Danny Buggs. Credit: fanbase.com
We continue our 12 Days Countdown to Kickoff with #8 Danny Buggs.
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Record: 18-16, Bowl Record: 0-1
Too often, West Virginia fans forget about the great all-purpose players of the past. Many are quick to point to Tavon Austin, Jock Sanders, Pat White, etc as the best all-purpose players to come through Morgantown. How many WVU fans point to Danny Buggs? Certainly the younger generation does not remember his career, but the more seasoned Mountaineer fan can tell you that Buggs was an electrifying force for the Mountaineers in the 1970s. Buggs was listed as a wide receiver on the depth charts, but was used as a receiver, rusher, kick returner, and punt returner. After sitting out freshman year with academic issues, Coach Bobby Bowden gave Buggs the chance to play as sophomore. Bowden would use Buggs to do everything during the 1972 season. Buggs scored rushing, receiving, and returning. After exploding onto the scene in 1972, Buggs would continue to make plays for the Mountaineers in 1973, earning first team All-American honors. Buggs, like the rest of the Mountaineers, would struggle in 1974. He had a difficult time staying on the field and the entire team struggled to produce. The 1974 season was the catalyst to WVU firing Bowden, following the 1975 season (biggest mistake in program history). For his career, Buggs totaled 2,729 all-purpose yards and 24 total touchdowns. It is said that Buggs scored a touchdown every 5 touches, which is just insane. He literally was a threat to score every time he touched the ball, which is why he was drafted by the NFL. Buggs would not have the same success in the pros as he did in college, ending up out of football without a memorable career. His college career, though, was more than qualified to be inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Memorable Game: Danny Buggs got many teams off guard during the 1972 season. One of the teams that seemed to be caught completely by surprise was the Syarcuse Orange. The Mountaineers welcome Syracuse to Old Mountaineer field in November of that year to renew their rivalry. West Virginia was seeking to avenge the 1971 loss at Syracuse. Coach Bowden was looking to unleash his new weapon, Buggs, on the Orange defense. Both teams would trade scores in the first half, with WVU taking a 14-12 lead into half time. Buggs would take over the second half of the game, helping the Mountaineers blow the game wide open. Buggs carried the ball 4 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He would also add a pair of receptions for 80 yards and a receiving touchdown. The Syracuse defense had no answer for Buggs’ speed. West Virginia completely owned the Orange in the second half, leading to an easy 43-12 victory.
Competition: Buggs was an easy pick for this spot on the countdown. He is one of the most dynamic players to have suited up in the old gold and blue. There were some other decent players to have worn #8. They include: Quinton Andrews, Thandi Smith, Keith Tandy, Khori Ivy, and Trusty Tallman.
Teaser: Tomorrow, we look at another smaller, shiftier Mountaineer. How this player ever made it to Morgantown, is beyond comprehension. This player had his pick of any school in the country, yet he chose WVU. It must have been divine intervention (certainly not Deion intervention). What really happened with his recruitment will probably remain a secret.