Any road leading to Morgantown offers picturesque views that lead to one of college football’s most tradition rich programs. Nestled in this mountainous venue lies Milan Puskar Stadium, home of the West Virginia Mountaineers.
West Virginia football had lost some of it’s spark over the past couple years. Former coach, Rich Rodriguez had lofted expectations in Morgantown and the hope was that new coach and offensive wizard, Dana Holgorsen, would put the Mountaineers back in the spotlight. The Marshall game was his debut and the West Virginia offense opened with a three and out followed by an 87 yard punt return TD by Marshall. It didn’t exactly showcase the fruits of his labor. But highly touted Geno Smith quarterbacked his way back into the hearts of mountaineer fans as he led his team on several scoring drives.
Two undefeated teams from major conferences highlighted this confrontation in Madison. The game alone lent itself to heat up conversations. But, the controversy over a musket brought discussions to a boil. Yes, a musket. For sixty years, West Virginia and its mountaineer mascot has shot a traditional musket celebrating each touchdown. Like most places, laws in Wisconsin state that no firearm of any kind is allowed in stadiums or arenas. The Mountaineers got the green light on the issue when it was made clear that only gunpowder is used and blasts would be limited. The prop was not well received by Badger fans as West Virginia poured onto the field led by the Mountaineer who pulled the trigger to announce their arrival. The musket was startling and made a sound that can only be heard on the History Channel or war reenactments at Williamsburg. A cacophony of boos shattered the air and pointed down at the visiting team.