Colin Dunlap's West Virginia football chat transcript

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WVUPensGuy: I wanted to ask why the P-G sports guys cover a different school for football and basketball (for example, your coverage of WVU and Duquesne). Is this for ethical or pragmatic reasons?

Colin Dunlap: Nothing ethical about it ... Simply, we do not have a West Virginia basketball beat -- we don't cover the Mountaineers basketball squad in a regular "beat" ... basketball is a bit more expensive to cover than football (i.e.more games, more practice availability, etc). Plus, there has always been a huge WVU football interest here. That said, that is why we cover WVU football in a beat. We do staff some of the WVU basketball games, but do not cover them in a day-to-day beat like we do football. Hope that answer helps.

MTNeer: Who has been the WVU MVP this year>

Colin Dunlap: Up until a few weeks ago, I was ready to say Chris Neild ... and it still might be Neild. But, Robert Sands is making a very, very strong push. The guy is a sure-fire NFL high-round draft pick and he has been playing like it the past few weeks. That said, I think he would be the MVP right now. Also, I think what Devine and Sanders have done -- how can you not?

WVUPensGuy: I imagine this has already been asked, but I'll ask focused is the team for the Rutgers game, or are they distracted by bowl talk?

Colin Dunlap: They don't seem to be focused, at all, on the bowl. And I will tell you why -- if you watched the Bill Stewart press conference, you saw him sort of rip the media, come out and tell them there will be NO talk about the bowl game, but, rather, the full focus was on Rutgers. The team has followed that lead this week. I didn't hear a word about the bowl.

MTNeer: Will WVU beat Rutgers?

Colin Dunlap: Yes....something like 24-16.

WVUer21: Colin, wanted to thank you for a terrific jorb covering the 'Eers all season. I definitely enjoyed it, and hope to see you back! First question, after a major win like that, what do the players and coaches have to focus on to stop Rutgers offense?

Colin Dunlap: thanks for the kind words. And, yes, this Rutgers offense is tricky. They go a wildcat of sorts, with Sanu at QB ... and in their regular formation, Tom Savage is very good -- one of the best freshmen in the country playing that position. And Tim Brown? What more can be said about that guy, flat out speedster. Make no mistake, the WVU defense will have their hands full.

Commissioneer: How many bets did you win last week when the Mountaineers upset the Pitt(-iful) Panthers?

Colin Dunlap: None ... I don't bet (only on English Soccer when I am in Vegas) ... But, if I were to bet, I would never have bet the over on this one: The over/under being 1.5 as to the amount of crucial catches Wes Lyons would make ... the over hit. He made 2.

ImmaManIm40: Was last Friday's Brawl the "signature win" missing from Stewie's resume?

Colin Dunlap: Yes. Absolutely.

itsdec3_pittstillstinx: How great would it be for WVU and Cincy to win this weekend? This scenario would drop the mighty Panthers to 3rd place and a date with Temple in Int. Bowl!

Colin Dunlap: I would actually like to see Pitt win...and think they will.

huffyhuffy: is the Gator Bowl a done deal?

Colin Dunlap: I would get a (refundable) hotel room in Jacksonville right now. I would not get that (non-refundable) flight just yet, though. Does that make any sense?

Commissioneer: Is the Gator Bowl a done deal for the Mountaineers, win or lose this weekend?

Colin Dunlap: See above ... but I think it might take a big loss against Rutgers, like a 17-point-or-more loss to keep them out.

ImmaManIm40: How's the battalion first aid station at the P-G? Must be lotsa sprained ankles from BASE jumping off Pitt's bandwagon? How did your ankles hold up, with that extra skip in your step this week?

Colin Dunlap: Maybe you don't get it. I root for one thing: The game to be over quickly, so I can get to the bar. I am objective. I couldn't care one way or the other who wins or loses the games I cover. I will save the cheering in the press box for the "journalists" who wear shirts with team logos to games and pump their fists in celebratory fashion when Tyler Bitancurt kicks a game-winning field goal. It was funny, if you look at the highlight of the game-winning field goal, right as it goes through, there is a "journalist" pumping his fist vehemently in celebration. Nice. I bet he wrote an objective piece that night.

ImmaManIm40: Chances that the 'eers come out flat vs. Rutgers, after investing so much emotional capital to barely beat the mighty Panthers at home?

Colin Dunlap: Could happen ... although not likely as I see it.

itsdec3_pittstillstinx: Why do Pittsburgh writers assume Pitt played poorly last Friday? They never give credit to the better team (WVU). WVU blew opportunities to score more.

Colin Dunlap: Pitt's QB did not play well. But, yes, WVU blew some opportunities as well. Both teams played far from perfect.

Commissioneer: We have been waiting all season, and do you think we have finally witnessed, Brandon Hogan's coming out party last week versus the Pitt Panthers?

Colin Dunlap: Hogan played well earlier in the year. I think it might have been that Marshall game. But, yes, he played well against Pitt. Sands, though, was on another level.

Commissioneer: Signature win? Do you think this get's the dogs off Stew's back for at least a little while?

Colin Dunlap: It should. In my estimation, they should have never been on his back. I feel like many fans have been too hard on Bill Stewart.

WVUer21: Colin, what do you think of the likelihood of a WVU-Florida St. Gator Bowl? Any chance of a WVU-VTech matchup?

Colin Dunlap: Very likely in terms of FSU/WVU.

itsdec3_pittstillstinx: In your opinion, is Devine gone after the Gator Bowl?

Colin Dunlap: Yes. In my opinion, and this is based on nothing concrete I have, he has played his final game at Mountaineer Field.

WVUPensGuy: I'm a Stew supporter, but at times does he tend to be a little conservative?

Colin Dunlap: Conservative? Perhaps you missed those two fourth downs he went for against Pitt.

Commissioneer: Why do you think Bill Stull struggled so much against the Mountaineers? Was it the play of Sands? WVU has a knack for making opposing QBs look like All-Americans ...

Colin Dunlap: I talked to Tyler Palko last night at the Pitt/Duquesne basketball game about this very topic. He is the former Pitt QB...he was telling me that 3-3-5 is unlike anything he has seen and is VERY tough to read. He said it is so difficult to recognize that is going on. So, while WVU might have struggled against some guys in the past, I think making reads had Billy a little confused. I thought he should have just let it fly, deep, to Baldwin all night. I will say this: Dickerson dropping a couple balls didn't help, either.

ImmaManIm40: Speaking of Devine, wasn't he supposed to be hurt, a game-time decision? He didn't look too hobbled on that 88-yard dash.

Colin Dunlap: He was not 100 percent. But he was always going to play.

WVUPensGuy: You said the Knights have a wildcat. Has WVU worked on containing mobile, dual-threat QBs since BJ Daniels (and to a lesser extent, Collaros) shredded the defense?

Colin Dunlap: Someone who is a fan of WVU better hope so. Those two guys you mentioned killed WVU. Sanu, though, is a much stronger guy and not as fast.

WVUPensGuy: I saw the press conference for sure, and Stew certainly was determined ... I've just seen those lists of bowl swag the players get and admit I'd be tempted to lose focus!

Colin Dunlap: Do you know what is on the menu for the media Bowl party in terms of alcohol swag? Sportswriters like two kinds....Free and Free Light.

ImmaManIm40: I know Zeise is the uniforms guy. But my retinas say thanks for all your help in keeping the neon yellows in the 'Eers closets.

Colin Dunlap: I love the banana suits. Seriously, I do. If WVU ever wore them, and Pitt wore throwback script uniforms for a Brawl, what do you think would happen? Would people's brains just explode?

Colin Dunlap: Alright, last one.

WVUPensGuy: OK, fair enough ... then how would you describe Stew's coaching style?

Colin Dunlap: One of a guy who wins more games than he loses. And is a wonderful human being.


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