Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which holds nothing back.
More than Porta-Pottys being unloaded from trucks and grocery stores unable to keep their shelves stocked with Kingsford, the surest sign that the college football season is upon is is the requisite question to head coaches and coordinators as to whether they’ll keep is vanilla in the opener.
I guess it’s a provocative question at WVU this season, but, no offense to the Mountaineers, I’m confident this isn’t a team that can be vanilla this Saturday and then Neapolitan next Saturday in Norman, Okla. They need a dress rehearsal and, to be honest, they actually need to put things on tape for their own benefit. For starters, WVU will get to see the tape and learn what worked and what did not and, more importantly, why.
But you knew that.
It’s also important to give Oklahoma plenty to think about next week as they address the issues that will naturally come from an opener against a Louisiana Monroe team that will ask questions of the Sooners.
So, no, don’t expect a September Surprise next week that was hidden just for the sake of hiding it.
It’s kind of a non-issue for WVU. For starters, Bob Stoops knows Dana Holgorsen’s offense, but so do many other opponents. Dana doesn’t really change what he does. He changes the formations and the personnel groupings with which he’ll do those things. From week to week he might tilt his game plan toward a strength of his own or a weakness of the opponent. When you watch the film, though, you’re seeing but a handful of runs and routes.
If the Mountaineers don’t run a stick-and-a-slant in the end zone this Sataurday, it won’t stun the Sooners if they do it next week.
Now, defensively? Much different story and thus much more fertile ground for a conversation. Nobody has seen this rendition of Keith Patterson’s defense. It was, dare I say, vanilla in the spring without many of the parts that arrived in the summer and are in place now. Then WVU didn’t really dress it up in preseason camp until late in the schedule.
So this is Patterson’s cotillion and he’s going to flaunt the finest threads he can find.
“I don’t believe in that philosophy,” said Patterson, the linebackers coach who was the co-coordinator last season. “We’re going to play to win every single rep, every single play. I don’t think you can sit there and hold things back. It’s not going to be a secret for long. It’s going to be on film eventually.”
So when the defense debuts at Mountaineer Field for the noon kickoff on Fox Sports 1, the Mountaineers will play their 3-4, their 4-3 and their 3-3-5. They’ll blitz more, they’ll cover receivers tighter and they’ll ask safeties to play closer to the action.
“That’s just what we do,” Patterson said.
At long last, we’ll see that exactly that is.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, look the part.
Jeff in Akron said:
Past TCU, and maybe K-State, though they only return two starters from last year’s defense. What defense can you look at in the Big-12 and say, they can stop anyone. Diaz is struggling at Texas, Oklahoma is installing a new base defense. Texas Tech has an entirely new staff and Ok. State has a new d-coordinator. Bennett at Baylor is starting his third season and hasn’t sniffed the top-100 in his first two, Iowa State is only slightly better and Kansas only has 35 letterman returning for the entire team.
Texas and Oklahoma have the talent, they just haven’t shown they have the ability. Gotta believe one of them steps up this season but not both. So, Holgorsen faces three truly legitimate defenses in conference this season. I’ll take Holgorsen’s ability to teach offense over the defensive coaches ability to teach defense any day. Except Snyder at K-State, Holgorsen struggles to score points against K-State.
I’m the contrarian, I guess, but I see the defenses making a stand this season — and part of that is the state of the league’s offenses. I’m invested in Texas. They played without
arguably possibly their two best defenders for most of last season and Hicks and Jeffcoat are both back this season. They also played a lot of young kids who got better at the end and, presumably, should be better now. Tackling was an issue, but that’s something you can fix. I have questions about the safeties, but Texas has talent. Oklahoma, your guess is as good as mine, but Jerry Montgomery is a very good addition as the defensive line coach and the secondary is no joke. Baylor will make a jump this season for a variety of reasons, but they have some studs up front, Hager is a tackling machine at MLB and Ahmad Dixon was out of position as a nickel back last season. He’s at safety now. You know Paul Rhoads and Wally Burnham can scheme up a defense and I think people are overlooking what Dave Campo can do with a year under his belt and some really good additions at Kansas. All of that said, I have a feeling Oklahoma State’s defense will end up as the best in the Big 12. They’ve got an all-conference caliber player at tackle, end, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, corner and safety.
This depth chart has put everything in perspective for me.
Put me down as the only one on this blog saying that this will not be a very good year at all. I’m calling 5-7 or worse and no bowl game. To be clear, I’m not saying that I’m rooting for the team to lose, and I don’t care one way or the other if I’m right or wrong…
But I’ve never even heard of a team playing as many new guys as what this year’s team is planning to do. We’re also less than a week from the first game and don’t know who the quarterback is. And one of the quarterbacks is PAUL MILLARD!!!
Previously, I was willing to buy into the hype. Even buying into everything, I thought 7-5 was probably about the ceiling for what this year’s team could do. Now, I just don’t see how the team gets to bowl eligibility.
Who am I to argue with you? I will say that there are certain common denominators for bad teams and for good teams. Experience and age are generally huge factors. And you could make a case that two of WVU’s most important games are in the first four games.
Let the Andrew Buie transfer predictions begin!
I’m a little surprised by Dana’s radio show proclamation last night that Buie would be back in January. I was skeptical about that redshirt revelation from the start and, yes, thought he was going to transfer. I’m now open to the possibility there’s something more intimate at play and he needs a timeout and that WVU is willing to grant it to a kid who’s never been a headache. I just can’t see him saying he’s mad and he wants to go home and also come back and WVU saying “OK.”
Forget the Buie transfer predictions……how about the Childress transfer predictions?!?! Those are sure to be coming……
It’s interesting and the interest is understandable. I know Dana was all enthusiastic about “Ford has four more years!” like he was a president entering office or something, but we know the reality. I have to think his high school coach has been a popular person.
Let’s be honest about Buie for a minute. If Garrison doesn’t tear up his knee and if Alston doesn’t get the thigh bruise to end all thigh bruises, Buie is third string LAST season.
He had the one good game against Texas, but ultimately he was an RB with just okay speed, no wiggle, poor field vision, and a poor running style. That guy would get absolutely blasted at least once a game.
Adrian Murrell had a little bit of a career in the NFL (spanned 10 years). Buie will not likely sniff the NFL.
Hilarious. You’ll see why.
It’s interesting that our most seasoned offensive lineman is now a backup, our most seasoned running back is 4th string (possibly 6th string if Buie had more starts), and our most seasoned corner is a backup at best. To be fair, those groups haven’t exactly been stellar during the times that those guys started/played.
I’ve long said that this team will be lucky to get to 6-6. I hope I’m wrong, but I just can’t see it right now. I won’t let the talk about some of these players make me optimistic either. We’ve heard a lot about Kevin White and he’s not even a starter on the depth chart. Maybe it’s injury related, maybe not. I’m most excited this year to see how the offensive line and front 7 on the defense improve throughout the year. My expectations are low, so I’m not gonna be too disappointed this year.
This won’t be popular, but regarding your first paragraph, are you sure this is a bad thing? I mean, if those groups weren’t good-to-great, and the players who were there are now deeper down the depth chart, than are these not acts to resolve the problems? Also, each player has a new position coach this season. That can’t be a coincidence.
Molinari as kickoff guy means WVU has no one who can consistently kick a ball in the endzone. i was hoping that problem might have been addressed.
It’s going to — I’ll stop. You know how I feel about special teams. I’m willing to give full-time DeForest a blank slate this week. He deserves that.
I don’t have a question about kickoffs. But I do wonder what the latest is with the circus that is our incoming class of basketball recruits.
I don’t think Macon will be eligible to play this season and only now we’re hearing he’s got a bad wrist and he hasn’t even started rehab after surgery in the summer. So … As for Holton, this is great: He didn’t make it by the Aug. 23 deadline, he isn’t in the student directory, there was talk that he might pursue and receive a waiver to enroll after that deadline, academic people at WVU said they knew of no such possibility, athletic people at WVU said there were no additions to the roster and Holton said on Twitter he’s good to go. Let’s watch this play out today.
oklahoma mountaineer said:
Wallace is of the old school set — he’s never critical of the gold and blue…..and maybe that’s a good thing.
The comparison is what kills him — Jay Jacobs is probably not the sharpest knife when it comes to breaking down the X’s and O’s on the radio — at least for me, but he definitely is a spark to listen to during the game.
I’m glad to hear familiar voices on the radio dial…….the real question to me is whether Tony does any pre/post game work with MetroNews now…….real interesting decision by WV Radio and IMG to “share” him.
I’m not the person to source for this because I don’t listen to the games on air, but I thought IMG did fans a solid by keeping things in tact for this year. I bet everything is evaluated after the first seasons. I couldn’t tell you what Wallace is like, but I hear from a lot of people who don’t like his work. It’s my impression that people want more out of the position. I just wonder how far we are from having someone like, say, Chris Brown or Matt Hinton doing color commentary instead of a former player. I bet someone will be so bold and I bet people would like it.
Bobby Heenan said:
I’m also lukewarm on Wallace. Drenning could be good for pre and post game analysis though (?is that also included in any sideline reporting?), so there’s that.
I will however riot if they take Jay Jacobs away. Love that guy with Caridi on basketball. Sometimes the call in show gets a little silly, but Jacobs still knows the game, watches a ton of practice, and understands what Huggs is trying to accomplish when we run certain sets.
If Jacobs gets the boot, Huggs riots. That said, Jay has threatened retirement for years. Not sure Bonnie wants that, but he gets tired of being away from home and from his bride for days or weeks at a time.
ron “from Morgantown” said:
Tony C.wont participate in any Wvradio game day broadcasts. His IMG contract (4 yrs) doesn’t permit him to be “on air ” with Wvradio on game days however he will still host “Sportsline “( daily 6pm weekdays ). Luck really wanted Logan because he wanted an African American as part of the IMG broadcast team. Look for Tony to appear on pre game and post game shows on the IMG network . Wallace is harmless and fits better with Tony in the booth ( more so than Jed who would “walk all over “Tonys call of the game , ie , he wouldn’t know when to shut up ) . While WVradio is “all in” for football , they will remain silent for basketball games ( as on insider told me , “about all we will do is announce the score the next day” ) .
Wait … is this THE Ron from Morgantown?
I expect a lot more of the diamond formation with Sims in the tailback position. See OSU 2010.
Every time I see diamond formation I think of carbon under pressure.
Rumor: Three actual tailbacks in the diamond. You think about that.
I am expecting Slaton-esque type things.
OK, you said it, so I’ll pile on. In the very brief glimpses I got, Mr. Sims reminded me a bit of a bigger Slaton. Slaton was really good at getting square and getting gone. Sims is similar in that he sees his spot very quickly, makes his one cut and opens up abruptly. It’s not an exact match, but it’s not absurd, either.
Long time first time. DeShawn Coleman is practicing with Gannon University, Div II team in Erie, Pa. They play in the PSAC with Slippery Rock, IUP, Cal of Pa etc
Yes, but death, taxes, the sun coming up each morning, and Holgorsen offenses being good for 30+ points per game. If the final two QBs were Derek Redd and Mike Casazza, he’d find a way.
I’d have some say in the matter. Not necessarily good say, but some say.
Don’t you have to play Redd, as the younger of the two?
He’s three years my senior. I’m the future.
For what its worth, I love listening to the radio broadcast of the game and I’m not old. At least, I don’t think 33 is old.
Also, I’m not as worried about the QB situation. We haven’t seen these guys play yet. They may be better than some are giving them credit for and with a NFL-caliber running back, maybe they won’t have to be.
Besides I never thought Holgorsen’s QB’s were great QB’s anyway. They just played within an efficient system. They often set school records and make college headlines but few of them go on to NFL greatness – at least not yet.
Excellent point. My take on Millard is while we know about the interceptions, we probably choose to ignore his likely compulsion to make the most out of one rep or one series or one mop up appearance. That interception in the Orange Bowl isn’t much different than that touchdown pass against Oklahoma State. He wanted to make something happen in limited time. Given more time, I have to think he’s more responsible. I saw two different Trickett’s at Florida State. The first was V. 2011: He was overwhelmed when he was rushed into PT against Oklahoma, he was terrific with a week to prepare against Clemson and he was awful against wake Forest. The other Trickett I saw was the one last year who was a little like Millard: Infrequent appearances and an urge to make things happen. He wasn’t very good last year and, to be frank, I wonder how much his wealth of game experience really matters. But here’s something: Who’s Dana’s best pro QB? Is it Weeden? I guess Harrell has hung around. Keenum is getting a sip of a cup of coffee. But, yeah, the system is a big, big part of this.
Maybe Clements can award Mean Gene an honorary degree? Let’s get in there and make it happen!!
I like Hertzel asking about the conversation where you tell your leading rusher he’s going to redshirt. Holgorsen says, “I’d like to talk about Sims, Smith, Garrison, and Smallwood.”
The natural response . . . “Well, coach. We’ve never seen three of those guys every play. So what else would you like to talk about?”
I promise you that was in the chamber.
Dann White said:
Informative.PC, I personally have never heard such a relaxed DH during game week.
That being said, why on earth does it sound like everyone there is hacking, spitting, and coughing without benefit of a handkerchief. I’m sorry but I have heard elementary classes with better manners. And coach? Come on coach you are the head of an eight- figure business, take an allergy tab before walking up to the mike. You have had time to learn this.
But hey! Win and we’ll overlook worse than that.
okay guys – because I lead a very boring life, I thought I’d bring some objective analysis to this throat clearing crisis
I spent the last twenty-one minutes counting “uhs” “you knows” and coughs/throat clears (which I lumped together for the sake of this study.)
Please – also remember the sample is one “game week” presser and the numbers could be vastly different in a post game presser and with variables like whether we won, lost or if it was a close game. Also as others have mentioned, this is after all, Bill and Mary and may not be represented of playing a B12 opponent. And I will note that Mickey was not in the room, thus eliminating the subjective hypothesis that HCDH was intentionally clearing his throat in order to drive Mickey back to the buffet line.
Finally (1), counting stutters and repeating words was beyond the breadth of this study – can be left for another grad student . . .
Finally (2), I used twenty precious minutes concentrating on “uhs” and throat clears and thus could not also count hair grooming and face touches. Another study is in order.
All that being said . . .
opening statement – from HCDH’s notes on a napkin –
uhs – 33
you knows – 3
throat clears – 2
question and answer –
uhs – 64
you knows – 13
throat clears – 13 (plus one sniffle)
I did not time the difference but roughly 1/4 would be given to the opening statement.
reporters coughs – 10! (could that have been Mike since it was so close to his microphone? Mike, how do you spell Ricola? – and if it wasn’t you, you could score a lot of points with your fellow reporters with a cough drop offering)
folk (and Dann), the coughing epidemic is greatly exaggerated with only 15 over a 21 minute presser. That ratio is one throat clear every 1 minute and 24 seconds. they also seem to be toned down from last year leading me to believe that DH is in fact getting coached on how to clear his throat in public speaking events. (Honestly last year, there were times when one thought he was going to hock a loogie.)
what is seriously an issue are the “uhs.” Now to be fair – DH uses “uhs” like commas (making a reporters job easier in transcription) and there was also a string where his “uhs” were like bullet points as he listed a series of players to be red-shirted. Still, that is quite an impressive number over the course of a 21 minute presser
other observation – the “uhs” and “you knows” increased as HCDH moved away from his prepared napkin note scribbles.
there was a considerable uptick in throat clearing when Mike Cassaza asked questions. it is too early to offer a clear conclusion for this, but two hypothesis would have to be considered over the course of the season . . . 1. HCDH is clearly intimidated by the knowledge and depth of said reporters questions and so uses the throat clearing as a tool to gather his thoughts and give a knowledgeable and profound answer or 2. the two were speaking in code to one another using cough and throat clears in a language unbeknownst to the rest in the room.
the throat clears and “you knows” dried up when answering the lone question from the female reporter. he also seemed to give her considerable eye contact and words seemed to trail off as the conversation switched to just the two of them in the room
there were no awkward pauses in this presser other than waiting for reporters to ask something profound. this leads one to conclude that DH is allergic to silence and will fill it with back-to-back “uhs” if necessary to keep his words flowing.
If anyone would like to refute these findings, you are welcome to go back and waste twenty minutes of your precious life doing a recount.
In another life, I would have studied cultural anthropology and gotten paid for this . . .
have a good day gentleman and as one poster has already shared – throat clearing don’t count jack$hi7 if you just win baby.
I feel like I owed you some space. You can do this as often as you like, but please include “standpoint.”
I had completely forgot about the blocked story. What ever came of it?
I debunked it.
Dave has left the building.
Seriously about to fire off an email to Dave to see what’s up.
I meant to say: When was the last time you heard of someone relegated to the scout team, after humiliating UT’s run defense, who decided it was time for a sabbatical and perhaps a walk on the beach saying; “its OK Coach, I’ll be back after the bowl game.
I know I am stating the obvious here, but Andrew is done with this team, and the only mystery to it is was it his idea, or was he handed his walking papers.
My guess: from what coach said Tuesday; Andrew was pissed about the depth chart, quit coming to practice, and DH said what he could, short of “I think I pissed Andrew Buie off and I’m pretty sure he’s gone for good.”
Good luck Andrew wherever you go………..
My name appears on the top.
Can’t get past the last sentence. Bravo.
I love you, Doug! said:
“How do you maintain your job for 34 years if you don’t know what you’re doing?”
How long was Pastilong AD?
So close …
Arguably, Mack uses the introductory phrase “I think it’s funny when …” more than anyone on the Internet.
Gosh, it’s so easy, anyone can do it!
I think it’s funny when Mack becomes a focal point of the blog. (You’re right!)
I BELIEVE THAT’S MR. GILMORE’S JACKET
Down South said:
So that’s who bought Huggins’ suit.
I know, right?
The only question I want answered here is: who the hell still drinks Bombay Sapphire???
Whoa. Be careful what you say next.
The first week of school was certainly inconvenient for Dana’s Jeep
Enjoy the weekend!