Sunday, September 13, 2009

Game 2: 16 vs. 11 and we still won.

I didn't sleep well on Friday night, I won't lie. I really thought this was going to be a tough one for us. After one quarter it appeared that I was going to be right and I was not too happy even at the half. However, in the end, WVU pretty much dominated these guys. They only scored when we gave them a short field and the Big 12 refs did all they could to keep them in the game. I'm not into blaming officials on things, but this one had some blatantly bad calls, and its why I titled this one 16 vs. 11 because, at times, it appeared that we were playing against the ECU 11 plus 5 officials.

QB-Jarrett's play was a landmark...really. For the first time since Marc Bulger was here, we were a passing team. And for the first time in 11 years, teams are going to think twice about loading the box on us in order to stop Noel. I can't say how important the pass to Arnett was. In the face of pressure and off of his back foot Jarrett hit his man in stride for a TD. It was an Oh shit moment for ECU to, but they didn't learn their lesson. Jarret would burn them later on a big pass to Starks that was underthrown but still effective and yet again on a beautiful bomb to Tavon. He still runs with the ball too loosely and trusts his arm a little too much sometimes, but I can handle that. Overall I would have to give him an would be an A but the two turnovers on ECU's side of the 50 dock his grade.

RB-Noel hit the hole better but still danced a little too much. Notice all the plays out of the pistol? I did. I think its a good wrinkle, and I said before that Noel runs better out of the I. Granted its not the I, but he can still line up deep and have a little more time to pick his hole. We are still left side dominant with our running game and even then there were not many wide open holes. I would have liked to have run a little better, but the new regime wants to take what the defense gives ya and if that's 50 yard bombs so be it. Overall grade B-.

WR-In the pro's players tend to do a littler better in their contract years. Chance to get big money so you might watch a little more film, run a few more sprints, etc. Jock Sanders was close to being kicked off the team for his little run in with the law, and he appears to be out to prove something this year. In two games, he has not dropped an easy pass like last year and he is always open. Not only that lil daddy can thank him for an extra 5 yards or so on his longest run of the day because it was jock that was lighting up a corner to help him get the final five yards. Arnett's lack of production is still puzzling. Starks is emerging as a viable 3rd down target. Wes Lyons is back on the ER and I have to think that he can twist an ankle if someone says injury report. Tavon as a slot receiver just adds yet another hell athlete out on the field and makes us even better.. Overall grade A-.

OL-Jarrett saw some defenders in his face and either got rid of it or made them look silly. Some blocks were totally missed on blitzes but that is to be expected. We are still left side dominant and teams know it. So does Noel and he looks for the cut back when running to that side since teams tend to overload against us to that side. We were honestly a few nifty moves away from seeing about a 4 sack day on Jarrett. But it always seems to go that way. We burnt them for it and that is why we won. In the end I still think it could have been better and will have to improve to keep the southern Alabama dirt off of Jarrett. Overall grade is a C.

TE-Nothing other than one TD catch by Johnson. Urban was un heard of. I think he was left to block more often than not because of the blitzes, but I honestly didn't watch that much. Hell he might not have even been in there or he could have been running routes all day long. I just know they didn't throw his way that much. Overall grade C.

DL-With Scooter going down soon and a guy I didn't even know was on the team playing the nose I thought they did ok. Julian Miller will have to be double teamed by most linemen and if we don't develop some sort of third down package that has either Lazear and/or Golbourne coming off the edge than Casteel is seeing something I'm not. We had 5 sacks and could have had about 10 had we been one second sooner. They stopped the run game pretty well, but the added athleticism really is a positive. Overall grade B.

LB-WE still have trouble with short passes and reacting off of play action. JT is a monster. Golbourne, and Goode played in well in relief and showed that our LB depth is not just a facade. I'm still looking for that classic Reed Williams pick this season where he takes the deep drop and stretches all of that 20" vertical to catch a TE bound pass. Hopefully we can see one at Auburn. Overall grade B-.

DB-Man there were a few passes where I thought they had it. Hogan almost got beat a few times and the pass in the endzone that they reviewed forever was a TD I would say. Lucky catch despite it, Hogan got his hand on it. Sands is doing a better job this year at rolling to the coverage. Overall grade B.

ST-If its not one thing its another. For the first time since RR was here we figure out how to cover a we can't field a punt. And there is nothing worse than stopping a team and then fumbling the punt. Its like getting a hot chica in the sack and being too drunk to get it up. Good thing the redzone D came through. Overall grade D.

Like I said above, if someone told me that we would fumble two punts inside our twenty, spot them an easy TD off a punt return, and have over 100 yards of penalties I would be thinking loss. I don't care how bad they are, but we played like shit and still won easily. That says something. The O line needs to play better and the LB's need to get more aggressive against screens and such for Auburn.

Monday, September 7, 2009

One other thing about the game that I forgot to mention about the game. I had to watch it from home and the camera quality was a little bit better than most of the vintage porns I have had the pleasure of watching. You think we could get something better than that at least.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Game 1: Give me Liberty and Give me death.......

My apologies to Patrick Henry for butchering his quote.

Lets face it folks. Yesterday was ugly, ugly as can be. I was hoping for easy running room coupled with play action bombs, and I all but knew our defense would dominate. Instead we dinked and dunked our way into the red zone until our drives stalled and then settled for field goals. Our defense, despite all the pre season accolades, could not get any pressure, could not cover, and had way too many penalties. I have a great number of things that I want to talk about so here goes.

Passing offense-I thought Jarrett did ok. He kept his head up while scrambling never through a dumb pass, and was pretty accurate. There was a lot of dinking and dunking though and I'm not sure if there were open guys down field or not, but most of my guys that were there say that there were. I guess Arnett was running those routes since he didn't even show up the rest of the day. I thought the post pass to Jock in the second half was a great call and some of the passes to Urban down the seam will definitely keep teams from leaving the deep middle open like they have in the past. I thought Jock caught the ball really well, but Urban had two drops that should have been catches. However, JB definitely got less accurate as the game wore on, and he missed at least two of the third downs that lead to field goals. Thats the difference between blowing this team out and looking so so...or one of them. He checked down too early a couple of times and got Devine totally flattened once. Also, he holds the ball way too loosely when he runs with it and that will cost him with faster defenders knocking it out from behind. Overall I would give JB's performance a B -

Offensive Line- The push was good as it should be...its Liberty and I will discuss this more when I talk about the running game but we sure as hell didn't get any help from number 7. Blitz pickup would be my biggest concern. Seemed like some of the guys were blocking air on the middle blitzes...JB made them miss but I wouldn't expect it to happen all the time. This is a correctable mistake though. Barclay had the most mental errors, but after watching some of the other games this week I think our young Oline did much better than many of the other teams. (Bob Stoops is probably running some of his linemen today for all of their false starts.) At first I thought the left side did a much better job, but I just think that Noel has more confidence on that side and gave them more chances to get their blocks down. We can't be a once sided team though. Capers might have had the best day of all of them. He could very well play on Sundays I think they did well and would give them a B+

Running Game-This was not one of little Daddy's best games. Hist first three plays he bounced outside when there was at least some hole. Sure he got the yardage but you have to press the hole like Rene said. It almost cost us on our first third and short and it did cost us on the last run of the half where he had a hole and bounced it out for a loss. He got much better in the second half and accumulated most of his yards. He really is powerful and hard to bring down and on the TD run he was patient, didnt dance, and exploded through the hole much like his first TD against OU in the Fiesta. Overall grade would be C-

Receivers and TE's- Jock had a great game and was pretty much open all game. The only thing he did wrong was go backwards to get more yards and effectively take the first down away on the second possession in the second half. Urban might have had the worst game missing two was behind him on third down and would have kept the drive alive before we kicked the long field goal. Its still much better than last season and it shows how good of a coach Galloway is. Overall grade would be B+

Defensive Line-Did Scooter Berry even play? How about Neild? For a unit that gets lots of pre season hype they looked like they were just going through the motions. Julian Miller has a motor and might be our best DE we have had here since Dingle or even before that. Overall grade D

Linebackers-Wow is JT Thomas good. The helmet to helmet collision ting will be a much debated topic in Athens and other towns today and I don't think JT's hit was dirty at all. He was definitely the player of the game on defense. Overall grade A-

DB's-Boogie got out of position at times and totally wiffed on a bubble screen that someone in the press box was calling before the snap. E. Smith played pretty good and had the coverage that led to Sand's interception. Sands played great except for his personal foul...his pick was nice but really that ball was thrown high because Smith had such good coverage on the Mike Brown. Speaking of Mike Brown....I think number 10 on their team could play for our team and contend for PT against Jock. He is that good. Hogan was OK but he got burnt a few times. Overall grade B-

Special Teams-The kickoff team is still terrible. No push, no emotion, no effort. Gillyard would have ran one of those back on us again. Something has to change here and Stew has to swallow his pride and let someone else take care of it. Josh Lider had some terrible kicks too only hurt the situation. Rodgers is our best return man so far. Tavon wanted to Dance more than get up field. (I bet he and Devine are hell at the club). The one bright spot was Tyler. He kicked the ball well for his first game, had good height and distance on all his field goals and of course they were accurate. Overall I would have to give Tyler an A, but the rest of the kicking units get an F-.

Overall I think the defense played without emotion and had no fire. It didn't help that we were not blitzing and such, but I would expect that since they hadn't played in nine months they would want to kick some ass. They let Liberty stay on the field way too long either by penalty or by missed tackle way too many times. The offense failed to produce really any big plays and looked more mechanical than methodical. Noel runs as if he is a band apart at times and I'm not sure if its his desire to make a big run every time or distrust in his line. Lets hope that gets corrected.

I talked about expectations last week and how they really influence your reaction. If we do the same thing against ECU I will be as happy as shit, but we will have to play better than this or WVU will get pounded by the pirates again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Success is all about expectations and some folks RR should thank

In 2002 WVU came off of a very piss poor year in 2001 and most people were skeptical. We had Miami, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin on the schedule and a new QB. By the second week it looked as though we were in line for another losing season after Wisconsin completely dismantled us, but something happened. In the third game, Dolomiteclay, his daddy and two brothers went to a WVU game in Cincinnati. The game was a good one that went to the end with Cincy missing a game tying field goal that would have tied it. The win kept the team from getting a losing record but more importantly was the catalyst for the power spread. The team, behind power running and zone reads finished second in the BE with a 9-4 record. By all accounts, despite being dismantled by UVA in a bowl and Scotty McBrien and Maryland the next week the season was a success. Last year we went to the same bowl, finished tied for second in the same league, and had the same record as 2002, but because we won the Fiesta Bowl the year before we were supposed to keep it rolling and beat everyone by 10, 000 points. Now I know that I'm simplifying things, but you can't deny that your success is almost always determined by the expectations you have on the team.

I don't do season predictions because its too hard to do that, but I will do game week predictions. I don't have much to say about this one. We should beat the shit out of this team. What do I want to see...good question because I want to tell you. We need to dominate this team. Last year against 1AA cupcake we started with we threw it around like we were turning into texas tech or something. I turned to the folks in the stands and asked if we would be like Oregon of 07...ECU man handled us the next week and we looked more like Temple. If you want something to watch for the game I suggest watching the center and right guard. They are the most in experienced linemen we have and if they can dominate these guys it will serve well for their confidence. If not, get ready to see lots of passes and hope our defense is more like 96 than 98. Our defense will dominate until the third and second string comes in and we should win by a score of like 35-10 and JB goes for 300.

RR's sagas lately have been well chronicled and such, and I'm not getting into it. I would rather walk into Bagdhad with a shirt of Alla fellating Uncle Same than discuss this any longer. I will, however, say that I think that life always even things out in everything you do and he is paying now for a few lucky breaks he got while he was here. I know he is not nearly as wealthy as he once was, but if he decides to send out Christmas cards to folks this year here are 5 that he might want to add to his list. I didn't include players, because that is too obvious, instead I'm listing some guys that because of things they did or said or had done, they indirectly lead to Rich's success.

5. Elvis Dummervill-I'm not sure about this one, but I think he was the one that caught Adam Bednarick from behind and twisted his knee and injured him against Louisville in 05'. This led to Pat coming in, the comeback, the dream season, etc. Amazing that until he had to play him, he had him on the fucking bench half the game. Effing Genius.

4. The kicker from Cincinnati that missed that kick mentioned above. We miss that kick and I think the season falls into the shitter. RR gets run and well...that is all.

3. Rick Trickett-By far the best o line coach in the country. This guy could turn me into an offensive lineman.

2. Don Nehlen-Mylan Puskar is his house. He built it, and mad it what it was. Love him or not, but Don is a true mountaineer who recruited Quincy, Big Oak, James Davis, Rasheed, and Avon to WVU....these were guys that RR won with ya know.

1. The ACC-The raid left things open. How many conference titles would have Don won had he not had Miami, BC, and the good VT on his schedule? I'm not sure, but it would have been a few.