MORGANTOWN — It can happen.
Hard as it is to believe, Liberty could come into Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday and beat the West Virginia University Mountaineers.
No one knows that better than Lonnie Galloway, who coaches the wide receivers on coach Bill Stewart’s WVU staff.
See, he was part of the biggest upset in college football history.
We know, around these parts that title belongs to Pitt’s stunning upset of West Virginia in 2007 when they knocked off a team ready to play in the national championship game as a four-touchdown underdog.
And there are those who would vote for Stanford’s stunner of USC a couple of years back, a bad team bringing down a team many felt would win the national title.
But, ladies and gentlemen, this was Appalachian State and mighty Michigan in the Big House.
It’s highly likely that not half of the 101,000 people who gathered that day in Ann Arbor knew where Appalachian State was, let alone understood that they had any chance at all to beat No. 5 Wolverines.
And Lonnie Galloway can tell you how.
“When we went into the Appalachian game we were coming off two national championships and were picked to be No. 1 again,” Galloway recalled.
This was not just another Division I-AA team, much as Liberty is not just another Division I-AA team. The Flames were 10-2 last year, knocked off a pair of nationally ranked I-AA opponents and are coached by a rising star in the coaching business, Danny Rocco, who comes from the Pittsburgh area, which might just give him a little more incentive.
The one thing Division I-A teams dare not do when facing schools from a lower classification is think that they do not possess the talent to pull off an upset. Take that Appy State team that beat Michigan.
MORGANTOWN — It can happen.
- Bob Herzel
HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?
The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
“In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
Reading that turned on a light.
WVU takes first step today
Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
“There’s no tomorrow.”
Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”
HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism
This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.
HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps
A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.
HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters
The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.
WVU, N.C. State to meet in football
Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.
HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention
When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.
Holgorsen’s program hits turning point
You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.
Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success
In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.
Saban, family happy at Alabama
Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.
- More Bob Herzel Headlines
- HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?