Jenn Menendez's WVU football chat: 9.20.12

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Jenn Menendez: Alright thanks for joining me today, and let's get started.

GoEeers: Is West Virginia really as good as they look so far? I'm concerned the defense is not ready for the Big 12 and we'll all come crashing down in a few weeks.

Jenn Menendez: Well, you're not alone there. I think we all want to see WVU play a big boy or two before we anoint them title contenders. That said, this offense really is playing very well and though the line took a step or two backwards against JMU, I suspect they will be ready this week and moving forward. The defense is looking a little better by the week - I should say individuals are looking better. So I say hang on because there is a lot of reasons to think they will continue to look this good on offense

Chris: Let's look at Jordan Thompson's slow start...Problems with the offense or just he's a Frosh and will get his chances?

Jenn Menendez: By slow starts, I think you're talking about the fact he's been thrown to very little so far. Surprised me a bit out of the gate, only because they were so high on him coming into the season. But if you listen to this coaching staff they really look for their backs and receivers to be so well rounded and contribute in other ways. I still think he will become more of a factor as we head deeper into the season.

EersNation: Jenn have you had a chance to check out You should tell everyone about it!

Jenn Menendez: I have not, but will do and it the link will be published in the chat transcript later today on the WVU page of our sports section.

Richard: What is your thoughts on WVU winning the Big 12 this year?

Jenn Menendez: I honestly do think its possible. But like I said a question or two ago I really need to see this team play some Big 12 games before I'm really ready to go there. Call me conservative I guess. But I need to see if the offense can be as dominating? With a younger defense that is really pretty average right now, the offense obviously has to carry things

Danks: Does Maryland pose a threat at all this weekend? If so, what will be the tough matchups?

Jenn Menendez: I do think this Maryland defense sounds like it will pose a threat or two. The defensive lineman Joe Vellano (sp?) sounds like a real threat, and keep an eye on special teams. Stefon Diggs is a legit playmaker and we've not really seen someone like that try and light it up in the return game.

Alan Gifford: what is going to be the hardest game on the schedule, in your opinion

Jenn Menendez: I still see Oklahoma at home as the big one, but because it's later in the season and will give the defense some time to get better I have an eye on two key October games. @Texas on Oct. 6 and home vs. Kansas State Oct. 20.

Jimmy V: I'm concerned about the kicking game. The punting has been terrible and Tyler Betancourt is very inconsistent on field goals (and even extra point conversions). This area may cost WVU a win in a close game.

Jenn Menendez: You and everyone who watches this team. I think Bitancurt's missed extra point was an anomaly and he will turn into the placekicker that made some big ones down the stretch last year. As for the punting game...hard to believe it's still an issue this year. Perhaps the fact he's been called on so little accounted for the shanked 24-yarder against JMU.

Patrick: Would a 10-2 WVU squad manage an at-large BCS bid?

Jenn Menendez: Good question. I think if Geno Smith remains a Heisman contender and the offense remains one of the most explosive in college football this team could sneak in as an at-large.

Richard: Do you have any info as to why the kicker from Texas, whom WVU gave a scholarship too, is not kicking? I have not heard any info about him at all.

Jenn Menendez: Another good question. No, I'm not sure what the story is there. I think the preference is to redshirt him, but I would imagine if things get rough that label might come off and he may get thrown into action.

Danks: Any word on Garrison's status?

Jenn Menendez: We got an update from Holgorsen this week on Garrison that was much of the same. So basically, no, there's no real update. Sounds like they are still very high on Shawne Alston and Andrew Buie - for good reason - and they really don't want to push Garrison if it's not necessary. They always talk about how physical that position is and how important depth is for that very reason. I still think we see him at some point, but again, that's just a gut feeling.

Richard: What is your prediction for the final score for Saturday's game against Md?

Jenn Menendez: Well last I saw WVU is a 27 point favorite. I'm not sure if they cover that but it's obviously possible. I will go with 42 -17.

LateSleeper: What's with all the noon starts?

Jenn Menendez: Was just talking about this the other day down in Morgantown. I think the game times will get better once they get into Big 12 Conference play. I know it's not a popular time for students...but...

Chris: I imagine noon starts are fine with the team if they continue to be national broadcasts.

Jenn Menendez: Holgorsen said the noon starts were fine by him on Tuesday, pointing out that it was better than sitting around and getting lethargic all day waiting. Not sure if that was a making-the-most-of-it comment, but he's not one to mince words so I'd guess they don't care that much.


Jenn Menendez: Well...we'll see won't we. The trip I'm most looking forward to for sure.

Alan Gifford: i am surprised a program as big as WVU cant find someone who can punt at least above average

Jenn Menendez: Agreed. I'm always surprised when punting is a problem at this level.

Richard: Thx Jenn, keep up the good work!

Jenn Menendez: Thanks Richard.

Jenn Menendez: Have time for a few more ...

Alan Gifford: how many more games does garrison miss before hes redshirted

Jenn Menendez: I'd say they get into mid to late October before that decision is made. So potentially three or four more games. The way they're talking about him practicing "some" and a few things his teammates have said still make me think we see him. But...who knows until it happens.

Alan Gifford: Whats the chances the Pitt Rivalry is renewed fairly soon

Jenn Menendez: Well not sure what your definition of fairly soon is. But if you mean within the next 3-5 years...that's possible. If you mean next year? I'd say unlikely. It's without question the rivalry everyone will miss the most and I know both sides are in agreement that it should be put back on the schedule in some form down the road.

Ted in Charlotte: Another rumor circulating about a big RB recruit de-committing ... any idea why WVU has such a difficulty landing/keeping those RB's?

Jenn Menendez: Not sure exactly who you're speaking of, and can't hazard a guess to why he may or may not be de-committing. But kids make all kinds of decisions for all kinds of reasons.

Ted in Charlotte: Realizing that we're not Alabama, USC or Texas... What will it take for WVU for start landing the big-time recruits that other schools do?

Jenn Menendez: Time. Time and an emphasis on getting those kinds of guys. I think we spoke over email a few days ago, and I will certainly take a deeper look at the situation.

Jenn Menendez: Thanks again everyone. Glad you could all join me and see you back here next Thursday at 2 p.m. In the meantime please reach out. You can find me via email at: or @JennMenendez on twitter. wvusports


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