The Smoking Musket

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  • BREAKING: West Virginia’s full 2020 season schedule is now set

    BREAKING: West Virginia’s full 2020 season schedule is now set

    Aug 12, 2020 12:08pm

    NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at West VirginiaBen Queen-USA TODAY Sports


    With plans to play in 2020, the Big 12 Conference has released its schedule.

    West Virginia will host Eastern Kentucky on September 12th, and will have a 2 week break before the Big 12 Conference slate begins.

    The Mountaineers travel to Oklahoma State to start conference play, then take on the Baylor Bears to open the home season. That will be followed up by an early season bye before hosting the Kansas Jayhawks on October 17th. Next up, the Mountaineers will travel to Texas Tech before then returning to Morgantown to host the Kansas State Wildcats on Halloween.

    November will see the Mountaineers travel to Austin to take on the Longhorns, and then will head back home to host the TCU Horned Frogs. The season will wrap up with a late season bye before hosting Oklahoma on the Saturday after Thanksgiving before closing things out with a trip to Ames to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.

    Should West Virginia be able to put together a great season, they could find themselves in Arlington, Texas for the Big 12 Championship game on December 12th or 19th.

  • REPORT: Big 12 Start Date Set, West Virginia Opens Conference Play With A Trip To Stillwater

    REPORT: Big 12 Start Date Set, West Virginia Opens Conference Play With A Trip To Stillwater

    Aug 12, 2020 12:08pm

    NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at West VirginiaBen Queen-USA TODAY Sports

    Last night, the Big 12 Conference confirmed they’re joining the SEC and ACC in holding steadfast in their intentions to play football this Fall, in spite of the Big Ten and Pac-12’s move to postpone their seasons.

    According to Stadium’s Brett McMurphy and The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, the Big 12 will begin the conference games on September 26th. The non-conference games are expected to be played in the two weeks prior.

    SOURCE: For Big 12 teams their schedule is expected to open up with a non-conference opponent that would either be on Sept. 12 or the Sept 19. The conference schedule will begin Sept. 26. Formal announcement will happen in a few hours.

    — Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 12, 2020

    Big 12 schedule notes sources told @Stadium
    *Big 12 games begin Sept. 26; title game Dec. 12 (Arlington)
    * Start of season can be delayed to Oct. 10 & end Dec. 12 w/title game Dec. 19
    * Sept. 26 KU at BU, UT at TT, WVU at OSU, KSU at OU, ISU at TCU
    * OU-UT still Oct. 10 in Dallas

    — Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 12, 2020

    The Big 12 is expected to release a full schedule in the coming hours. We will update this article with that information when it becomes available. For now, it looks like the West Virginia Mountaineers will open with a trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma to play Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. That game was originally scheduled for November 14th.

  • Big 12 Full Steam Ahead With Plans To Play In 2020

    Big 12 Full Steam Ahead With Plans To Play In 2020

    Aug 11, 2020 10:30pm

    NCAA Basketball: Big 12 TournamentJay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

    The Big 12, in its first move as a forward thinking conference, has made its decision to move ahead with the 2020 season.

    Sources: Part of the eventual Big 12 announcement tonight will be enhanced medical protocols. This is expected to include "more testing" for COVID-19 and testing for cardiac issues if an athlete tests positive.

    — Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 12, 2020

    The Big 12’s decision likely means that the Big 12, ACC and SEC will move forward with some sort football in 2020.

    The SEC and ACC have already decided to play non conference games in their own home state so you can cross off any big non conference games this season, but the Big 12 will definitely need to play at least one non conference game to keep up with the 9+1 games that the SEC and ACC will play.

    Source: The Big 12 Presidents are wrapping up their call. The league is going to continue to pursue playing this season. A schedule, which was already prepared, will be released in the near future. This confirms what our @rivals friends at @SoonerScoop reported.

    — Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 12, 2020

    The Big 12 will release a schedule possibly tomorrow.

  • College Football On the Brink of 2020 as Big Ten and PAC 12 Cancel Fall Sports

    College Football On the Brink of 2020 as Big Ten and PAC 12 Cancel Fall Sports

    Aug 11, 2020 5:08pm

    NCAA Football: Ohio StadiumColumbus Dispatch-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

    The Big Ten and PAC 12 have announced the cancellation of fall sports.

    The Big Ten has postponed its fall football season and will attempt to play in the spring, sources confirmed to Mark Schlabach on Tuesday.

    — ESPN (@espn) August 11, 2020

    Breaking: The Pac-12 CEO group voted Tuesday to cancel fall sports, including football, and will look at options to play in the spring, first reported by Stadium and confirmed to ESPN.

    — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 11, 2020

    The crux of college football hangs in the balance as everyone waits to see if another Power 5 conference will cancel. If another conference cancels, do not be surprised if all of them do.

  • Arizona transfer Tony Fields II decides to Trust the Climb, chooses West Virginia

    Arizona transfer Tony Fields II decides to Trust the Climb, chooses West Virginia

    Aug 11, 2020 3:28pm

    Washington v ArizonaPhoto by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

    Neal Brown continues to use all available means to bring talent to Morgantown

    When Arizona linebacker Tony Fields II announced his intention to enter the transfer portal in mid-July, he immediately became one of the most sought after prospects on the graduate transfer market. The 6'1 220-pound linebacker was a 3-star teal chip recruit coming out of HS back in 2016 but was a Freshman All-American in 2017 and started all 37 of his games at Arizona, totalling 287 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks across three seasons.

    West Virginia was one of a number of teams in pursuit of his services, but it increasingly looked like we might lose out to conference rival Texas. However, when the time came on Monday, a now-customary "Let's go!" from Neal Brown let Mountaineer Nation know that Fields had made the right decision.

    Committed to West Virginia University. #TrustTheClimb

    — Tony Fields II (@T_Fields1) August 11, 2020

    Fields cited a couple of factors that weighed into his decision to follow those country roads home to Morgantown. The first was his relationship with co-DC Jahmile Addae, who recruited him to Arizona back in 2016. Addae's promotion and the similarities between schemes made Fields feel like he'll be able to hit the ground running in what will be a make-or-break year for him with regards to his future in football.

    He also expressed excitement about the idea of teaming up with current Mountaineers Darius and Dante Stills, saying "I don’t want to be just another guy. I want to be able to stand out. That’s why I’m looking close at things like the d-linemen, the people I work with. For instance, West Virginia has those two Stills brothers that are pretty good... That’s one of the biggest factors right there, the d-linemen on the team, because without good d-line playing linebacker is pretty hard."

    As for where he fits into the unit that West Virginia will field in 2020 (provided it happens), you have to think that Fields will immediately be in contention for one of the starting linebacker jobs. The Mountaineers have a number of serviceable options at both the Mike and Will, but really only Josh Chandler-Semedo has shown the potential to be much more than that at this point. At the very least, Fields gives us experience and three years of high-level production - he's someone who will undoubtedly improve our linebacker rotation and should continue the recent trend of getting impact performances from graduate transfers.

  • Neal Brown and the Mountaineers Want to Play Football this Fall

    Neal Brown and the Mountaineers Want to Play Football this Fall

    Aug 11, 2020 10:30am

    NCAA Football: James Madison at West VirginiaBen Queen-USA TODAY Sports

    West Virginia coach Neal Brown believes that keeping his team together and playing this season is the safest option for his team.

    Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.


    WVU head coach Neal Brown: “Our team wants to play”

    Neal Brown led his Mountaineers onto the practice field to officially open preseason training camp on the same day that numerous published reports indicated that the college football season is very much in doubt. The West Virginia head coach said: “Our team wants to play. Our coaches want to coach.” Brown is in support of moving forward with the college football season this fall, as he believes it is the best choice and safest environment for his players to be in and will provide the young men with structure and discipline that they need. Brown was also very supportive of his players that have joined the #WeWantToPlay movement because they are using their voices in a positive manner.

    WVU’s Brown Believes Football Can Be Safely Played in the Fall

    West Virginia head coach Neal Brown is advocating that college football be played this fall. He stands by programs are doing in order to play college football this fall, and he believes it can be done safely and effectively. Brown also believes that moving the season to the spring could create major eligibility issues. Do you think college football should be played this fall?

    Alston could miss first half of season

    In a press release Sunday, Neal Brown noted that West Virginia defensive end Taijh Alston will not participate in fall camp and could miss the first half of the regular season. Alston also missed most of 2019 season after suffering a knee injury.

    WVU Football Innovators – Jim Carlen and Bobby Bowden

    Part two of the Mountaineer football innovator series takes a look at the tenures of Jim Carlen and Bobby Bowden at West Virginia and how they shaped the offense of the program, as well as how people in the state viewed the Mountaineers.

    Puskar Center Work Progressing

    Interior and exterior construction work is continuing to progress on West Virginia’s Milan Puskar Center complex. WVU director of athletics Shane Lyons has indicated that a significant portion of the work should be completed in the coming days.

    West Virginia Athletics

    WVU women’s soccer picked fourth in Big 12 preseason poll

    The West Virginia women’s soccer team was picked fourth in the 2020 Big 12 preseason poll, which was announced on Friday. Texas Tech was picked to finish first, Oklahoma State was picked to finish second, and TCU was projected to finish third.

    Jordan Brewster named to preseason women’s soccer All-Big 12 team

    Following a season in which she was one of the most productive members of the West Virginia women’s soccer team, Jordan Brewster continues to collect accolades. On Thursday, the junior defender was announced as a member of the preseason All-Big 12 team. She is the only Mountaineer to receive the honor.

    West Virginia men’s soccer season postponed to spring at earliest

    The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced Saturday that it would be suspending all fall sports due to coronavirus fear, and it hopes to resume athletics in the spring. The West Virginia men’s soccer team is a member of the MAC.

    Preseason prep during a pandemic presents all sorts of new challenges, but also a new outlook: “every day is a gift”

    The West Virginia women’s soccer team will be a young squad again this year, and with seven freshmen, lost time makes developing valuable chemistry difficult. Chemistry was not the only thing that took a hit during the stoppage. WVU head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown also has to rush to get new players prepared for the challenges of college soccer.

    Trio Joins Mountaineers

    The West Virginia gymnastics coaching staff announced on Monday that Ellen Collins, Gillian Fletcher, and Nicole Norris will join the Mountaineer program this fall.

    Mountaineer mascot Glover to serve in role through 2021-22

    The Mountaineer Advisory Council has announced that Colson Glover will remain the Mountaineer mascot through the 2021-22 academic year as a result of COVID-19 fear interfering with college athletics. This decision seems to directly counter the Mountaineer Advisory Council’s recently adopted term limit of one year for the Mountaineer mascot.

    Carter drops season high vs. Heat

    Jevon Carter played a key role in the Phoenix Suns’ 119-112 win over the Miami Heat Saturday, producing one of the best performances of his NBA career. The second-year pro scored 20 points on 7-10 shooting in the win over Miami. Carter also shot 75 percent (6-8) from beyond the arc and added four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block.

    Around the Big 12

    Texas Tech Projected as 2020 Big 12 Soccer Favorite

    Texas Tech is the preseason favorite for the first time in program history in the 2020 Big 12 soccer preseason poll. Defending regular-season champion Oklahoma State is projected to finish second, and Kansas, who won the 2019 Big 12 Championship, was picked to finish sixth.

    2020 Big 12 Soccer Preseason Team Announced

    The Big 12 Conference has announced the 2020 Preseason All-Big 12 Soccer team. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech lead the league with three honorees each on the 11-person preseason all-conference team.

    Around the NCAA

    In Push to Play, College Football Stars Show Sudden Unity

    The blending of athletes’ #WeAreUnited and #WeWantToPlay movements showed players asserting themselves in ways that have been uncommon in college sports. At the movement’s core is an eight-word declaration from college athletes that directly challenges the fear that higher education leaders and others around the country are pushing: “We all want to play football this season.”

    Sources: Power 5 conferences talking about no fall football

    Commissioners of the Power 5 conferences held an emergency meeting on Sunday, as there is growing concern among college athletics officials that the upcoming football season and other fall sports cannot be played because of fear of the coronavirus. No major decisions were made on Sunday night, but it has been reported that the commissioners talked about trying to collaborate if their respective presidents do decide to cancel or postpone fall sports.

    The NBA is fining analysts for providing analysis

    Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was fined by the NBA for comments he made while working as an analyst for TNT, a role that the league allowed him to hold since his team is not playing in the NBA bubble. The NBA continues to show that it wants complete control of all narratives that are pushed by the league and things that are said by its players, and it will punish anyone who goes against this.

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  • West Virginia Flips Three-Star Miami Commit

    West Virginia Flips Three-Star Miami Commit

    Aug 6, 2020 10:23am

    NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Russell Athletic Bowl - West Virginia v MiamiPhoto by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    The Mountaineers have flipped local Miami recruit Ja’Corey Hammett from his commitment to the Hurricanes.

    Welcome, By-Godders, to The Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU’s best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor, and daily distractions.


    Ja’Corey Hammett flips commitment from Miami to WVU

    West Virginia was able to flip Miami native Ja’Corey Hammett from his commitment to the Miami Hurricanes. Hammett became the 14th verbal commitment to WVU’s Class of 2021 on Wednesday afternoon. Hammett is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound defender that led Northwestern High School to a 13-2 record and the Florida Class 5A state championship last fall.

    Three Guys Before The Game – Owen Schmitt (Episode 219)

    On this episode of “Three Guys Before The Game,” West Virginia legend Owen Schmitt shares his story of chasing his dream to play football at the highest level in college and in the NFL. Schmitt shares stories with the guys that are both insightful and comical.

    Updated Football Information

    West Virginia University has announced that ticket purchasers for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Florida State will have the opportunity to credit their ticket payment amount to a future ticket purchase or convert the payment to a tax-deductible contribution to the Mountaineer Athletic Club in support of the student-athlete scholarship fund.


    WVU scores recruiting win as Fairmont Senior’s Marley Washenitz stays home

    Fairmont guard Marley Washenitz has verbally committed to join the Class of 2022 at West Virginia. Washenitz is a rising junior and averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists per game last year.

    West Virginia Athletics

    Goetz Wins WPGA Open Championship

    Redshirt junior Mark Goetz of the West Virginia golf team won the 117th Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Open Championship at Shannopin Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday. Goetz shot a two-day total of 131 for 11-under on the par-71, 6,457-yard course.

    Mountaineers Begin 2020 Preseason

    The 25th season of West Virginia women’s soccer officially opened with the team’s first preseason training session on Tuesday morning. The Mountaineers are coming off a 12-8-2 season in 2019, which included their 20th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

    Around the Big 12

    TCU football coach sorry for repeating racial slur to player

    TCU head football coach Gary Patterson apologized for repeating a racial slur when telling a player to stop using the slur in team meetings. Patterson’s use of the slur first arose in a since-deleted tweet from former defensive back Niko Small, who accused the coach of using the word in front of the team.

    Around the NCAA

    NCAA mandates safeguards for student-athletes; eligibility relief for opt outs to be determined by Aug. 14

    The NCAA Board of Governors has directed all schools and conferences to safeguard the well-being, scholarships, and eligibility of student-athletes. One key directive from the NCAA is that each student-athlete must be allowed to opt out due to COVID-19 concerns if they so choose, and in the event that they do opt out, their scholarships will still be honored.

    Pac-12 football players show unity, list demands in letter to conference

    A group of Pac-12 football players from multiple schools are threatening to opt out of fall camp and game participation unless their demands for fair treatment, safety regulations, and concerns over racial justice for college athletes are met by the conference.

    Big Ten players follow Pac-12, form unity group to address concerns

    Football players from the Big Ten have joined Pac-12 players in publishing a list of demands related to their safety during the coronavirus pandemic, along with what they called other platforms for change.

    The Rock, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital just bought the XFL ... seriously

    In one of the most surprising twists of the sports year, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in partnership with Dany Garcia and investment firm RedBird Capital, purchased the XFL from WWE for a reported $15M. There has been no announcement whether there is a plan to relaunch the league, or if the acquisition was simply a play for its assets.

    Have any tips, suggestions or requests for what you want to see in The Shotgun/Throwdown? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us on social media.

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  • Kerry Martin Jr. to Opt Out of Upcoming Season

    Kerry Martin Jr. to Opt Out of Upcoming Season

    Aug 5, 2020 11:28am

    West Virginia v Kansas StatePhoto by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

    Martin adds his name to the already growing list of Power 5 athletes exercising their right to opt out of the upcoming season

    West Virginia sophomore safety Kerry Martin Jr. announced this morning that he’ll be opting out of the 2020 season, citing health concerns related to COVID-19 and existing underlying health issues. Martin’s scholarship will be honored for the season, and he currently intends to return to the team in 2021 as a redshirt sophomore.

    With his announcement, Martin joins the growing list of Power 5 conference athletes that have decided to opt out for the season, highlighted by Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. As we get closer to the intended start date for the season, that list is expected to continue growing.

    Mountaineer forever

    — Kerry “KJ” Martin Jr. (@KMartinJr11) August 5, 2020

    While it’s still up in the air as to whether a season will even be played at this point, the Mountaineers will be missing a key member of the defense.

Penguins Yahoo Sports

Penguins Yahoo Sports

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  • Penguins fire 3 assistants following quick playoff exit

    Aug 12, 2020 12:08pm

    The move came less than a week after the fifth-seeded Penguins fell to the 12th-seeded Canadiens in four mostly lifeless games. General manager Jim Rutherford promised significant changes after Pittsburgh dropped its opening-round postseason series for the second straight year.

  • Flyers hope top seed in East leads to Stanley Cup title

    Aug 12, 2020 11:40am

    Alain Vigneault often has a dash of James Bond in him when he closes his news conferences. The Philadelphia Flyers have both shaken and stirred their way to plenty of wins this season in Vigneault's first season on the bench. Here's the twist - the Flyers were the hottest team in the NHL entering the pandemic break and the best team coming out of it, good enough to earn a No. 1 seed and a series with the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

  • Boucher witnesses NHL marathon 20 years after his 5 OT game

    Aug 12, 2020 5:06am

    Brian Boucher knew how it felt. Twenty years ago, he was in goal for the Philadelphia Flyers when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the longest playoff game in modern NHL history, a five-overtime thriller. Halfway through the fourth overtime, Boucher took the kind of breath he was unable to back in 2000 and summed up what the players on the ice were feeling.

  • Latest Canada & World Headlines

    Aug 11, 2020 10:30pm

    Jim Rutherford is not ready to blow up the core that's led the Pittsburgh Penguins to three Stanley Cups in a little more than a decade. Still, the longtime general manager understands there's some serious retooling necessary following a second straight playoff flameout. The issue isn't just that the Penguins have lost nine of their past 10 postseason games.

  • How Should The Penguins Handle Matt Murray?

    Aug 11, 2020 8:26pm

    Colin Dunlap and Chris Mack of The Fan Morning Show didn't necessarily agree with that statement and said this isn't as complicated as we might think. One... I don't know who's giving Matt Murray $8 or $9 million a year.

  • Report: Penguins "leaning" towards keeping 2020 first round pick, will decide tomorrow

    Aug 11, 2020 6:35pm

    The Penguins failed to win the lottery draft on Monday, so now they have to decide if they want to send their 2020 first round pick (15th overall) to the Minnesota Wild, or keep this year’s pick and send the 2021 pick, no matter when it is. That’s how the condition of the Jason Zucker trade worked out. According to league insider Pierre LeBrun, the Pens are leaning towards keeping this year’s pick, but will decide for sure tomorrow after internal meetings.

  • Penguins GM Rutherford looks to retool after 'puzzling' playoff exit

    Aug 11, 2020 5:51pm

    Jim Rutherford is not ready to blow up the core that's led the Pittsburgh Penguins to three Stanley Cups in a little more than a decade. Still, the longtime general manager understands there's some serious retooling necessary following a second straight playoff flameout. The issue isn't just that the Penguins have lost nine of their past 10 postseason games.

  • GM Rutherford looks to retool after ‘puzzling’ Pens exit

    Aug 11, 2020 4:26pm

    The issue isn't just that the Penguins have lost nine of their past 10 postseason games. It's the way in which they have lost them that's left Rutherford ''puzzled.''

  • Habs ready for Flyers' test: 'We're going to be the underdogs in any series'

    Aug 11, 2020 3:28pm

    The Montreal Canadiens were significant underdogs against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After dispatching Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and company — a roster with the seventh-best record in regular season, 15 points ahead of them in the standings — in the NHL's qualifying round, the Canadiens are in the same boat heading into a first-round playoff matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.

  • Penguins GM Jim Rutherford Not Planning to Trade Sidney Crosby, Core Players

    Aug 11, 2020 3:28pm

    The Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from the postseason quicker than most expected, but general manager Jim Rutherford confirmed this isn't the end of the line for a core that has won three Stanley Cup titles since 2009. "I plan to move forward with the core. These are good players," Rutherford added in Tuesday's press conference.



Pittsburgh Steelers -

Pittsburgh Steelers -

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates

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  • Inbox: Who will claim last spot in Bucs' rotation?

    Pirates Beat reporter Adam Berry answers questions about the fifth-starter options, shortstop and the designated-hitter proposal.
  • Pirates looking to lean on 'strong' rotation

    Good pitching beats good hitting, as the saying goes. Pirates starter Jameson Taillon repeated the baseball adage last month. Manager Clint Hurdle did the same, adding: "It always has." The Bucs are counting on that still being true in 2019.
  • Pirates' Top 30 Prospects list

    Who do the Pirates have in the pipeline? Get scouting reports, video, stats, projected ETAs and more for Pittsburgh's Top 30 Prospects on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Watch.
  • Predicting Pirates' Opening Day roster

    The Pirates have plenty of decisions to make this spring.
  • Vazquez ranked among game's best relievers

    MLB Network's countdown of baseball's best players at each position came to a conclusion with the final installment of the "Top 10 Right Now!" series, featuring the game's top relief pitchers and shortstops.
  • Bucs confident despite quiet offseason

    Francisco Liriano was back in the Pirate City clubhouse on Monday morning, setting up the same locker he occupied three springs ago.
  • Bucs ink Melky to Minor League deal

    The Pirates added a veteran outfielder to their Opening Day roster competition, signing free agent Melky Cabrera to a Minor League deal that includes an invitation to big league Spring Training.
  • Polanco throwing, hopes for April-May return

    When Gregory Polanco underwent shoulder surgery on Sept. 12, the Pirates offered a vague timetable for his recovery that implied he could return as early as mid-April or as late as mid-June. Unsurprisingly, Polanco wants to be back sooner rather than later.
  • Uniform patch to mark 150 years of pro baseball

    All 30 Major League teams will wear special "MLB 150" patches on their uniforms for the entire 2019 season in honor of the 150th anniversary of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first openly all-salaried professional baseball team.