Colin Dunlap: Well hello, and welcome to the Oct. 7 version, the on-the-cusp of the UNLV game installment, of the world famous chat. Let us have at it, what do you say? Go ahead with the questions.
HenryHope: Will the Mountaineers cover the 27 points?
Colin Dunlap: It normally is not in their nature during this Stewart-Mullen regime to win by a landslide. They don't often hit that 30-point mark and seldom hammer teams. My gut tells me this one could be a bit different though when you factor in the travel for UNLV, and that the Rebels are banged up ("nicked" Stew would say). They have like 25 players on their injury report.
AnxiousEER97: I can answer HenryHope's question --- No.
Colin Dunlap: This one could be different, for the above reasons.
W.Gwinn: Due you think "leaking" the information that Stew and crew was getting other rb's ready was a PR ploy to let the public know, that stew and crew have learned. GET YOUR BACKUPS ready?
Colin Dunlap: Not a chance. I can tell you this --- Bill Stewart was not happy that the information was put out there for public consumption by someone on a message board. Trust me, he was not happy, I know this. Stewart and Jeff Mullen (and Chris Beatty) understand the need to cultivate backups, they are in the process of doing that at the TB spot. But, the last thing they want is personnel groupings they are working on in practice being released. Again, believe me on this, Bill Stewart was not pleased.
WVUFLYER: Is Chris Palmer still on the team?
Colin Dunlap: On Tuesday nights, I always see the guy walking around the football-tutor center...so I would guess, yes. And here you go with his bio.
Ih8PITT: Will Ivan McCartney get significant playin time again UNLV?
Colin Dunlap: If he has upgraded his ability to block people in the past 10-12 days, surely he might.
Ih8PITT: Whta's the uniform combo for sat?
Colin Dunlap: I have not heard, but then again, I did not ask. A guess from you?
Patrick: Colin, do you expect to see much of Devine? Maybe just in the first half?
Colin Dunlap: I am setting the over/under at 13 carries for Noel Devine in this game. The strategy in this game is glaringly obvious for the WVU offense. The unit would like nothing more than to build an early lead and get Devine out of there. Part of the Catch-22 is that Devine is, most likely, someone you need to build that early lead. So, I am saying right around 13 carries, almost all of them in the first half. With the USF game on the near horizon (what? 5 days or something?) the gameplan has to be to get Noel in, get Noel out.
IhPITT: My guess would be blue shirts and gold pants. Hopefully the all gold will be wore on Thursday for GOLD RUSH
Colin Dunlap: Solid. On both accounts. I am with you.
cton and down: how can a team that has scores over 30 points three times in 2 years be favored by 29?
Colin Dunlap: Seems strange. But, Las Vegas is a bright place with fancy hotels and tons of money. You know why? Because the house wins a whole lot and those guys know something.
WVYouuuuuu: What bowl do you think this team will play in?
Colin Dunlap: Putting me on the spot
Colin Dunlap: I say Fiesta against Nebraska or Oklahoma or Orange against Miami or Virginia Tech.
Edinmotown: If Devine can't play, who do you think is the best option?
Colin Dunlap: Some players tell me they have the most faith in Trey Johnson. Take that for what it is worth. Normally, though, teammates have the best pulse and gauge on something such as that.
usaray: Will we see any down field attempts this game or will it be all short passes again...even on my xbox you have to stretch the field to open other areas up! (I am 1 in 60,000)
Colin Dunlap: I am thinking this is the game in which we see Geno let it fly.
Josh24601: Recurring item: Stew was not pleased about . Discuss.
Colin Dunlap: Take it for what it is worth. Trust me, he was not happy.
Josh24601: Procedural question: in your estimation, how many offensive plays per game does Stew call?
Colin Dunlap: 5-8, and maybe that is even high. From what I can gather, it seems Jeff Mullen has a firm grasp on the control and Bill Stewart has veto power on the playcalling. That is to say Mullen makes all the calls and Stewart only interjects when he really feels strongly about something.
magnum66: Hi Colin, do you have any insight as to whether or not the backyard brawl could be a night game this year? There are few other big games already schedule but I am think it could slip in to that 730pm espn2 slot. Im praying it wont be a noon game for tailgating reasons...
Colin Dunlap: No insight at all. Much of the rationale will be dependent on what happens --- on both sides --- between now and then. Perhaps it could slip into that 730pm slot. You root for tailgating, I root for not being against deadline. Thus, we are pulling for two different times.
Jarhead: What will it take, in terms of wins/losses for Oliver Luck to begin to publicly lose faith in coach Stewart?
Colin Dunlap: Oliver Luck will never do that publicly. Think about it, if he failed to negotiate the Marshall series publicly and through the media (something that is out-of-house business) he will NOT ever speak ill of a head coach at WVU in the media (something that is in-house business). It does no good, for anyone involved, for that to happen -- Mr. Luck is too classy for such a thing.
Patrick: Colin, I was wondering if you had seen this yet. I find it hilarious, and you may be one of the few people who also finds it comical, and not offending to their hate of Bill Stewart.
Colin Dunlap: I saw that chart you are referring to. Someone has a lot of time on their hands. I am certain the anti-Stew people laughed. They kid because they care, I am sure.
cton and down: Is sands still "nicked up"
Colin Dunlap: Always. Because he plays so damn hard.
WVUFLYER: Colin - Never seen so much attention paid to the line on the game. Anyway does Brunetti or JJ get reps this weekend once WVU is way ahead?
Colin Dunlap: If WVU would get way ahead, Brunetti will play. I am still not certain what, if any, role Jeremy Johnson has in the future of the West Virginia football program.
Josh24601: I say John Wayne's lifetime achievement Best Actor Oscar for his "True Grit" turn is baloney. Is Brad Starts really that fast, or does his speed belong in the Wes-Lyons-Can-Jump-No-Really-He-Can hostel?
Colin Dunlap: Starks is two things:
1. The Artist Formerly Known as Wes Lyons.
2. Been passed up at about 80mph by Stedman Bailey.
ClarenceOveur: Colin, does Bobby Hauck like movies about gladiators?
Colin Dunlap: Only ones starring Les Miles and Derek Dooley around the goal line.
GoBigRed: FWIW, I agree with you, it is idiotic to have fans in practice because people have big mouths. Do you think Stew will ever close practice totally?
Colin Dunlap: He can't close it totally. It is vital, and when I say vital, I mean REALLY vital, to have recruits and their families in there. But I have been to some college football practices where they had, quite literally, an Army of guards watching the perimeter. Maybe, just maybe, the staff should tighten up on who they allow around or keep a better eye on which people are watching. To be honest, it isn't the fault of the coaches all that much, that power should be delegated down to someone else within the program.
AnxiousEER97: Why the uncertainty regarding Jeremy Johnson's future?
Colin Dunlap: Because Geno is a sophomore and is very, very good and Brunetti is in the same class as Johnson and much better than him.
Josh24601: The saying goes, "if you have 2 QB's, you have none;" what if you have 5 number-two RB's?
Colin Dunlap: Then you read about it on message boards. Actually, I kid. Then you need to cultivate a backup, for certain. Again, when you put everything through the sifter and Big East play is upon us, I think at that time Trey Johnson will be the one who shakes through as the true backup tailback.
ClarenceOveur: Colin, has Cole Bowers blocked anybody yet?
Colin Dunlap: Apparently people think I am too tough on him, as evidenced by a few emails/voicemails I have received. Glad you noticed. Again, I question his abilities as a BCS-conference player, or one at a BCS-conference school that can win its conference (see: West Virginia).
Patrick: Colin, with the extra week off, does the secondary look improved?
Colin Dunlap: From all indications, they are fine. But, to me, they looked fine at LSU. What did they give up? 80 yards passing and make 2 picks?
WVUPensGuy: Was thinking about this because UNLV played Nevada last week where Nevada didn't punt once, and it was briefly in the game last year, but your thoughts on WVU using the pistol offense?
Colin Dunlap: Remember this: Chris Ault at Nevada pretty much invented that thing, so it is tough to compare anyone using it to what Nevada does with it. As for West Virginia using it, I don't know right now; I kind of like the mix of zone and power and their ability to play fast at times, but also implement FBs and TEs.
HmmHah: What's the word on Josh Jenkins? Is he healthy?
Colin Dunlap: Getting better. Bill Stewart said Jenkins has been practicing, albeit in a limited role. I'd look for him fully healthy for USF.
Twink: Colin, I know a lot of people list us as the favorites in the conf. based on how the other teams have fared. But have you seen anything that would put us as clear cut favorites in the rest of the games. It's not like the wins over Marshall and Maryland were that great.
Colin Dunlap: You name is really Twink? Seriously? After getting over that, I will answer the question. You are absolutely correct about the wins over Marshall and Maryland, nothing to carry a coach off the field in celebration over. But, I will tell you exactly why I think WVU has elevated itself to the favorite --- the first half the offense had against Maryland, and the entire game the defense played in Baton Rouge. Those two performances transcend level of opposition and situation. They were two spans of times when the two units were, quite literally, the best two units in the conference.
jeff: how could university think of expanding stadium when theres always open seats for day games?
Colin Dunlap: A good question. I could see them putting in some private boxes. As Bill Stewart has said a few times, it is in the best interest to keep capacity where getting a WVU football ticket is a tough ticket.
NY Eer: Funny how it took a dozen questions for anyone to even mention the offensive line today.. they must be getting better! :-)... on the defensive side... how many sacks do you think the 'Eers get (Considering UNLV will be putting the ball in the air early) and does Bruce Irvin lead the pack?
Colin Dunlap: Irvin might play well against a team such as this, just like he played well against Md. when he knew they had to throw it. In terms of sacks? They will get 4. Irvin will get 1.5.
Twink: It was a nickname in high school, last name was Winkle and it's stuck.
Colin Dunlap: Sure.
HmmHah: Any word on the rumors that Brunetti is unhappy at WVU and looking for a way out? And are you doing ok?
Colin Dunlap: Have heard that stuff. Actually someone emailed me something about his mom allegedly posting on Facebook or something the other day. I tend to pay more attention to the players who play and let all that transfer/backup stuff shake itself out at the end of the season. In reality, it does no good investigating or spending time on it now, as few kids would leave this time of year anyway.
As for me, I'm doing good. Stitches healing up.
Wayne: Should we believe Stew when he says that no work has been done for USF ?
Colin Dunlap: He said what he had to.
Ih8PITT: After 4 games, who would you take Devine or Lewis? Devine is the only rational choice
Colin Dunlap: Devine. But I would take the combination of Lewis/Graham over Devine/? right now if I had to split carries between a couple guys. Does that make sense?
Josh24601: I think, based on my Bill Stewart Dulcimer Listenin Index, that Noel, Jenkins, and Will Clarke will all sit out the entire UNLV game. Stew is playing similar games here -- esp. w/r/t Noel -- as he did with Pat White in advance of the 2008 Syracuse game.
Colin Dunlap: Hmmm. Is that the same Dulcimer Listenin Index that Mike Casazza uses when he does that Decoding Bill Stewart thing?
ClarenceOveur: Colin, what are YOUR thoughts on that e-mail you posted for us to comment on a few days ago?
Colin Dunlap: In one of the biggest upsets known to man, the conversation remained intelligent and on task without any personal attacks. That was great, I mean it. I think many people understand my feelings, as I have relayed them time and again --- I think West Virginia University is lucky to have a man of character such as Bill Stewart leading its football program.
Ih8PITT: Colin - Do you ever do appearances on pittsburgh radio stations to discuss the EERS? We lack mountaineer talk on the radio waves in pittsburgh and we're the only good team out of the three local teams. BTW - there's a reason why PSU won't play WVU.
Colin Dunlap: I have a show in the offseason on 93.7 The Fan on Sunday nights. And I also do, right now, this time of year, Steelers postgame on that same network. But, my time is kind of squeezed right now. I will be filling in for Seibel on the Seibel and Starkey show tomorrow from 2p-6p on 93.7 The Fan, however -- so there could be some college football talk.
HmmHah: Any changes in the foreseeable future in the kicking game. The blocking on Extra Pts./FG's has been bad and Bitancourt kicks it low.
Colin Dunlap: I think Bitancurt is the best option still.
Jarhead: Colin....OK...got it. Mr. Luck won't publicly won't speak ill of Coach Stew...so what will it take for him to privately decide its time to start looking for a new coach?
Colin Dunlap: A 9 win season.
Twink: Should Devine get the day off if he isn't 100%, Is there a point sending him out at 70%, and risk injury to beat UNLV, with next week starting the conference.
Colin Dunlap: I think he should play some, unless it is totally counterproductive for him to do so.
AnxiousEER97: Does WVU have a future outside of the Big East? Assume the Big East explodes/implodes in the next 2 or 3 years, will WVU land in a BCS conference? And, on a related note, have you noticed a change in attitude or tone with the new AD regarding WVU's affiliation with the Big East? My sense was that Pastilong was not terribly proactive. Has that changed with the new AD?
Colin Dunlap: If the Big East implodes, or maybe even if it doesn't, West Virginia will most certainly wind up in a BCS conference --- one called the Atlantic Coast.
Wayne: With your 9 win answer, do you think that Stew was thinking the same when he started talking about a 10 win season?
Colin Dunlap: You connect dots well.
ClarenceOveur: Colin, if you had to make an educated guess, what would you say the breakdown of Pitt, PSU, and WVU fans would be in the Pittsburgh area? I ask because the ties between Western PA and WVU have gotten a lot tighter in recent years, or so it seems.
Colin Dunlap: If there are 100 college football fans? I'd say 41 are Pitt fans, 35 are Penn State fans and 24 are WVU fans.
AnxiousEER97: What's the real story on why Penn State will not schedule WVU?
Colin Dunlap: The refuse to play in Morgantown, so I have been told by someone with intimate working knowledge of how the WVU schedule is built. They also refused to play one of those neutral site blockbusters (see:BYU at FedEx)....PSU would rather play a tomato can at home and make a huge gate.
Colin Dunlap: Last one...
NY Eer: Given the disappointing seasons the Big East teams are having this year, do you think that we'll see even more recruits from SW. PA. heading outside the Penn State, Pitt, WVU area like Pryor did a couple of years ago?
Colin Dunlap: Maybe, maybe not...hard to say. I think, often times, us Western Pennsylvanian overrate the true talent of the players here.
Colin Dunlap: OK, thanks a zillion for chiming in...now march on over to Casazza's chat --- that one starts (well, started) at 2 p.m. on the Charleston Daily Mail site.