West Virginia coach Bill Stewart, who coached at the Mountain State's other Division I-A program way back when Jimmy Carter was in office in 1980, steadfastly refused to hear any such talk. Earlier this week, when the notion was raised about assistant head coach/safeties coach Steve Dunlap offering some insider-trading insight on the Marshall where he worked as defensive coordinator last season, Stewart immediately tossed it aside. Won't happen.
But offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen was willing to listen.
"It's like if we were playing Wake Forest," he teased of his former employer, "I'd throw 'em all under the bus."
Seriously, he said he planned to pick Dunlap's brain about personnel, but there is no great information to be gleaned about systems or signals because the Thundering Herd has two new coordinators. Mullen even downplayed that type of scouting report, too: "Once the ball is kicked and the first punch is thrown, none of it matters. I mean, you've got to perform."
About this governor-mandated series: Truth be told, Rich Rodriguez wasn't crazy about it. He felt the game did little to enhance the Mountaineers' strength of schedule and program overall -- if they played poorly or, as on Dec. 1, went full-monty rotten, it would only hurt them come the polls and bowls. But Stewart the successor embraces this baby as if it were a long, lost relation. Said Stew: "I can't imagine growing up in this great Mountain State and not having any kind of interest in this game. It's great for college football. Should be very, very emotional. I can't wait to whip 'em. I can't wait to punch them right in the nose. That's the way it is in a family."
Now, a celluloid moment in honor of Marshall gameday: