Jenn Menendez's West Virginia football chat transcript: 11.21.12
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WVUfan: Chances of this team winning at Iowa State and becoming bowl eligible?
Jenn Menendez: I actually think the chances of West Virginia beating Iowa State are pretty high. Not only do I think this might be a favorable match up for the Mountaineers, but I also think this team is highly motivated after coming so close to a big win last Saturday against Oklahoma at home.
teddyballgame14: Tavon Austin was absolutely MAGICAL on Saturday. He won't get any consideration for Heisman, and isn't a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Is he NOT the most underappreciated player in the country?
Jenn Menendez: I have to agree with you there. His performance was magical and reminded me why I love covering this game. I think he is a bit of a victim of timing - the Biletnikoff voting (I believe) was in just days before that game. And as for the Heisman, I think we all know players on winning teams are favored. And franky, I agree with that. But your point is heard loud and clear. He has been West Virginia's most consistent player and is certainly among the most dynamic, explosive, talented players in the country.
Alan Gifford: After seeng Tavon at RB Saturday you have to wonder what his stats would have been if thats where he would have started the season or career
Jenn Menendez: Agreed. Not to mention four years ago. Certainly at his size the burden of being a featured back that carries the ball 30+ times a game would probably be rough. But in instances where there are so many dropped in coverage, why not let him get out in the open field? I think if the circumstances are right we'll see quite a bit of No. 1 carrying the ball in the last two games.
WVUfan: Didn't Tavon say he'd stay a slot receiver if given the choice four years ago?
Jenn Menendez: Yes, he said after the game that while he felt like he was back at Dunbar High (in Baltimore) he would still want to be a receiver during his career for West Virginia because that's where he believes he can be successful at the next level.
teddyballgame14: Thought the turning point in Saturday's game occurred when WVU scored a big TD early in second half, and they played House of Pain's, Jump Around. Kids really seemed to be having FUN, and played better as a result. Any mention of how that? Or, how that song at that time really energized everyone in the stadium. (Similar to the Steelers & Renegade)
Jenn Menendez: No one mentioned that, but I do recall noticing it. I think these guys were feeling really heavy-hearted. A four-game losing streak will do that. They were finally having some success again on the field and yes, looked like they were having some fun too. Which came first? Sounds like a classic chicken vs. the egg.
WVUfan: what bowl game do you think they'll be in?
Jenn Menendez: Well it's hard to say right now. First things first: they need to win one more game. I think we all assume (though you know what they say about assuming) they will manage at least one, maybe two wins in these last two games.
Jenn Menendez: A rep from the Holiday Bowl was in the press box last week and indicated that whoever wins the West Virginia-Iowa State game will certainly garner consideration for that bowl. But I'd imagine if West Virginia wins two more they will open up their options a bit.
teddyballgame14: Picking up on your "heavy-hearted" comment... Has there been any discussion about why Copeland and McCartney left the team? Copeland was just starting to get some playing time, and it seems there must be more to that story.
Jenn Menendez: Unfortunately everyone is mum on that situation on the record. I think the two situations were different, but until we hear from one player or the other as to his reasons it will likely remain a bit of a mystery.
WVUfan: So no Pinstripe against the good ole Big East?
Jenn Menendez: Clearly that's still an option, but not sure how the Big 12 would handle that. There are a few schools of thought on if that would be an ideal bowl since so many fans could drive to New York, or if would be incredibly un-ideal considering how West Virginia left the Big East last year.
teddyballgame14: Since Stedman's stock can get no better, he's likely gonna head to the NLF after the season. How does WVU replace Geno, Stedman and Tavon next year? Should we be bracing for the offense to struggle next year the way the defense is struggling this year?
Jenn Menendez: That is a realization that sunk in for me Saturday night watching this team. The three are the anchors of this team obviously and bring a lot of talent to the table that will be difficult - very difficult to replace. I have not asked Stedman Bailey if he plans to leave after this season - mostly out of respect for the season, but also he would be unlikely to say anything about it at this point. But I think your assumption isn't that far off and the question will be coming soon.
Guest: The co-defensive coordinator thing had better be out the door for next year don't you think? What a disaster.
Jenn Menendez: I certainly would imagine any team would prefer one defensive coordinator, but since it was so unclear why he hired two to begin with I'm not sure we can assume anything until it happens. (Or doesn't happen.) And when I say unclear - obviously everyone has their opinions on that - but there was never a direct explanation as to why two people would share that title.
DaveO: Is Hogerson feeling any heat and/or regrets on the whole co-defensive coordinator thing? He should. What a mess/embarrassment
Jenn Menendez: If he is he certainly isn't letting on.
teddyballgame14: What did Holgersen say to his team at halftime to get them to play so much better in the second half?
Jenn Menendez: Not sure what he said. I would hazard a guess that having some success out there is what fueled the motivation.
Alan Gifford: Any mention of reasons Genos accuracy has been off 2nd half
Jenn Menendez: No. Not sure exactly what passes you're referring to, but I think the collective belief is that Geno is getting his "mojo" back. That's their word, not mine.
teddyballgame14: Are we to assume that Shawne Alston is effectively finished? It's shame for a senior season to be lost the way it has. But, it seems that leg injury was far worse than anyone could've imagined.
Jenn Menendez: Probably. Could he sneak out there a few times still? Of course. But judging by his lack of playing in what was arguably the key game at the end of the season here last week tells me he might not be creeping closer to getting healthy after all.
DaveO: Lacking back on it now,It is a shame WVU didn't wait another year to make a conference change with Rutgers and Maryland getting the Big10 openings and ACC now having an opening either of those would have been geographically better as well as easier to achieve a good record (as we are finding out the hard way now)
Jenn Menendez: There's been a lot of people talking about that very thing in the last few days. Just like Monday morning quarterbacking, everything looks clearer in hindsight. Would the ACC be a better geographic fit, yes. But financially? And remember the other side of that coin though is that they'd still be embroiled in the Big East for a year, maybe more. No decision in real time is perfect. Think they did what they needed to do at the time.
Jenn Menendez: Well thank you for joining me today. Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. And catch you next week, which will be back at our regular time: Thursday at 2 p.m.
First Published November 21, 2012 2:49 pm