Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which never changes its starter. The news of the week, no, the season is that Dana Holgorsen announced on his radio show last night he’ll start redshirt freshman Ford Childress at quarterback this week. Splendid, because …
Dude hasn’t repped since the middle of August? I can’t wait to see this Georgia State team.
From what I read about the radio show last night, Dana shelved the idea of playing two quarterbacks, let alone three, and will give Childress the opportunity to go from start to finish. He talked up Ford and the way he’s blossomed this week and how — and I’m paraphrasing now — it’s his time.
This is kind of stunning. I had pegged Childress as the third guy because he trailed by so much. Granted, I can only go by what I hear and what I am told, because we see no practice. Normally, I don’t care about that. I don’t want to cover practice … but right now, I’m really curious what happened within those gray walls this week.
Still, I’m not sure that this is a case of the bottom moving closer to the top as much as it’s about the top moving closer to the bottom. Or is it something else? Because it might be something else.
Hey, Dana’s a good coach. He made the announcement it in a controlled environment where there would be celebration as opposed to inquisition and the news would stand as the news without comment. He set things up for everyone to be excited about Childress when maybe everyone isn’t too excited about the team. He pulled the trigger in the week when WVU is, quite likely, going to ease through things. He did it a week before the season’s swing game.
I suspect this may be part of a plan that they were hoping, willing and eventually ready to execute.
I can’t get past the fact that Childress has really had one day of a starter’s reps in practice. I have to think Childress was part of a three-player share Tuesday, and, yeah, maybe he got a little more than the others because, yeah, maybe the coaches were ready to do this this week. Then he got a little more Wednesday before getting about 80 percent of the snaps yesterday.
I don’t doubt the plan. Dana’s obviously had an eye for quarterbacks for a long time. He and Shannon Dawson put a lot of time into recruiting Childress. You’d have to open your mind now to the possibility both coaches knew Childress wasn’t quite ready and/or they didn’t want to rush him out in the opener and then put him and the team at risk against Oklahoma.
So, along those lines, this makes sense.
That said, all the talk this week has been about the potential of the team, that this offense could be better than last year’s offense, that the same offense really needed playmakers to fall into place. What’s curious to me, what’s worth tracking tomorrow, is how Childress affects that part of the plan.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, keep your guard up.
oklahoma mountaineer said:
Jimmys and Joes, more than Xs and Os, win football game on any side of the ball — I think the 3 sides of the ball that Holgerson uses is the most aggravating phrase I’ve ever heard by a coach……
DeForrest, at OK State, was legitimately good as a coach and recruiter. He has several kickers and punters in the NFL and coverage teams were among the best in the country. Several of the JUCOs on the team this year were recruited by him and he will bring in talent at a high level.
You cant and shouldn’t have to coach every aspect of the game — he didn’t make the kid take his eyes off the ball and you hear from pee wee league that you plant your feet on the 10 yard line and anything over your head you let go…….
These guys made bone head plays — they are the ones at fault. The coaching can be blamed if these errors continue.
I’m going to disagree to some extent, but mostly because I’ve seen them practice special teams so damn much. The Worley error is the one I can dismiss. But DeForest put Alford in and Alford made two very poor decisions. Now, otherwise, the special teams were good, but it’s hard to allow for a passing grade when special teams errors contributed to the loss. Still, I feel like I’ve been the one banging the drum for DeForest, his salary notwithstanding. I’ve talked to people in the special teams community — oh, there is one — and they speak very highly of him. There are these specialized gurus for specialists, not unlike George Whitfield for quarterbacks, who go to DeForest when they have a gem. He’s good at it, honest.
I hear what you are saying Oklahoma… This reminds me a little of the conversations we were having on here about the basketball team last season. Coach is providing instruction, but the players don’t do what they are supposed to do.
I’m sure people would have been upset with the special teams mistakes anyway, but I wonder if DeForest hadn’t presided over THAT defense last year and if the SI article info hadn’t dropped on gameday if the reactions to DeForest would be as strong as they are right now.
Similarly, if WVU blocked a punt or returned a kickoff and got points, the story would be far less bothersome. Timing is everything and that was a bad time for DeForest to have a bad day.
DeForest may not be out there on the field, but I can still take issue with his coaching. When you have a guy who roughs the punter, why is he out there the next time with a chance to screw up again? When you have a guy who muffs a punt, why is he still out there the next time to fair catch a punt on the five-yard line? All this sort of thing does is teach the players there are no consequences for goof-ups. I acknowledge that you don’t want your guys to play scared, but you also don’t want them to lack focus from the get-go. I can more easily overlook the type of mistake Kevin White made, because it was a physical error, born of effort, and not one evidencing an obvious lack of concentration. Also, you need White out there for 70 plays on offense; by contrast, we should have plenty of options on special teams.
I’m with you, but I think WVU is really thin on special teams. Worley is playing Nana Kyeremeh’s spot, I believe (and if not, it’s Shaq Petteway’s). Take him out and you’re putting in a guy perhaps more likely to screw up. Let’s call it a teaching moment. Alford caught his next punt cleanly, and in the press box we were curious what would happen the next time he was out there. That next time, he caught the ball on the 5. As for White, he and Myers have lost the ball on slight hits in the first two games. If we’re going to be equal opportunity offended here, we need to keep an eye on that with the receivers. All of this is coachable.
The 25314 said:
Brad Lewis aside, Millard reminded me of another #14 throwing wounded ducks when we had a chance to beat a Big 12 team on the road – Brad Starks in Colorado.
what frustrated me about Millard is that every bad habit surfaced in that game as he became unraveled. He doesn’t need a pro arm if he plants and throws, but if we doesn’t use his legs, it does get ugly (he’s a junior – shouldn’t repetition have made this automatic?), no pocket awareness, or clock awareness, no mobility
I like the kid – he has a great story – but gosh catching the closeups – which look like fear or worry – does not exude confidence
what do his teammates see and hear in the huddle?
it’s only his second start and a very difficult place to play
I thought Trickett was a 4.0 student? kid raduated in three years. thought he would have picked up the system and the signals pretty quick.
Dana’s quarterbacks have probably lacked a big arm more often than they’ve possessed one. But they had pretty solid mechanics. Millard got really loose as the game progressed and his footwork really gave him problems. That’s a worry.
Also, are any of the commenters going to any Big 12 road games, this season? I just decided I’m going to TCU.
Finally, a question for which Mack has no answer.
oklahoma mountaineer said:
Mack, don’t know if you would be interested, but you can get it through CSTV. The link below is for them:
How does Mack not know this?!?!
Why was he previously suspended?
Ah, damn. I have no idea why d’Vante Henry was previously suspended. No one knew that before yesterday.
Foul Shot said:
I remember watching the Colts not punt one time against the GRob defense when he was the DC for Dick Vermiel in KC.
He got fired after that playoff game and has not done much related to success in coaching since.
He had some NFL success prior to that.
Interesting to see how Texas canned their DC after after one of their worst defensive performances ever.
The WVU 2012 defense had its worst performance week after week, but this guy gets placed in charge of the special teams. Now the special teams is messing up and the guy is implicated in paying players, allegedly, from what has been stated. What more do you guys need to tell backward hat to clean out his desk and move on?
He’s on the hot seat. The SI stuff is losing steam — I’m writing this before the sex story drops — but his is in the scope.
I’m surprised and frustrated with the numbers Mike mentions above with a 19/5 pass/run ratio. Honestly, I’m surprised there were even 5 runs. I figured there would be less.
I have no idea why you totally abandon the running game. Your QB and WRs are obviously struggling, you have 3 good running backs, your only score came on a 75 yard RUN, and your defense is dead tired from being on the field all night because of special teams errors and an inept offense. It reminded me of the Gator Bowl against Florida State when Noel Devine was in the backfield.
Well, I think we have to remember Dana is not a running game guy. Perhaps he’s still getting his arms around that. And WVU took some shots and nearly struck in that third quarter. I keep going back to this: They had to be thinking, “Sooner or later he’ll connect on one of these, right?” This line from the press conference stuck with me: “Our pass game was better schemed, and we had more open guys than we did last year. We just didn’t do a good job of getting them the ball on those plays. I thought the game was called well.” There was no way — no way — he could start Millard after saying that.
Not sure about this but Oklahoma might have been keying on the run in the second half after seeing Millard struggle to deliver the ball. Receivers were still getting open and Millard had discretion to check to a run play at the line of scrimmage if it was there.
Absolutely. The deep safety was basically in the box. Especially on first down.
okay – can’t get the weird Golson sack and fumble out of my head. Did anyone else find it odd – not that Golson was standing there oblivious to the loose ball, but that he as “STANDING?” He shoved Knight down like a sixth grader bullying a first grader, but why didn’t he level the boom? – a TACKLE in the back that would have left Knight sucking his thumb. It just looked so weird to me. Anybody else?
It looked weird, but it was effective.
DID Alford win his starting spot?? I feel like Shorts lost that spot more than anything. I’m sure the potential for Alford is there but I haven’t see it yet.
Shorts had a bad day. He had issues getting open, but, you know, Oklahoma in the second game happens. Alford has always been the guy there. I don’t know what we have to NOT see from the other slot receivers to realize this is Alford’s job to lose. He might lose it, don’t get me wrong, but he’s here to be given the chance to lose it.
How in the world has Alford won anything? In two games, I’ve watched him: (1) doom Clint Trickett to the sidelines by dropping an easy slant; (2) take his eyes off a punt and hand the ball back to the opponent in a crucial situation; and (2) fair-catch another punt, seemingly destined for the end zone, on the five-yard line. The only player that is driving me crazier is Mallard (he of the wounded ducks), and I guess that says something about him.
As much as I hated the special teams errors, they don’t impact offense. And the practice reports tilt in his favor. He’s been good since he’s been healthy.
Down South said:
The one thing you have to say after watching that is we have upgraded our talent fairly significantly at nearly every position. The fact is, though, that QB is one of the positions where the level of talent has been downgraded significantly. Having said that, the guys who should be playing the position now are the guys that Stewart recruited. Guys who, for whatever reason, decided not to stay in the program. Some significant holes have been plugged with juco guys and transfers who look like they are going to do well for us. QB is a position where it is just harder to plug a guy in and have him contribute right away. He’s addressed the position, but Millard is the only guy with significant time in the program. He has gotten a QB each year, but Rawlins left the program. Apparently has a good one coming in next year. Everybody says you should take more than one per year, but the good ones aren’t going to commit to a school like WVU if there is another good QB in the same class. Too many other places to go play.
Having said all that, KJ Dillon is one of the guys who most impresses me. Just one of those guys who has a knack for being around the ball and making plays. We haven’t had that on defense in a while.
Dillon! Honey badger?
1. On the hot potato play, I don’t agree with this statement: “Dreamius Smith can’t clear a path”. My guess is the way this play is designed, Smith took the guy he is responsible for out of the play by engaging him and pushing him 5+ yards down the field. Carswell is responsible for the failure of this play. It was his guy who made the tackle, and if he blocks for even one second, it’s a long gain. The other plays highlighting Smith’s poor blocking are inexcusable.
2. On Millard’s pass to Shorts that was behind him, Millard put that ball where only Shorts could have gotten it. If you watch that play, if Millard hits Shorts in stride, it’s probably an interception.
On a separate note, what’s the word on Rigg? Is he ok?
Well, the larger error is Carswell’s, but if Carswell gets his guy, Dreamius’s guy gets Alford. I ordered it wrong, I guess, As for the second one, perhaps a throw ahead of Shorts causes him or Millard some trouble. I can see that. But that’s where that throw is supposed to go. If not, don’t throw it. I can’t believe they’re back-shoulder fading in the middle of the field. And Rigg is OK, concussed, but improving, and questionable tomorrow.
I find it hard to stay mad at this guy. He can be infuriating during the game, but then in the Tuesday presser he always addresses what pissed me off 3 days ago. And he does it in a way that says, “yeah, I know that made you mad. We’re gonna work on that very thing all this week.” He’s candid about his fuggups, and honest about why he did what he did with personnel.
Now if he can just be candid with his gameday rosters to stop driving Mike crazy. But I think that is more strategic than anything. Falls in the same category as not showing the press any juicy stuff during practice. I’d even go so far as to say that warming up ‘topless’ is the same deal.
I’m still mad about not pulling Millard, though. Wonder if we’ll see Childress this week…
The roster rubbish has to stop. You can’t cover a game without an accurate roster. Here’s the deal there, because I owe WVU a more complete version of the story as opposed to what I spill out in the game post. For years now, we’ve gotten the dress list before the game, which is informative for photographers on the field and reporters in the press box. First, you know who has what number. That matters. Second, you know who is and isn’t playing. At the end of a week where injury statuses are protected, that matters. (I’m not mad about the injury policy. Dana’s been crystal clear bout that throughout his tenure. And he’s been consistent). If there’s someone new to the dress list — say a kid who had been redshirting, or a redshirt who hadn’ tbeen traveling to road games — that matters. If I go to the press box tomorrow and I get a dress list and I see that No. 31 isn’t listed, I know WVU’s best linebacker is out for the game, which is news. If I see that Jacky Marcellus is dressed, that is news. This is 2013. We have websites that are easy to access and update. I’m charged with breaking news. I’m literally always on the clock. Bruce being out is something I have to know and share. Marcellus being dressed and maybe getting a shot at inside receiver is something I have to know and share. But now I’m not getting that until kickoff, when they mention changes to the depth chart that last week listed Dozie Ezemma as a backup Buck. I disagree with this practice. It’s not a secret. It’s nothing I haven’t told others. We have to know who is and isn’t playing in the game, much the same as we have to know who is and isn’t returning to a game that they’ve left with an injury. My complaints about the accuracy of the roster have been fixed, and not because I complained. We found a way to make it work. Also, I thought Holgorsen was wonderful after the game Saturday. He wasn’t standoffish at all. Very open and informative.
Hey Joe….where you going with that debit card in your hand?
Yeah I’m going down to buy a RELAX cap cuz I look funny with this orange head band.
In all honesty, I prefer Joe to Dunlap or someone less familiar w our boys…at this point.
Enjoy the weekend!