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    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Luck's Brief Statement released today...

    "President Clements and I represented West Virginia University at last night's BIG EAST meeting in New York. The group concluded the meeting with a strategy to recruit top level BCS-caliber institutions that match the league's strong athletic and academic histories and traditions.

    "As I stated before, WVU is an excellent flagship, land-grant University, with national-caliber athletic and academic programs. We are, and will remain, a national player in college athletics.

    "The conference office will coordinate any further discussion on this issue."

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Hello my anxious WVU fans... LSU in town this weekend

    How this week isn't the most exciting week of football at WVU since 1993 is a travesty.  We have the Number 2 team in the country coming into Morgantown this weekend.  We have Game Day present for the entire day.  We have ABC's most coveted prime-time slot.  There is plenty to anticipate about this weekend's tilt and yet all that is printed anywhere is the cycle after cycle of conference stuff.  We as a fan-base need to let things that we can not control go and focus on that which we can impact.  We can make the environment in Morgantown this weekend the craziest it has been since 1993. 

    It is time to rally as we tend to do when things are lined up against us.  It is time to make this weekend exceptional.  We can have an impact at least in terms of feeding our beloved team particularly our defense with energy.  I see this opportunity as huge for the Eers.  If we are able to get it done the schedule sets up nice for us to make a run at all of the cookies.  LSU has arguably the best defense we will see all year.  That said they don't have an exceptional offense.  I would argue that Maryland's offense is more dangerous than LSU.  LSU will lull you to sleep with a painful and steady diet of runs with the occasional dose of the "big play" attempt.  Their QB is serviceable but not exceptional.  We definitely have the advantage at that position. 

    Let us as a fan-base come together the rest of this week and get pumped up for the weekend.  Leave the future to those who make those decisions.  I understand that anxiety is high but let us channel the same into something more productive.  Let us explode at MPS and let us do what we can to make the Tigers struggle on every snap.  Coach Holgorsen has a game-plan.  The Eers are going to grind it out all week in practice with one focus.  Let us do our part to bring this home.  Let us take advantage of this BCS-like game and shock the nation. 

    Go EERS!!!

    Da Geek

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    ESPN's College Game Day is coming to our City.

    After WVU got it done today against the Terps, they were rewarded with the news that they will be televised at 8:00 pm on ABC.  In addition to that WVU shall host ESPN's Game Day broadcast. Morgantown will be rockin all week long.

    Color me excited...

    Da Geek

    Doomsday for the Big East?

    We should all be pleased that WVU came away with an exciting (perhaps too exciting) victory over ACC rival Maryland today. But the ACC did us one better in what amounts to a poaching of Pitt and Syracuse. This move is a pretty brutal blow to the remaining members of the conference, for a variety of reasons I will explore below. But I can't blame either school in the least. I can, however, blame the bumbling, incompetent conference leadership.

    First, lets discuss what this means for WVU. We are facing the potential disruption of our longest-running rivalry. In fact, this means all three of WVU's traditional rivals will be in the ACC. WVU now faces an elevated chance of being left on the outside of the impending super-conference hegemony. While many of us are holding out hope for an invitation to the SEC (an option not without its own set of issues), there's no guarantee that's going to happen. And if it doesn't, there are only two other scenarios: "apply" to the ACC like Pitt and Syracuse, or remain at the helm of a league comprised of random bits of the the Big East and Big 12 and other assorted football flotsam.

    In a certain sense, those are the same options WVU had 24 hours ago, but in reality, both now look worse. First, there are, at most, two more ACC slots that WVU might hope to occupy, instead of yesterday's four. And secondly, today's departures guarantee that the probable BE-B12 merger will be lower quality than it could have been in the absence of Big East defections.

    The rest of the conference also faces this ugly set of prospects, but without WVU's hopeful ace-in-the-hole of an SEC invite.

    Who to blame for this mess? It is difficult to conceive of the sort of organizational dereliction which could result in a Big East commissioner, after the experience of the last ACC raid, who is caught unawares by this. This conference turned down a 10-figure TV deal... and now what? How marketable is a seven-member Big East? Are potential replacements Baylor and Iowa State going to bring home the bacon in the next effort at TV negotiations? In letting things deteriorate to the current point, without even seeming to be aware of what's going on, Marinatto has failed at his job, which is to navigate the Big East through the conference-realignment fustercluck toward the best possible outcome.

    Sorry folks... the best possible outcome is out the window. All that can be done now is to pick up the pieces.

    Also... a question that may become relevant: as Chairman of the Big East's Executive Committee, what sort of duty does Nordenberg have to the Big East, and do his actions in regards to this recent debacle represent a breach of that duty? I don't think that WVU should pull a Baylor, because like I said before, I don't really blame Pitt and Syracuse for doing what they have done. But if we are left on the outside looking in, then all bets might be off.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Maryland- How do you feel about this game?

    To answer this question is a challenge.  Does one analyze the Eers or Maryland to determine relative confidence.  I will start by suggesting that both the Miami win for Maryland and the lackluster start for WVU against Norfolk State are getting way to much credit as indicators for future success.   I think that Miami while a good win for Maryland was one that has with it so serious question marks.  Maryland required two defensive scores to overcome a suspension ridden Miami.  So the "offensive-juggernaut" moniker that has be labeled to Coach Edsell's team might just be premature.  And the stifled offensive output that was seen last Saturday for WVU might just might have been a factor of teenage boys being teenage boys looking past a FCS opponent.  In any event this game is a darned good marker for both teams to find out what they have.  That has been the case for this rivalry for as long as it has been played.  Though the score with few exceptions is ever closer than 10 points one way or the other. 
    Maryland play-makers:  QB, Danny O'brian; RB, Davin Meggett, TE, Matt Furstenberg; and WR, Kevin Dorsey  Each of these guys will factor in prominently if Maryland is to have a good day.  The Defense returns 3 impact players from last years team: Kenny Tate; Joe Vellano; and Demetrius Hartsfield
    Quarterback play:  WVU
    Receiver play:  Even
    Running Back play:  Maryland
    Offensive line:  Maryland
    Defensive line: WVU
    Linebackers:  Even
    Defensive Backs: WVU
    Special Teams Return:  WVU
    Special Teams Cover: Maryland
    Special Teams Kick/Punt Even
    Coaching: WVU

    I think the game may just come down to defense.  The team that proves to be opportunistic may just be the winner.  Maryland has forced turnovers WVU has not.  On its face that looks like it would be a problematic sign for old gold and blue, however, WVU also has not turned the ball over.  Last year Bruce Irvin had a nice time pestering the Maryland offense.  I don't see any reason why this can't happen again.   Additionally, I think that defensive team speed is much better than people are realizing in Morgantown.  Maryland will be a tough test for sure.  I am not sure however, that we haven't already faced a tougher front 6/7 in Marshall. 

    So How do I feel about this game?  I think WVU wins 42-31.
    • Game time 12:00
    • Location Byrd Stadium, College Park, Maryland
    • TV coverage ESPNU
    • Replay on Root Sports following week
    Let's Go Mountaineers!!!

    Da Geek

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Work in Progress

    Before I start chuckin erasers at the O-line, I went back to review the tape of the first half.

    First off, the 6 attempts at the 1:

    1. Overthrown fade route
    2. Stuffed run. They had a 5-2 front and the linebacker made the stop. Roberts didn't follow his lead back who was the only one who could have picked up the linebacker.
    3. Pass interference, although Bailey should have created separation
    4. Stuffed run. SEE #2. Lead back didn't get through the hole and pick up the linebacker and Roberts didn't follow the lead back.
    5. A 2 inch out by McCartney. He was the 3rd option and play was slow to develop. I couldn't actually see his route on TV
    6. Crossing route by Austin and Bailey, overthrown out. Bailey was open on the slant.

    Not sure you can put that all on the O-line. There was no surge by the line on the runs. In fact, the right tackle's first step was actually backwards. But one on one with the 5 man front and none of their blocks made the tackle! Running backs are not in sinc!

    OK. That being said I disagree with one statement Coach H made after the game. He said the were at least targeted correctly but not sustaining blocks. Not quite. There were some definite missed assignments. And then there were some out and out wiffs. Braun for example: I saw a outside linebacker crash down and make the tackle. Braun whiffed by taking a bad angle as the linebacker crashed down from the outside. Unfortunately, Barclay is just not ready for prime time. We you get beat one on one with a pass rusher in a three man rush, you're not getting it done. You have inside help, just don't get beat outside!

    On the positive side, honestly the right side of the line held up. O-lineman are like officials. The less you see of them, the better they're doing. Nothing to note except a first step backwards on a run play at the goal line.

    Coach says schematically there's no issue. I disagree. Short yardage is about who can hit who first and get a little momentum. When the QB is under center, the RB can take off at the snap. In shotgun, the RB must wait for the ball to come back to the QB to take his first step. We're missing the punch on short yardage. Line up under center and hit them in the mouth!

    OK, this isn't going to be popular: Bruce Irvin needs to learn technique! He has awesome explosiveness off the ball and can launch himself at QBs. On first and second downs, he has awesome explosiveness off the ball and launches himself at what ever the target is. He needs to keep his feet and wrap up. Good backs can take that initial hit and keep going. Some Qbs can as well but usually not as often.

    One beat writer pointed out the defense has allowed a TD. True, but last time I checked 4 FGs are worth more than a TD. Defense is giving up too much yardage. Red Zone defense has been spectacular under Casteel. We have some young linebackers than need to get more instinctual instead of read and then react. It has to happen instantaneous. When you play back the game in slow mo, you can see them thinking about it. ........Yes, I do.

    How about a cut out of the RBs. Straight line running even when your running hard is only going to get you 5 yds. MAKE A CUT. Or I would entertain the idea of using Austin in the backfield. He certainly hasn't lit anybody up as WR.

    One last note. Geno has played well in the first 2 games, but he has missed run blitzes in both. How about a quick check off to the hot read. That's when he'll turn the corner from good to great!

    Here's to seeing the Mounties take the next step before the Maryland game.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Norfolk State University Spartins come to Morgantown on Saturday.

    So who are these guys?  They are an FCS school with some football tradition.  They play in the MEAC Conference.  This is the first ever meeting between WVU and NSU.  There QB, Chris Walley,  was named the MEAC player of the week leading the Spartins to an opening day victory over Virginia State.  He completed 25 of 29 passes for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He also was able to get it done on the ground rushing 10 times for 42 yards.   Defensively, The Spartins had returned their top five tacklers from a unit that was 3rd best in the MEAC and 6th best in FCS Nationally.  First team All MEAC Defensive lineman, Josh Turner and Second Team All-MEAC Linebacker Corwin Hammond lead this unit with 46 and 76 tackles respectively.  They will attempt to force mistakes by the offense.   This Unit gave up only 15.6 points per game last season.  They continued that dominance against Virgina State giving up only giving up one field goal.  This weeks tilt though is going to be a huge step up in talent and speed.   My guess is that the points per game average is going to take a serious hit. 
    Pete Adrian, a former Mountaineer football player is the Head Coach. A native of Brilliant, Ohio, Adrian lettered in five sports at Brilliant High School before attending West Virginia. At WVU, he played one year of freshman football (1966) before playing parts of three seasons on the varsity squad in 1967-69. An injury cut short his playing career as a Mountaineer, but he coached the Mountaineers’ freshman football team as a senior in 1969. He earned his bachelor’s degree from WVU in 1970.  Adrian’s four-year record at NSU plus the win last Saturday stands at 35-33.  He has lead NSU to back to back winning seasons for the first time in the schools Division I era.  He has chosen to run  a very similar offense to the Mountaineers.  It is geared to maximize on match-up problems.  Play the numbers game and attack.  The problem this weekend, is that WVU will likely line up a better athlete at every position so those match-up advantages may be hard to find. 

    While I welcome Coach Adrian back to Morgantown.  I don't think that his business trip is going to go very well.  My guess is that he will be on the losing end of a 60+ point drubbing.  

    • Game time is 1:05.
    • That places the time for the Mountaineer Man trip at about 10:45.  
    • Parking could get complicated so come early and prepare for a wonderful day in Morgantown. 
    I can't wait to see about 65,000 of my friends at MPS for this second tilt of the season.  
    Da Geek 

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    AP has WVU 19 Coaches poll welcomes EERS at 24.

    We don't usually post our poll until the 6th week of the season as we see it as premature to do so until we have enough of a sampling to make a call.  I am however, encouraged that WVU is advancing up the polls after the first week.  USF has made its introduction to the polls at the 22 spot in the AP and is just on outside looking in in the Coaches Poll.  TCU fell to the 25 spot in the AP and Coaches. 

    Go Eers!!!

    Da Geek

    Marshall in the books... When it rains it pours.

    For anybody that attempted to watch the football game on Sunday, you were going to get your appetite wet, literally.  From the Man-trip, to the kick off, to the game being called in the 4th quarter with WVU winning 34-13, this game had something for everyone.  We were rewarded with a glimpse of the offense that we so wanted to see and were graced with a defensive effort that was exceptional.   We also got to see our special teams perform very well with the exception of a punt return.  Tyler Bitencurt came to play.  I know that several folks were concerned about our offensive line.  That is something to address for sure but I think that Marshall has a formidable front 4.  We came out of the game with some questions, but with some answers as well.  Ivan "sticks" McCartney looked like the player we thought we were getting.  Geno Smith proved to be every bit as good as this writer anticipated.  I am very happy with S. Bailey's efforts as well.  The running back by committee didn't put up gaudy numbers but there were flashes in the game that gave me reason to continue to be optimistic.  The Big East was impressed by Tavon Austin's special teams efforts enough to name him Big East Special teams player of the week.  Geno's effort got him an honorable mention by the Big East as well. 

    Coach Holgorsen's debut was a success.  Now on to the task at hand.  The team must find a way to be motivated to beat up on the Spartans of Norfolk State. 

    Da Geek

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    WVU Depth Chart for Marshall game...

    OFFENSE:     HC/OC Dana Holgorsen
    • QB - 12 Geno Smith, 14 Paul Millard
    • RB (A) - 9 Vernard Roberts, 7 Trey Johnson, 13 Andrew Buie, 29 Dustin Garrison
    • FB (B) - 38 Matt Lindamood, 41 Ricky Kovatch, 32 Ryan Clarke
    • WR (X) - 3 Stedman Bailey, 81 J.D. Woods
    • WR (Z) - 80 Ryan Nehlen, 5 Ivan McCartney
    • IR (H) - 1 Tavon Austin, 85 Willie Milhouse
    • IR (Y) - 89 Tyler Urban, 4 Devon Brown
    • LT - 64 Don Barclay, 79 Nick Kindler
    • LG - 57 Jeff Braun, 65 Chad Snodgrass
    • C - 74 Joe Madsen, 60 John Bassler
    • RG - 55 Tyler Rader, 72 Cole Bowers
    • RT - 76 Pat Eger, 67 Quinton Spain
    DEFENSE:         DC Jeff Casteel

    • DT - 97 Julian Miller, 91 J.B. Lageman
    • NT - 99 Jorge Wright, 94 Josh Taylor, 92 Trevor Demko
    • DE - 11 Bruce Irvin, 98 Will Clarke
    • SLB - 47 Doug Rigg, 53 Tyler Anderson
    • MLB - 52 Najee Goode, 56 Jewone Snow
    • WLB - 17 Josh Francis or 43 Casey Vance
    • LCB - 8 Keith Tandy, 34 Ishmael Banks, 18 Brantwon Bowser
    • RCB - 6 Pat Miller, 23 Brodrick Jenkins, 22 Avery Williams
    • SS - 28 Terence Garvin, 10 Mike Dorsey or 35 Nick Kwiatkoski
    • FS - 24 Eain Smith, 46 Matt Moro or 26 Travis Bell
    • BS - 25 Darwin Cook, 37 Wes Tonkery or 36 Shaq Petteway
    SPECIAL TEAMS:     SPC Daron Roberts

    • PK - 40 Tyler Bitancurt
    •  P - 44 Corey Smith
    • KO - 44 Corey Smith
    • LS - 87 Cody Nutter
    • H - 48 Michael Molinari
    • PR - 23 Brodrick Jenkins, 1 Tavon Austin
    • KR - 3 Stedman Bailey, 4 Devon Brown
    Players physically unable to play:  Josh Jenkins (knee) and Shawne Alston (neck).

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