West-Virginia-Pitt: My Apology to Jarrett Brown
In my preview of the Backyard Brawl that I wrote yesterday, I took Pitt quarterback Bill Stull over WVU's Jarrett Brown.
In my reasons for this I said that time after time, "JB has broken down in big situations when the team needed him the most."
This line echoed over and over again in my head as the Mountaineers took the field for what proved to be their game-winning drive on Friday night.
After Stull nailed Jonathan Baldwin with a touchdown bomb and the Mountaineers took the field with about three minutes left, I looked at my buddy Seeks, who came over to watch the game, and said, "Do you think he [Brown] knows that everyone in that stadium thinks that he's gonna mess this up somehow?"
I was barely able to finish that sentence before he took a zone read to his left for a pretty impressive first-down run.
Then he hooked up with Alric Arnett for another first down and just like that, we were in Pitt territory. Then a strange thought popped up in my head: we could win this.
Two incomplete passes later and it looked like this was headed to be just another stalled comeback and we would end up losing the chance to win it in regulation and have to take care of business in overtime.
On third-and-10, Brown dodged and weaved through Pitt defenders only to come up a yard short, leaving them with, what might have been, the biggest play of the season on fourth down.
When a lot of people in the crowd were betting on them to come up short like they did the other two times that they went for it on fourth, Brown led the WVU offense to the line with a ton of poise and then he handed it off to Clarke.
I swear I just about had a heart attack when they measured the spot and when we picked up the first down, that was it, game over.
I immediately started thinking of how many more yards we needed to get before we would be in Bitancurt's range and I thought that if Brown and the boys could take it about 10 more yards, we'd be at the 25 (a 42-yarder) and that would be plenty enough for Bitancurt to put it through for the win.
Devine runs it seven, and Clarke takes it two more, and the special teams unit trots out onto the field led by our freshman kicker. The rest is history.
So, I just wanted to take this time to officially issue my apology to WVU quarterback Jarrett Brown.
I'm sorry for saying that you wouldn't be able lead this team to victory when it came down to crunch time and they were relying on you to lead them the rest of the way.
That final drive was great, you made a couple of huge runs and when it came down to big-time situations (the third-and-ten run and the fourth down conversion right after that) you showed a ton of poise and wouldn't let the play break down when a lot of weaker, less experienced quarterbacks would.
I'm sorry that I used Bill Stull's big comeback over Connecticut as a factor in me picking him over you in my position breakdown of that preview.
I forgot to look and see that you led WVU down the field on the game-winning drive against UConn before Devine busted off that big touchdown run.
So, the two fourth quarter comebacks between the two of you against the Huskies should've cancelled each other out.
All right, now that that's over with, that was the biggest win of the season without a doubt. Anytime you can beat a Top 10 team, it's great for the team, the fans, the coaches, and for recruiting especially.
But when that team happens to be No. 8 Pitt in the Backyard Brawl on Senior Night at a rockin' Mountaineer Field, it doesn't get any better.
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