Last night’s Orange Bowl matchup between West Virginia and Clemson was the battle of rookie alma maters between Chris Neild and Jarvis Jenkins.
Going into the game, I spoke with both men to hear some predictions on how they thought the game would go. A confident Jenkins had spoken with Neild already, and knew that there were some injuries on defense for the Mountaineers. He confidently predicted a victory of “at least 14 points.”
After I relayed the information to Neild, the nose tackle declared that there’s no way that the Mountaineers would lose, but predicted a close, low-scoring game.
It turns out that both of them were wrong. At halftime, the Mountaineers had already scored 49 points, in route to a West Virginia rout: 70-33.
For two defensive players, it must have been difficult to watch a game that featured 103 combined points and 1,032 yards of offense. Both players pride themselves on their individual ability to stop the run, and yet their former defensive teammates allowed a combined 381 yards on the ground.
But that didn’t exactly shame Neild, who celebrated his team’s victory on Twitter, in caps lock:
I think he may have been excited.
Jenkins was unsurprisingly quiet during the game, and the two didn’t interact via social media–at least not publicly. One thing I can guarantee, however, is that both players fought the itch to help out their respective defenses, rather than watching from the couch at home.