On Saturday afternoon, West Virginia will take on James Madison in game two of the Mountaineers season.
The Dukes are one of the better FCS programs in the country and are incredbily well coached under former Marshall defensive coordinator Mickey Matthews. Matthews spent time in our state as a defensive coordinator for Jim Donnan at Marshall in the early 90′s. He shared on the State-Wide Sportsline this week that his children still consider Barboursville as their childhood home.
You may remember that in 2010, James Madison opened up a lot of eyes with an upset win on the road at Virginia Tech in the second weekend of the season. As a result, many of the writers covering the Mountaineers are bringing that game up and trying to draw some comparisons with this weekend’s game.
I may be wrong, but I don’t think there are any comparisons.
When James Madison beat the Hokies in 2010, Virgnia Tech was coming off of an incredibly short week. The Dukes caught them at the perfect time. If you will remember, Virginia Tech opened the season with a gut-wrenching, hard-hitting and emotional loss to Boise State on a prime-time Labor Day Monday night game at FedEx Field in DC. They were beat up, whipped and drained.
They, then, had to turn around and go from a late night Monday night game to a Saturday game at noon. In that situation, recovery time is hard and preparation and practice time is minimal. Healing from bumps and bruises of the just played game is also minimal.
WVU is not in that situation. The Mountaineers have had two weeks to get ready for this game. They have had the bye week to correct what went wrong against Marshall and the second week to prepare for JMU.
Also, quite frankly, this WVU team is better than that Virginia Tech team. West Virginia has better players, they have more weapons, they have more confidence and they have an All-American type quarterback.
It is, and has been, a waste of time to try to compare the situations. The only thing that the 2012 Mountaineers and 2010 Hokies have in common is that they are both playing James Madison.