You are looking live at the scene outside Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It’s a little like Toomers Corner, yes? It’s WVU v. Kansas State and not only are the Mountaineers playing their third Big 12 opponent coming out of an open week, but it’s also Homecoming for the Wildcats.
Terribly nice people, I must say. Enjoyed a few elevator rides and waits in checkout lines with folks quick to note I was an out-of-towner specifically because I wasn’t wearing purple. Where else does that happen that doesn’t involve Prince?
Snyder is kind of like the king here. I don’t wan to pound that into the ground, but there aren’t a lot of stadiums that are known by a person’s name and the ones that are aren’t commonly referred to by the name. A lot of people call Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium just Memorial Stadium. DKR is also socially acceptable. Mountaineer Field trumps Milan Puskar Stadium. A lot of the namesakes are no longer with us. Bill Snyder is not only with us, but he’s actively coaching. It’s a rarity and it works because he’s kind of like the perfect guy for this place. It’s all very familial and those are the kinds of things Snyder constantly preaches as the fabric of his intrinsic values.
Dude also loves his throwback windbreakers, his coffee and his Taco Bell. Good man.
Speaking of food, how about this greeting inside the press box?
I like this place. How about a uniquely flavored and succulent live post? Place your order, please.
Story, including this quote snippet. “There are a lot of things that are disturbing that we do offensively.”
Bad vibe after this game. Keith Patterson is bewildered and his players don’t have a lot of answers and seem like they don’t want to say something, for fear it might be right. Offensively, I think a lot of this rests on Trickett’s arm and his erratic throws. There were some body language cues during the game — again, nothing spoken after the game — that suggest there is some frustration.
But we’re looking at a level of dysfunction that isn’t good. The field goal was a call the the coaches told the players to make if they spotted certain cues. The cues were there, but maybe half the team got it.
There are still game management things to look at, not unlike timeouts and challenges. KSU won the toss and deferred. Dana decided to kick/throw into the wind in the fourth quarter. Didn’t matter, but what if it did?
And why was Trickett hurrying to the locker room to get his shoulder checked out while KSU played offense to start the second half when he just had an entire halftime to get it looked at?
Things like that seem to be standing out and even adding up, especially now that you have basically the same loss in consecutive weeks.
Four games left and three wins needed to make a bowl game. I said I don’t foresee a coaching change unless this totally falls a part, and I maintain that, though I concede that “totally falls apart” is three or four losses away.
That said, I don’t think anyone who was honest with themselves at the start of the season didn’t anticipate some, a lot of all of this. It sucks, but it’s reality. Holgorsen, though, said that he probably overestimated his team at the start of the season — the famed “I’m not losing any sleep over it” response to losing Eu, Tavon and Stedman — which is a surprising backtrack from him. Then again, I think we’d all look at him funny if he said something else.
And having said what I just said in response to what was said before that, I do think it’s discouraging that the signs of improvement aren’t there on offense and the signs of regression are impossible to ignore on offense.
Going to be a long five weeks and four games to end this thing.
Head down, writing, but it’s hard to get to six wins now.
Oh, Paul Millard. More questions about the QB now.
KSU now making WVU chase and tackle.
And Zimmerman misses the INT, but forces the fumble.
And how did Spain not recover that. At some point, just take over.
You want him to slide now?
Trickett gets into a PA pass, but overthrows Thompson and narrowly avoided a killer INT.
Special teams wipes out a big return. It had to happen eventually. Been quiet too long.
WVU needs some help, but that’s OK. There’s 11:11 left. Make a wish.
Speaking of polite, the secondary has issues.
The blocks out of the backfield are killing this running game. WVU just politely eschews them and makes a play.
Waters comes in and splits the defense again. Sheesh. Lots of third down conversions this half. That’s 4 of 5 after going 1-for-5 in the first half.
Yeah, and Sams just made a mess of that draw-pass play.
I’m still not convinced KSU can get out of its way.
Bruce saved WVU a lot of trouble with that play. There was some room on the right side. Instead, a four-yard return and good field position for the defense.
#TeamGoForIt just met…
Had Shorts right in the middle of the field.
Born out of chaos is a big third down conversion with a pass to Short. WVU had two tight ends for 12 players, then just 11 but one of the 11 (Smallwood) didn’t know the play and just kind of stood there after a snap just before the play clock expired.
Bad things are happening with Smallwood in the game.
Danny Sams, running QB: 8-for-8, 82 yards, TD; 10 rushes, nine yards. Makes sense.
I have no idea how you can let that happen. One thing you can’t do is let a receiver have the end line.
That’s a 5-foot-10 receiver in the back of the end zone.
Golson playing a nice game, by the way.
The second half is going to be a test of WVU’s conditioning again. KSU seems almost disinterested in the pass at this point.
Crowd audibly happy the QB didn’t fumble on a long run.
I didn’t see anybody signalling for a timeout on the KSU sideline but it’s possible the officials respect Snyder that much.
And it sucks you in and leaves you exposed outside.
It’s weird, but up here it looks like the initial block on these QB dives isn’t there and maybe WVU is purposefully and successfully avoiding it.
Sloppy KSU. I’m not used to this.
So WVU goes from looking at a 14-9 deficit to leading 12-7. Huge swing for the purposes of momentum. KSU looks incapable on offense right now.
Also, the word we’re getting is Holgorsen told Jed Drenning about the fake during the walk-to-the-locker room interview.
Make it 1-for-4. The wind helps.
Lambert is 0-for-3 from 50+ this season…
the screen works and White make a defender miss. It’s a necessity to turn a four-yard throw into a 43-yard gain.
Holy cow … hearing that the field goal team audibled to the fake on the field. That’s not good.
Well, that’s fortuitous for WVU. Both KSU quarterbacks are prone to fumbles. It’s how the Wildcats lost to Texas. Joseph with a FF and a FR today. Let’s not ignore that that might be a game-saver today.
A turnover was the only way KSU was going to jump start things, and Carswell had a look at the recovery.
So at halftime, WVU leads 9-7. Put another way, the team working with the wind leads 16-0.
Hey, I like it. You’re not winning 12-7. But was there anyone beyond the line of scrimmage to help Molinari?
Sims gets caught again, but Zimmerman’s a great safety. Sims helps though.
Smallwood whiffs on a block on the reverse, but that’s not what got Davis smoked. Points to him for hanging onto the ball. Kind of.
WVU might be better than KSU, but I can’t see a reason KSU was a 91/2 or 101/2 point favorite.
Snyder doesn’t use a wireless headset. He’s got that kid following him and coiling and unwinding wire as he walks.
WVU hasn’t even looked at White today. He’s on a 5-9 cornerback and all alone on the field side. Wonder if that has to do with the so-so results with height on his side last week.
And there’s the wind. Big play. O’Toole is looking around for anyone to listen to him.
Whoa, a Carswell block AND a Sims broken tackle on the same play.
Small miracle WVU didn’t mess up that short, bouncing punt. Maybe it’s WVU’s day.
KSU is awfully cute. Is WVU a team with which you have to be cute.
Have a look at No. 49. He’s moving people.
Darrien Howard in the game for WVU. College debut at nose guard in the second quarter of the eighth game.
Ugh. I’d forgotten what a blocked kick looked like. And WVU does everything it can to protect the right side. Lucky placement of the hands by KSU’s 6-4 Travis Britz.
There’s the best play of Jordan Thompson’s career. Thunderous hit by Zimmerman. Clean, too.
Tough to fake the potato, then the handoff and then find a receiver on a three-man route from the 18-yard line. Not a lot of room, and thus time, for that play to develop.
There’s a KSU fair catch on the 6 by very smart Ty Zimmerman. Haven’t seen a KSU team this loose with the fundamentals before.
There’s a game management thing: WVU could have let the quarter expire and thrown the third-down pass with the win. Instead, Trickett checks it down and only gets six of the nine yards he needed. They’ll punt with the wind now — if they punt — but still, why hurry?
…and maybe he shouldn’t be involved. I’m going to guess he didn’t get the play, which leaves Trickett hanging for a loss. Third-and-10 is the result and you know how that foes. … 12-yard catch my McCartney.
And Wendell motions again the KSU follows again and Trickett goes right on playaction. Clever design. Good result.
Smallwood as a slot receiver. And he motions in front of the QB to sell the possibility he may catch the hot potato. He’s got to become more involved if the offense wants some punch.
That’s maybe the worst play of the season. It’s an obvious passing down, so much so that KSU subbed in the passing QB. There’s no pass rush and there’s a problem on the back end where no body is deep enough to help a cornerback chasing a receiver.
O’Toole celebrating his spot on the Ray Guy watch list with punts of 27, 33 and 36 yards. Next one should be 39, right?
And that was not a good throw. That’s two three-and-outs and one four-play drive. On 10 snaps, WVU has motioned into an empty set to pass five times. Despite the wind and the field position, WVU has passed six times.
That’s an incomplete pass, but that was a hell of a throw into a wind by Trickett. We’re stunned.
Feel bad for Kwiatkoski there. That play’s designed to make him commit and Sams executed it properly for 15 yards.
Let’s watch how KSU’s receivers block WVU’s receivers. Lockett and Thompson are small guys. The CBs should be able to keep things inside and make tackles.
No word from WVU on Worley, except that he’s on the dress list.
Solid 30-yard average on O’Toole’s two punts. That wind is stiff, though.
Tell me, is Spain setting really deep on pass plays?
Worley wasn’t on the kickoff team, either. We’re trying to figure out what the deal is.
WVU needed that. And, hey, Karl Joseph hits and strips. Didn’t need to become a missile.
Worley not starting. That was Travis Bell blocked out of position on the 19-yard run.
Just about the worst start: Incomplete pass on first down, incomplete pass on third-and-7, 27-yard punt.
First quarter, gang.
Sims was in on the kickoff, which is rare, and standing on the 10-yard line right behind blocker Cody Clay. Was that a reverse?
They had to move the coin toss.
I’ve seen a lot of things … but this is new.
It’s staged, but the kid it out cold. Snyder is at midfield and there’s an ambulance coming out onto the field.
As part of the pregame, the stadium plays “Till I Collapse” and a WVU fan appears at midfield and draws boos. He’s hamming it up until the Wildcat appears and spears him into the logo at midfield.
It’s staged, of course, but it’s fantastic.
Is it Joe DeForest’s birthday? The game captains today are O’Toole, DePalma, Lambert and Molinari.
No Doug Rigg today. I’m told he’s out. I don’t believe that was disclosed at all this week. Rick Rumph and Marvin Gross are both in uniform.
Oh boy, gold lids. Look we haven’t seen yet and, honestly, I’m not a fan.
Also, just met Chris Simms. Very tall. He’s 6’5″. Does a lot of homework, too.
White jerseys, white pants and not sure about the helmets today for WVU. Hope it’s white, too. Nice look that we have not yet seen. KSU is silver lids, purple jerseys and silver pants.
This just makes my day. I’m here for you, of course, but I’m good the rest of the way.
Hella windy here, too.
Depth chart notes:
Justin Arndt is the backup Spur linebacker. I’ll eat the Final Four had I got at Big 12 media day if Arndt plays meaningful snaps. He’s just the only healthy name they can put there.
Quitcowskee is starting at Sam and is backed up by Sean Walters. Barber is starting at Will and is backed up by Tyler Anderson.
So, no Doug Rigg. I wondered if he got hurt against Texas Tech. He tackled someone with his face and it totally rocked him backward. He left the game and never returned. Looked awkward and painful.
Brandon Napoleon is the backup to Ickey Banks at field cornerback.
First quarter reminders: Holgorsen has been outscored 154-41 in the first quarter of his 13 losses. To add to that, the Mountaineers have trailed in 12 of the 13 losses and have scored zero points six times.
Kansas State, though, is being outscored 41-23 in the first quarter this season.
The WVU stat is heavy. It’s a trend. The Kansas State one is light, I guess, because it’s the opposite of heavy. Still, the Wildcats want to be better in the first quarter because they want to be ahead at the half. They’ve won 39 straight games when leading at halftime.
That’s the fourth-best streak in the country.
Bill Snyder teams are 16-5 on Homecoming. I’d like a stat from WVU about its record when being the opponent in a Homecoming game.
All that said, walking in, I was reminded of Grayskull. Have fun with that. I’m off to do some IMG bidness.
Again, I won’t pound this into the ground, but those familial, friendly things are persistent here. Bramlage Coliseum is attached to the football stadium. The basketball arena shares a concourse area with the football stadium. I parked on the east side of the stadium. The press box is on the west side. Every other football stadium would make you walk all the way around. Here, they open the basketball arena and let you walk not merely through it to get to the other side, but all over the place. It’s wide open.
Inside the stadium, it’s a bit like Mountaineer Field, particularly as it relates to Touchdown Terrace on one end and the Puskar Center on the other. Within the stadium, it’s a little more unique.
The corridors are a tribute to the athletic department’s history.
Hall of Fame:
Circle of Honor and sport-specific displays:
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