LANDOVER, Md. - Could this be the day?
After all, it's been nearly 22 months since it last happened, and Dana Holgorsen keeps talking as if the drought will eventually end. But until it does, there will remain a bit of mystery.
Will Ryan Clarke ever carry the ball again?
"Hey, if it's a part of the game plan, you'll see it,'' Clarke said this week. "I'm ready. If they give me the ball, I'll be ready.''
When Clarke last carried the ball, so many things were different. It was the last game of the 2010 regular season, a home game against Rutgers. Bill Stewart was the head coach and Dana Holgorsen was still just a rumor. The Mountaineers pounded the Scarlet Knights that afternoon, winning 35-14.
Clarke was instrumental in the win. He carried the ball seven times and gained just 11 yards, but yards weren't his objective. Touchdowns were. He scored three of them that day, including a 3-yard run to make the score 35-7 with 41/2 minutes to play.
That was Dec. 4, 2010, and he hasn't carried it in a game since. He didn't touch the ball in a loss to North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl three weeks later, nor during the entire 2011 season.
Now, though, as West Virginia prepares to face James Madison today at FedEx Field, Clarke might be back in the equation.
Then again, he might not be there.
"Maybe,'' Holgorsen said this week. "You never know.''