I was just thinking this morning, how the past two years we've limped into The Game in whipped / beaten puppy state. The team seemed to have given up three or four games before.
This year, the team has not given up. They may have lost games convincingly, but I can't point to a single moment of them rolling over.
Yes our defense is riddled with injuries, and talent that didn't make it to, or is no longer on campus, BUT they haven't given up. Molk has gone down, Odoms, any given running back, Denard here and there, etc., AND our offense has stepped up and continued to compete.
This is a huge difference than the past two years, and say a Weisian-coached ND team.
So, I don't like where our defense is, and I don't like the turnovers, and the kicking is really a disaster, but this team is young, AND they are still fighting.
For that reason I am entering The Game with at least the view that we should see a competitive offensive game. With a few breaks, good things are possible. (This is in contrast to quarterbacks with their arms hanging in pain in '07 and '09, and good 'ole Sheridan (not even Threet) in '08.)
They're moving in the right direction. The real question is whether Rich is capable of making the changes necessary to field a competitive defense. (Hint: Loyalty is an admirable quality, but maybe some ex-WVU coaches need to go ...)