The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

August 30, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Believe it or not, Liberty can pull upset

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.

It happened.

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.

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • 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.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg 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.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy

    The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.

    July 16, 2014

  • WVU player arrested in Delaware case

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.

    July 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads