I forgot, or neglected, to make predictions this week. But it's already been interesting with West Virginia's attempt to literally fumble a game to Colorado, Fairmont Senior's double-overtime victory over NCAC foe University and East Fairmont's last minute loss at North Marion.
First up, West Virginia and the serious case of fumble-itis that has struck the team. Ten, count them, 10 turnovers in the last 2 games. Nothing alters the course of a game faster than turnovers. It cost West Virginia the game at Auburn and nearly cost them the game versus Colorado. If Colorado had a field goal kicker and took an early lead, it could have changed the playcalling and seriously affected the rest of the game. Luckily for WVU, they never fell behind and overcame serious problems with the ball.
If they do not remedy the turnover issue soon, it will cost them more games this year. Syracuse sounds like an easy game but with Paulus as QB, they have a shot at beating the Mountaineers. He won't panic in a "big game" because of this experience at Duke and, if WVU's offense gives them enough opportunities, the Orange will score. Bill Stewart must find a way to make Brown protect the ball and the other WVU players need to secure the football. WVU got lucky with Colorado...the talent WVU had far surpassed the Buffalos. The same can't be said when they play Cincinnati, USF, Pitt or Rutgers.
East Fairmont's early season woes have gotten worse. Between injuries and general lack of confidence, the Bees find themselves in a 5-game losing streak. It doesn't look promising to break that streak this week when RCB comes to town for a Thursday night Homecoming game. East Fairmont's offense did generate nearly 200 yards in offense but the Bees struggled with 3 interceptions and couldn't move the ball consistently against the Huskies. East Fairmont's lone score came on an interception return for a touchdown. On the flipside, I predicted that North Marion had confidence and knew how to win since their first victory and now they are on a 3-game winning streak. Probably not playoff ready but a team on the rebound. If they really want to prove North Marion is back, they have their opportunity next week when they visit Morgantown.
And, lastly, the team I predicted to win the NCAC is now in the driver's seat following their double-overtime victory over previously unbeaten University. Fairmont Senior made a huge defensive stop to beat the #4 Hawks and will remain the No. 1 team in WV High School football this week. The Polar Bears toughest tests have been passed with wins against RCB, Morgantown and University. The schedule is favorable for Fairmont to win out. Wheeling Park is down this year so the biggest test remains the Oct. 23 showdown against Bridgeport. Fairmont Senior has a good shot at ending the season as the #1 team in the state barring a mental lapse.