The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

December 21, 2011

Can Mountaineers spring a repeat of 2008 Fiesta Bowl?

MORGANTOWN — To Najee Goode, it is “beautiful luck” that West Virginia is playing Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 4 in Miami, Fla.

“I jumped into the air when they announced on TV that we were going to play on the beach,” said the 6-foot-1, 240-pound linebacker from Cleveland, Ohio.

“I enjoyed playing in a BCS bowl (Fiesta) when I first came in. Now it’s definitely a chance to do it again at the beach.”

West Virginia upset heavily favored Oklahoma Jan. 2, 2008, in the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.

Goode earned a spot on the All-Big East first team this year. He was credited with 84 tackles, 12.5 tackles for lost yardage, and four sacks from his middle linebacker position.

“Clemson was explosive in beating Virginia Tech in the playoff for the ACC Championship,” Goode said.

“The Tigers are 10-3 and are ranked 16th nationally.”

The Mountaineers, 9-3 and ranked 23rd, finished in a three-way tie for the Big East crown with Cincinnati and Louisville. But WVU won the BCS bid on the league’s tie-breaking rules.

“It was a tough situation for us after we lost to Louisville,” Goode recalled. “But things worked out for us as we won our last three games and Cincinnati beat Connecticut in its last game.”

Goode said, “We’ve got to make some plays to beat Clemson. We had that opportunity and beat Oklahoma when I was a freshman.

“We’re having time (after final exams) to become familiar with our opponent. Clemson has a good quarterback who is really good.

“He makes a lot of good decisions. From watching tapes, you could see that the Tigers are explosive.”

Goode thinks the WVU defense has gotten better as the younger players gradually improved with experience as the season progressed.

Goode singled out fellow defensive standouts Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin for praise as big contributors.

He added, “And we got some breaks when needed — an interception, fumble recovery, etc,” he noted. “And I think the defense continues to get better.”

Text Only
College Sports
  • Mountaineers beat Buckeyes 4-1 in lefty Vance’s first career start

    In his first career start for the WVU baseball team, sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out 14 en route to a 4-1 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 15, 2014

  • Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage last Saturday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Wesleyan edges CU twice in softball

    The Concord University softball narrowly dropped a pair of games to No. 17 West Virginia Wesleyan, 2-1 and 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Culpepper Field.

    April 14, 2014

  • Concord baseball shuts out Cardinals

    The Concord University baseball team posted two shutout victories on Sunday, extending its winning streak to seven games by beating conference foe Wheeling Jesuit.

    April 14, 2014

  • dana Much still to be answered this fall

    In Saturday’s paper, I compiled a list of five things to watch at West Virginia University’s annual Gold-Blue Spring Game. Now, after watching the football scrimmage that concluded this year’s spring drills and taking some time to process what I saw, it’s time to go back and revisit those five points and how they turned out on Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni speculation now seems to have legs

    Kareem Canty got what he wanted, and Marshall fans should find out this week if they will get what they want.

    April 13, 2014

  • millard Specials teams shine at Gold-Blue Game

    The scoreboard said the Gold (offense) beat the Blue (defense) 37-27 in Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game at Milan Puskar Stadium using a modified scoring system that rewarded the defense for stops and turnovers and the offense for scores.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • syvertson ‘Huey the Punter’ makes transition to LB

    The first reaction of the 10,000 fans in attendance at Milan Puskar Stadium for Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game when No. 42 shot through the offensive line and put junior college transfer quarterback Skyler Howard on the ground in the second half was to ooh and aah.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • crutchfield Crutchfield again named Furfari Award winner

    Already the winningest men’s basketball coach in college history in terms of percentage — yes, better than guys like John Wooden, Adolph Rupp and Roy Williams — West Liberty’s Jim Crutchfield is heading into some lofty territory within the confines of his home state.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Five things to watch at WVU spring game

    Spring practice will come to an end for West Virginia University this afternoon when the Mountaineer football team hosts the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game at 1 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.

    April 11, 2014

AP Video