB situation for next year

Jenn Menendez: Sounds like there will be a battle there in spring between Paul Millard and FR Ford Childress. I know a lot of us - including myself - often assume that Childress has the leg up here because of his standing, etc. But Millard has some experience that Childress doesn't. And you never know how that will play out among college kids when the pressure is on. So while I'd still guess the job will eventually go to Childress, I wouldn't be shocked if it went the other way.

JT: I agree with your comment on Alston Jenn. I have liked that guy since he first appeared on the field. He always runs hard and seems like a pretty intelligent person. I really hope someone gives him a shot at the next level.

Jenn Menendez: Yeah hard to tell with him. He's got the right attitude and that can help more than you know when teams are looking for someone to fill out their roster. He's humble. Works hard. And what he lacks in speed he makes up for in other ways.

G.T. Lynn: Why do you think the national media squashed what Tavon Austin did in the Oklahoma game? Seems to be it was the most impressive performance of the season by one player against a top 15 team, save Johnny Football's outing against Alabama.

Jenn Menendez: I was a little surprised they didn't make a bigger deal out of it too. I wrote about it multiple times it was so impressive. Legitimately reminded me of what I love about my job. The things we get to see...

Jenn Menendez: I think it just comes down to the idea that winning teams get the attention.

JT: The problem is that we lost the game. I think if we had won that game ESPN and everyone else would have been all over it.

Jenn Menendez: Yes, agreed. Fair weather media? Is that a term?

G.T. Lynn: Have you hear anything about the Maryland series being the Terps have bolted to the BIG conference?

Jenn Menendez: No, nothing yet. But something to keep an eye on for sure.

WVUfan: Prediction Saturday?

Jenn Menendez: Off the top of my head: WVU by three touchdowns. I think the seniors will be motivated and emotional and want to leave it all out there.

Jenn Menendez: Well thanks for joining me. Not sure what the schedule is for the month of December, but will get it up on the blog to keep you updated. mobilehome - wvusports


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