By Colin Dunlap | 3 a.m. Tuesday
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QUESTION: I hate to say it but right now WVU is the 3rd best team in the Big East and the secondary is the reason why. I hate to pick on a player but I saw #12 get beat time and time again on Saturday against UConn. To make matters worse, WVU can't blitz that often because they can't afford to put the secondary in man coverage. How long until Coach Stew and Dave Lockwood decide enough is enough and turn to the freshman for help at safety?
Chris, Mannington, WV
DUNLAP: I have received quite a few emails over the past 48 hours or so that have all taken the same tone --- a tone that pretty much hammers Nate Sowers. The truth is, I don't know how much of a choice defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel and his underlings have right now. Do you go with Boogie Allen as the starter at that third safety spot? Do you move Eain Smith, a redshirt freshman, over from his free safety position to take Sowers' place? Surely, freshman Pat Miller isn't big enough to play there in the middle of the field.
That said, while it is clear to me that Sowers hasn't been the best player on the defense, I think some people are taking this a bit far. I think he has performed average, and about up to what I expected out of him. A decent portion of why he is on the field is more based on what he can do between his ears - that is to say his awareness, his ability to understand when the offense shifts into things and his undeniable gift for staying calm in big situations.
While there are freshman who are, without question, more athletic than Sowers and, in the end will probably be better football players, if you put those young kids in right now, they might make mental mistakes that no athleticism will be able to overcome.
In short, it is a bit of a Catch-22 and, as of this day, Sowers is the best option.
QUESTION: An observation, to add to your answer about Devine yesterday. An even better example of the BIG EAST bias....Pat white, the Best QB in all of College football the past 3 years never even got a hint of an invitation to NY for the award. And yet based on his play almost every football team both NCAA and NFL have gone to a Wild Cat Offense due in great part to how he perfected the game.
Steve, Atlanta, Ga.
DUNLAP: Pat White was very, very good...a great college football player and a prodigious leader, one of the greatest winners college football has ever, and will ever, know.
But, to call him the best QB in all of college football the past three years is a bit of a stretch.
Also, Miami was running the wildcat with Ronnie Brown before they drafted Patrick.
Again, Pat was a tremendous winner and leader, but you might be taking it just a bit far.
Should he have been invited to New York as one of the five Heisman finalists? Maybe.
Did he have a realistic shot of winning the award? Never.