Thursday, January 3, 2008


Underdog West Virginia won the (Tostitos) Fiesta Bowl, and then, to their credit, they immediately hired “interim” head coach Bill Stewart. A class move, and perhaps a season saving one which should salve the wounds of a national championship killing loss to a crappy rival Pitt team, and a lawsuit spiced divorce from previous head coach Rich Rodriguez...or as they call him in Morgantown, Rich Fraudriguez. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Mountaineers quarterback Pat White, who ran for 150 yards and threw for 176 and two touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl victory, began stumping for Stewart on the field after the game.

"He deserves it," White said. "A great man. A great coach. All the players respect him and all the players love him. You couldn't ask for a better man to lead us to victory today."

Fullback Owen Schmitt, who scored on a 57-yard run, called Stewart the "glue" that kept the Mountaineers together during a rocky month.

(Running back Noel Devine #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs for a 65-yard touchdown past Dominique Franks #15 of the Oklahoma Sooners. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Stewart, a New Martinsville, WV native, was head coach at VMI from 1994-96, compiling an 8-25 record. He also had stints as an assistant at Salem College, North Carolina, Marshall, William & Mary, Navy, Arizona State and Air Force. Stewart came to West Virginia as quarterbacks coach in January 2000 after two seasons as offensive coordinator in the Canadian Football League.
According to ALL the media pundits not from West Virginia, the Mountaineers had no shot against Oklahoma. The talking heads had deemed Bob Stoops’ squad as one of the very best in the land on par with Georgia, USC, Ohio State and LSU. Add to the mix the simple fact that no “interim” head coach had yet won a bowl game this go ‘round, and it looked like the boys from Morgantown were headed for disaster.
(Quarterback Patrick White #5 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs for 47-yards past Dominique Franks #15 and a bunch of other Sooners. This happened a lot. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Not so fast.

(Speaking of not so fast, that's not a linebacker returning an interception, that's running back Owen Schmitt on a 57-yard TD rumble. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Nobody told the Mountaineers, and now couches are burning all over the place…

Flame on, brothers!

Well done.

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