Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which started as a freshman in 2007. I just wasn’t as cool or collected as this guy.
Don’t you feel good about that? I mean, he’s a freshman, and though he’s been here since January and established himself as a starter rather quickly, he’s still a freshman. But I just can’t see him losing his mind out there and busting routes or mailing in blocks.
That said, the defensive backfield is a little different. The wheels never stop spinning there and you’re often the last line of defense, which means you’re walking dental floss with no net. And when you’ve got some green corners — and last year’s best safety — in front of you, it’s doubly difficult. So welcome to college Karl Joseph, who’s going to play more than Thompson and, quite likely, have more to do with the outcome. Put it this way: Who is Marshall going to ask more questions? Tight spot spot for the young fella.
So many things to look at and look for tomorrow, but certainly the performances of guys who have never done it, or been asked to do it, will be atop the list. Those two just seem ready for the moment.
And so am I. No more speculative articles or talking about practice. The real stuff starts now and we get our hands on the damn football for the first time in far too long. Onto the Feedback, which goes well with a live game blog and TFGD double chaser. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, keep it real.
That picture is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I hope that everyone clicks on it to enlarge it.
You mean this one? I still can’t not look at it.
The 25314 said:
How is it “good for the state.” That is as ambiguous a reason as can be proffered.
Is it good for the economy? No. When Marshall and WVU play, no outside dollars are being brought into the state, and attendance at the game is limited to one city in the state and a max 60,000 people if in Morgantown.
If, in lieu of the Coal Bowl, WVU played East Carolina at home and Marshall played Ohio at home, there would be up to 100,000 people attending football games in the state, merchants in both Huntington and Morgantown would be doing business, and thousands of fans from out of state would be spending money in West Virginia.
Is it good for the moral of the state? No. Only Marshall fans and a handful of Mountaineer fans want the game. More are opposed or indifferent than are inspired by the game.
So how is it “good” for the state?
It’s not, not today when people are smart enough and indignant enough to see through the transparent, but it’s the most accessible defense of the indefensible. Seriously, put Harmick’s and his closing argument next to Luck and his closing argument. One is Gallagher. One is the watermelon.
Do rivals return over 2,000 visitor tickets?
I think not.
I don’t hate Marshall. I just don’t think about them. Obviously this week being game week, they will be on my mind, but no more so than will James Madison the next game week, because that will be who we play.
Honestly, I hope Marshall goes 11-1 this season, losing only to WVU.
When I was a student at WVU back in the 90′s, I never once thought to myself, “Man, I just wish we had Marshall on the schedule!” Nor did I hear anyone else opine for a game against the Herd. They just weren’t on the radar. I actually pulled for Marshall in their 1AA title games.
However, not since the chicken-suit, billboard mockery days of Bob Pruett have I cheered for Marshall in anything. Like many other WVU fans, because Marshall was in the same state, we felt a little state pride when Marshall did well. Bob Pruett forced WVU fans to choose sides, and now Marshall fans spew vitriole about how horrible WVU is. If there is any dislike among WVU fans towards Marshall, it is because Marshall chose to go the gutter-media route to attempt to embarass WVU.
Marshall wanted to be the flagship program in the state, but it doesn’t have the support to play that role.
Even if Marshall wins this last game in the series, what will it have given them other than they can say they are 1-11 all-time against WVU. WVU will still go on to play in the Big 12. WVU will still field a football team and the next win for WVU will make all that hurt from a loss to Marshall disappear. For Marshall, a win will make their life’s highlight reel… not just in Marshall football terms, but in their actual lives. Then after putting all their eggs in the WVU-game basket, they will lay one of those eggs the next week and go on to finish with at best a 7 or 8 win season.
Then, both schools will go their seoparate ways. Marshall fans will trumpet their victory for the next 50 years, and it won’t have resulted in any real harm to WVU other than an eventual meaningless loss for the nation’s 14th all-time winningest program.
There is no reason to play other than to give Marshall fans a chance to feel good about themselves… to give the Herd faithful a proverbial “gold star” for participating. To boost income for Marshall’s season ticket sales that otherwise are terribly lacking unless WVU comes to Huntington to sell out their stadium for them.
It is not a rivalry. After this week, 99.9% of WVU fans won’t give Marshall another thought the rest of the season as we prepare to play the likes of Oklahoma and Texas.
This series has been the athletic equivolent of “No Child Left Behind” for Marshall’s football program.
There are all good points, and we need to underline that WVU is not a 501(c)3. Nor is it a charity. On Saturday it’s playing host to a football game, not a fantasy camp. We need to rid both sides of the “It’s a good opportunity for Marshall” mentality because I bet you Marshall doesn’t want that. Marshall doesn’t need that or deserve that, either. It wants to earn its seat at the table. That said, it engaged in talks years back that ended in WVU being coerced into a series. Marshall has had six tries to get a seat and failed in each, including memorably in 2010. WVU has been better and has pretty much gone back and checked all the boxes next to its reasons for not playing this series or doing so on even, or close to even, terms. Yet the most recent talks between the sides — and this was a long time ago — have not changed very much. So I ask, if you’re WVU and you get forced into this series, do everything you said you’d do, come back to the talks years later and discover the negotiations to be similar, how do you react? You say “No.” There are much, much better alternatives out there — and Marshall can become one of those. But WVU is not to provide endless opportunities. This isn’t the ring toss at the carnival.
Herd Fan said:
Being an alum of Marshall I will be completely fine when this series does end. WVU shouldn’t be forced to play a game that they do not want to play. WVU is a major program and Marshall is a mid major. I accept this as should every other proud Marshall fan. This game just creates animosity between people in this state. We should support everything about this state. I enjoy watching the game but WVU is moving to an elite conference and I wish them the best. Good luck Mountaineers, GO HERD!
Well spoken, but I want you to check in every Monday, just so we know you’re safe. OK?
Clarence Oveur said:
“Put the politics aside, put the everything to lose and nothing to gain mentality aside, put the big alumni aside. Throw all of that out. It’s a good game for the state of West Virginia and it should be played.”
In other words, throw logic out the window and put rationality aside.
1) Hamrick: “I think it’s a great game for the state of West Virginia. It’s popular with the fans. It sells out. The players talk about it being a rivalry game and I’ve heard and read West Virginia players talk about it being a rivalry game.” – It’s popular with Marshall fans, not so much the other way around. While the game draws interest due to usually being scheduled early in the season, the game has not always sold out (see: October 17, 2009). The two trips to Huntington also made for two easy road game tickets for WVU fans, so it’s little wonder that the games usually sell out. And of course WVU players are going to talk about it being a rivalry game in terms of the media. No one wants to give Marshall any bulletin board material coming into the game.
2) Hamrick cites WVU’s “sideline celebration” of its 24-21 overtime victory in Huntington as evidence that a rivalry exists. The fact is any team that trailed by 15 points in the final 7 minutes and drive 90+ yards TWICE in that time span just to force overtime would be ecstatic over a victory, regardless of the opponent.
3) Hamrick cites the game as a “premium game on [WVU's] ticket package”. According to who? This is the only season where the Marshall game is likely the most intriguing of the non-conference slate, and it pales in comparison to the Big 12 Conference foes.
4) Hamrick claims that Marshall has become “more competitive” in the series, losing the last three games by a combined 41 points (average of 13.6 points per game) compared to losing by a combined 81 points in the first three games of the series (average of 27 points). The 24-21 game in 2008 drastically skews that statistic, as Marshall lost in ’09 by 17 points and in ’11 by 21 points (an average of 19 points per game). So, save for that overtime thriller and a few decent first half showings by the Herd, the series hasn’t been close. And even if one accepts Hamrick’s assertion that Marshall has been “more competitive” in this series, it doesn’t change the fact that Marshall hasn’t won a game in the Coal Bowl.
5) Hamrick: “I don’t know if who wins or who loses should be a determining factor of whether these two programs play each other in football[.]” Because other than geographic proximity, it takes competitiveness for a rivalry to exist. It’s what made the Penn State-WVU series a non-rivalry. It’s easy to say “let’s just play” when you’re on the outside looking in on the BCS landscape and are low on the totem pole in terms of WVU’s scheduling priorities. It’s a cop-out if there ever was one. So why not play? Because it’s not a rivalry. Because the game does nothing for WVU, who is 11-0 in the series and is the king pin in the state whether Huntington cares to admit that or not. If Marshall were more competitive in this series (in the real sense, not the Hamrick sense) then an argument could be made to continue it, but that’s simply not the case. Furthermore, perhaps if the series was not conceived out of interference by Charleston, WVU might be more open to continuing it.
The Friends of Coal Bowl does not benefit the State of West Virginia in the least (economists say so much), nor does it benefit WVU when there are more pressing matters in terms of scheduling (such as real rivalries to try and maintain). It benefits Marshall by giving the Herd the opportunity to pull an upset every season, and to secure a home game sell out in Huntington every few years. Again, the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against Hamrick and Marshall here.
All in all, Hamrick does little more than dish out hyperbole and cherry-picked statistics (such as the attendance numbers) in his defense of this “rivalry”. It doesn’t pass the smell test.
Let’s move on. It’s good for the blog.
Jeff in Akron said:
I see a scenario where Garrison redshirts, Buie runs into one too many tackles, and that leaves Alston, Ryan Clarke , and Donovan Miles as the top running backs. Unless I missed something the rest of the running backs on the roster are walk-ons.
It sounds like the players like D’Vontis Arnold. Coaches are going to talk kids up. Kids don’t do that. They’re honest. Shawne Alston really likes Arnold. And I’ll repeat this in case it got lost in the chat: Everyone is big on Andrew Buie. I want to see him tomorrow.
I guess there’s a reason they don’t call it the “Ground Raid” offense.
Right you are.
What’s with this continuing running back problem. For years WVU has had a string of good running backs and depth. Since Stewart and now Holg we are having trouble recruiting running backs. What gives?
I’ll debate you on that one a little. WVU stumbled into Slaton and whiffed on Gwaltney. WVU had Noel and no one behind him. And you’re at where you’re at now. If you get five-star players, there is a side effect. Kids want to play and they’re sometimes intimidated by the competition. And colleges absolutely use depth charts against other colleges in recruiting. It’s a factor. WVU’s problem has been keeping the kids it recruits, no question. Homesickness is Manny Pacquiao, though.
If Alston can go through the season relatively healthy and hit the Spring combos I think he plays at the next level. At least he’ll get a real shot at it.
If I could draw another zero on this Hamilton I’d have a Benjamin. That’s why I think Buie is such a big part of this season.
“which offense are they going to run” was the question I asked myself every week during the Jeff Mullen era. sometimes during the same game.
Ok, this week they’re gonna go to the tight end. Wait, no, it’ll be four-wide and jarrett is gonna throw 50 times. No, no, it’ll be Devine up the middle. No! Geno’s gonna run zone read option!
Hopefully Doc has instituted Jeff’s “every offensive coach calls part of the game” philosophy.
Shovel pass! Twice? I’ll also never, ever forget the near coup in the Syracuse postgame in 2010. That was ugly. I think it was Colin, but someone asked Stewart about the team’s offensive identity, and the lack thereof, and Stewart disagreed and listed like 11 things his team tried to do. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t even think I asked a question during the presser.
If Cato looks up at the press box and sarcastically shrugs, not even the stadium cell phone upgrades will be able to handle the reaction in Texts From Game Day.
Yes! Wait … no, that’s good … yes!
Oll Ollie was on Sportsline last night and mentioned the Big 12′s agreement to allow up to three replays of controversial plays, and he mentioned it in the context of improving the fan experience relative to flat-screen TVs and cheap soda-pop, so he is of course a fan. This leads me to believe that the Marshall game will feature the expanded use of video-board replays.
Indeed, it’s on. He’s been consistently attuned to doing things that will convince fans that they can get the at-home experience in the stadium. That’s a battle football battles today as a spectator sport. The experiences are separate from one another and people feel strongly about being in one camp. If you can speak to the people in the other camp and tell them they’ll get some of the things they have in their camp, like beer or replays, they’ll at least consider the offer.
Mr. M said:
Any restrictions as to category of the three replays? IOW, can any or all of them be in slo-mo or do they all have to be in real time?
I asked around about this and got some uncertain answers, so I’ll keep poking, but as I understand it, the stadium board will show what television shows. Frequently you see the full array.
As long as this policy leads to the avoidance of this type of situation – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIXLFIfu4eI – I’m all for it. Of course, not having Penn Wagers on your referee crew would also help avoid those types of problems.
Gosh, I remember watching that live. It took like 10 minutes in real time. The best part, I thought, was Brazill doing like five of the Cam Newton Superman celebrations. He really wanted to do that.
I don’t see them really trying to fully switch to the Chip Kelly offense. What makes Oregon so good at it are 3 things: tempo, talent (see: speed) and execution. I can see Marshall going for tempo, but not a ton of zone reads and a play book requiring elite speed. I know their speed has improved, but i don’t see it on the level to do that offense justice. Cato and Van don’t scare me. Execution comes from repetition. Marshall has no players or staff with experience in that offense.
WVU is ready for Marshall to go tempo. If there was a playbook application, wouldn’t it be zone read stuff? And didn’t Cato say that was gone? The Mountaineers are young and new enough on defense that they could be forced into errors by an offense that plays with pace. It can introduce confusion and acts of commission and acts of omission. It happens. But WVU sees that every day. At worst for Marshall, the offense uses pace to establish some rhythm, and an offense with rhythm is dangerous. It might be more about helping Marshall than tricking WVU.
I don’t there’s much to this story – the MU staff probably just visited Eugene so they could learn the secrets behind Oregon’s hypercolor uniforms and outfit Chuck Landon with a new wardrobe.
That’s it, actually.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but I’m glad we have a coaching staff that is completely on top of this stuff because I don’t think all coaching staffs would be.
Then how about this? WVU knew Tron was out a few days before Doc announced it.
I see that Tavon and Stedman are still the 2 kick returners. Still not sure how I feel about that.
I asked Tavon about that: “He’s doing it. I’m going to make sure he gets some so he sees what it’s like.” Um…
Ivan where art thou?
He’s been pretty good lately and mentioned in conversations now about who to watch as opposed to who’s missing.
I asked this on old post yesterday but I’m sure no one seen it. Anyone know what happened to Terrell Chestnut? I was expecting to see his name this year.
I saw it, but I try to answer questions in the F Double. Otherwise I have nothing left to do on Fridays. Anyhow, Chestnut isn’t quite good enough to be one of the cornerbacks and not big enough to be a safety, so they have him as a nickel back. Daron Roberts likes him there, though he figures he could be a safety before he’s done here. I think he’ll play some special teams, too.
Jeff in Akron said:
Okay, we can replace CEJ with Gangnam Style, just keep in mind come February no complaints allowed.(though I doubt it would take that long, just saying)
Yes. Replace it with “Call Me Maybe.” I don’t care. Also, the OGS and CEJ dances are somewhat similar. It wouldn’t disrupt fans that much.
I must say…I love the pure randomness of the video…it’s fun…it’s creative.
And you can’t beat a dance-off with Bigfoot in a parking garage.
That’s pretty epic right there.
You can’t beat that? I think it’s possible.
So let’s hear any ideas you have.
Programs like OU have the luxury of this black and white, thick line in the sand stance. WVU doesn’t have this luxury. Having said that, just because a kid is taking a few extra visits, doesn’t mean they will flip. Maybe they just want to be sure they’ve made the right decision before committing by seeing other places. Definitely makes me nervous though. These kids hold all the cards until they sign, at which point, the schools pretty much own them.
The other part of this is that the kids — well, the worst of these kids — don’t care. The recruiting process is about them and not the program, which is the antithesis of the school’s view of the recruiting process. And, boy, you want trouble? Piss off a coach at a powerhouse high school program.
Jeff in Akron said:
“I’m going to date these other three girls all through September, October and November until we get married… It doesn’t work that way.”
Apparently, coach Stoops has never watched Maury.
Impossibly, this isn’t even close to the end.
“It doesn’t work that way.”
Oh Bob Stoops, you marvelous, naive SOB – you realize you’re alluding to THE Dana Holgorsen, former Barbarian King of the Tulsa Metro Area, no? Do you honestly believe that Dana couldn’t successfully handle dating multiple women simultaneously? Hell, how do you think he came up with the “Stick/Draw” concept? The Dude packages lady friends the same way he packages pass plays – prolifically. De-Asian wants to take other visits before signing day? GAME RESPECT GAME
Not this one, either.
I love you, Doug! said:
Bob Stoops = fan of “Big Love.”
Come to think of it, I think “Big Love” may be Da’Asian’s nickname.
Wicked, wicked – had to co-mmit
I’m not shy so I asked to take my visits
A ho? No, that don’t make me. Go where I want Missouri or Tennessee.
Felt it in my hips this isn’t just a trick
Then I took a trip, make me play my clips for him
Skip for him like a recruit should be equipped
Came to my senses and I chilled for a bit
Don’t know how you do the voodoo that you do
So well it’s a spell, hell, makes me wanna talk to Stoops
Stoops Stoops ba-doop
Stoops ba-doop ba-doop ba-doop
Bam! Enjoy the weekend!