Texts from Alabama Game Day

Fantastic work, gang. And I mean all of that. Forty-one people contributed and it was impressive. The bar is really high now, so you’re not going to see all or a lot of your submissions, but don’t let that deter you in the future. You see the most improvement between the first and second games, right?

(If you’re new, I try to use the texts as a mosaic that chronologically recaps the game from a pretty diverse batch of perspectives.)

We’ll get more into this game this week because I can’t believe this week won’t be more about the last Saturday than the next Saturday. Let’s agree right now to not call Towson the FCS runner up and let’s not remind people the Tigers beat UConn in 2013. Towson lost a lot of players to graduation (and the NFL) and just lost to Central Connecticut State and its new staff. Plus, the last time beating Paul Pasqualoni came with merit was also the year WVU lost to Temple.

But it’s an interesting conundrum for Dana Holgorsen, who sort of saw this coming. He said at this press conference last Tuesday this week was going to be harder for him than last week. So I wondered this of a team that knew it could move the ball against Alabama and believed it was going to win: Does 33-23 reinforce that bravado or is it deflated because untimely letdowns showed the Mountaineers have a lot left to do?

“It gives us confidence because we know we can drive on anyone, but we have to work on getting better in critical situations because that’s what got us today,” quarterback Clint Trickett said.

He was reminded of what his former coach, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, liked to remind his players: You can still play good and play bad in critical situations and lose the game.

“That happened to us,” he said.

And that’s what stung the most. The offense felt like it was built to be better this season and then showcased that with drives of 51, 66, 75 and 79 yards, but ultimately realized its shortcomings kept it from it accomplished anything.

“I don’t think this helps us that much, honestly,” said receiver Jordan Thompson, who made an odd decision to field a 62-yard punt running backward and then lost a yard to be tackled at his 6-yard line.

“We already knew what we were capable of doing. We feel like we can move the ball on anybody in college football, so going out and executing, it wasn’t a surprise. We knew we were going to have to make some plays and sometimes we didn’t make those plays and that hurt us.”

I think we could go either way with either side of the coin, but we see WVU is equal parts cautiously content and mad with itself. So how about this? One game in, it looks like the Mountaineers are indeed better than they were.

It’s too soon to say how far they’ve come, but it’s not premature to say work remains. The drops by some players who are needed but were already on the cusp, the lack of players used in reserve on defense and especially on offense, the running game and the now sustained issues with third-down and red zone/score zone offense ought not be covered up because just WVU hung around with Alabama.

Got them racks, slinging them packs and no we can’t leave them sacks alone. Hired an assistant because my texts need a chaperon. My edits are in [brackets].

12:56:
There’s no Tudor’s in Montana.

1:40:
1. Nick O’Toole looks amazing. 2. We all need to know who the goofy lookin white guy giant is on our team.

1:40:
_eForest’s tan us outta control.

1:41:
I just saw Boomstache. Like a boss. #TFGD

2:54:
Kevin White is a grown [athletic] man. Wouldn’t want to have to guard him with a true freshman.

2:56:
Paul Rhodes is not proud right now

3:00:
North Dakota State about to be 3-0 vs Big XII since 2010.

3:01:
7NA just came on radio…omen?

3:08:

Remember when we lost to Iowa State? …

3:09:
Here’s hoping we score more than Chelsea today.

3:12:
Seriously Paul Rhoads held us to 7 (9) points in ’07. Giving up 34 straight to North Dakota St.

3:13:
So Founder’s makes an All Day IPA? It’s almost like they’re challenging me.

3:29:
Welp, to quote the Drive By Truckers, it’s time for an Alabama [Agility] Whippin

3:33:
College girl from ‘Bama says, “where is West Virginia anyway?” REALLY??? No words – I know all 50 states, where they are and the caps of each.

3:36:
Oh noes! Playboards!

3:38:
Are those the lips from Rocky Horror?

3:38:
SPOT THE BALL

3:39:
Cmon Clint!

3:41:
Everybody had their redbull before the game today apparently #tempo

3:44:
Bolivia.

3:45:
Points are points, right?

3:46:

Please remind me how to pronounce Nana’s name.

3:50:
Announcer wets his pants on tide’s first offensive play

3:51:
When does our defense start?

3:52:
Reset!

3:54:
Is #FireLaneKiffin trending yet?

3:54:
“How you spell D?”

3:56:
Other pictures that should be on the play card; your dog wearing glasses

3:58:
I didn’t know you could grab receivers 30 yards downfield…

4:01:
Let the bloodbath commence.

4:06:
KJ Dillion go boom

4:07:
KJ is on that wall

4:07:
Need to get all up in that [action] on this 3rd down

4:07:
The ol’ 3-3-6 stack defense.

4:09:

How was that an even remotely accurate spot?

4:10:
Nice jacket, Kiffin. It’s August in the deep south and you’re indoors.

4:14:
W.t.f.? These spots had better go both ways.

4:15:
Can someone explain why they gave them the 1st down when he ball was inside the chain? Seriously.

4:16:
Woman beside me just said We need a sack. Yes. Yes we do.

4:21:
This Alabama drive is longer than a coon’s age. #hillbillyidioms

4:26:
Our defense is only a defense ironically.

4:28:
I hereby christen the defense ”scrap heap”.

4:34:
WELL-man!!!

4:34:
Keeeeeeeeeeeeevin White!!!

4:34:
BOLIVIA!!!!!

4:34:
That’s what we’ve been waiting for!

4:35:

Kevin White…G.A.M.

4:35:
Kirby Smart looks like the guy who will lead Florida to 0-12 next season.

4:35:
Kevin La Paz!

4:36:
Kevin White is a grown [athletic] man. Wouldn’t want to have to guard him with the Secret Service.

4:41:
Jordan Thompson catches errything. Unfortunately.

4:42:
How is he that stupid?

4:42:
That was a hell of a boot.

4:44:
How can Bama successfully recruit such a great punter?

4:44:
In all seriousness, how can DeFore__ not teach these guys not to catch a ball racing backwards to their own goal line?

4:45:
Do these refs have flags?

4:48:
Nice knowing ya Mathis

4:52:
ABC now showing Kiffin and the game split screen. Wow.

4:53:
Tangent: Camera men. Kiffin. Budding bro’mance.

4:59:
Dillon still on that wall

4:59:
Bending Bending Bending Breaking

5:02:
[Pretty] poor tackling. [Pretty] poor defense. Some things never change.

5:02:
Death by 3rd down D.

5:03:
There’s the defense I remember.

5:04:
Humming the Super Mario music now.

5:04:
THE PRINCESS IS IN A DIFFERENT CASTLE

5:05:
YACKETY WHAAAAAAA????

5:05:
It’s me, Mario!

5:06:
Nick Saban looks like King Koopa

5:06:
Mario is ALLLLLLFORD!!!

5:07:
I’ve got the vapors . I’ve got the vapors.

5:07:
Joe D_____st!

5:07:

If they play TNA right now, we riot.

5:13:
Someone forgot to tell us we cant hang with alabama…lets go

5:19:
If Worley can smarten up, they have a chance

5:26:
Uh oh! Band controversy: They mic’d the Bama band in the Dome, but no one can hear the Pride for [succotash] in here.

5:30:
If we don’t learn to tackle better than this, the B-12 will eat our lunch every Saturday.

5:31:
No one will believe it but I thought we’d be in this one for a while anyway.

5:38:
That is horse [shoes]

5:38:
HOW THE [FUNGUS] IS THAT INTERFERENCE!?!?!

5:39:
Mary Kay threw that makeup flag.

5:47:
12:44 to go in the third. I have seen enough to say there has been massive improvement since last year.

5:47:
By the way, the Bammers are insufferable…ugghh

5:48:
Hand to god. I haven’t seen this many missed holding calls since the Fiesta Bowl.

5:49:
#Kiffikyns

5:51:
A well-rested Trickett takes over.

5:52:
I forgot we had an offense.

5:55:
Are we SURE that’s Kevin White & not Larry Fitzgerald out there??

5:57:
The guys dropping these balls are not walk ons…

5:59:
@ClintTrickett9 too many dropped passes #mybrosaintloyal

6:02:
And WVU’s defense hasn’t changed. A Big 12 offense picks them apart.

6:05:
One team knows how to finish. One does not.

6:09:
Public service announcement: Make sure SafeSearch is on when Googling “Squirt Thompson”

6:10:
Well Squirt, I guess you’ll always have that great mock opener.

6:12:
U should be proud of Ur boy from Cleveland, Shelton Gibson, besides the drop he’s played well, especially special teams

6:13:

Did you say gibbie wouldn’t play Cover 2 or Cover 22???

6:14:
I’ve seen that movie before. Usually ends much worse.

6:15:
Flashback of the Sugar Bowl, although Mike Lorello had the good sense to tackle the guy before he had a chance to catch it.

6:15:

Unsportsmanshiplike conduct. Call the OED, we have a new word.

6:16:
That’s the [pansiest] [football] call I’ve ever seen #goaccrefs

6:16:
It’s now a penalty to get run over by a jumping Bama player 10 yards out of bounds

6:17:
Only time Andrew Buie was mentioned in my living room, and it was the OTHER #13. Not a good sign for him,

6:17:
How many [borderline] calls are they gonna get? What a [fantastic] joke. It’s Alabama guys, they don’t need help

6:18:
It’s not a question of IF Lane Kiffin is shagging an undergrad, it’s how many, right?

6:19:
Shouldn’t a got in our QB’s way PAWWWWWWWWWWL

6:21:
SPRING GAME [STUFF]

6:22:
Squirt doing a Kevin White impression!

6:22:
Greatest end-of-the-3Q player of all time!

6:26:
Ugh Thompson could be a solid player. Hes… nevermind

6:29:
The reign of Spain is mainly now just pain.

6:30:
We learned how to fini…

6:33:
Hard to be upset with anything in this game other than luck/fate on a few big plays.

6:34:
[FINALLY] A WORLEY!

6:38:
Grown men do cry! The guy next to me has 3 grand on Bama to cover!

6:41:
I didn’t come into thinking we should try not go get blown out, I want a W.

6:52:
Running the ball hasn’t worked all half, so we run it twice to open the most important possession of the game. Brilliant.

6:53:

That play calling was offensive.

6:54:
I’ll tell you what, this old fan is gassed. Imagine how our D feels

6:57:
This season, it appears that it’s Holgs’ fingernails and pens, not his headphones, that should be worried.

7:03:
Someone should explain to these guys that Coker’s problem isn’t his play, it’s his haircut

7:04:
TOWELS OF DECEPTION

7:06:
4th down & game, flat pass. Save me the Clint hagiographies this week.

7:07:
Biggest moral victory in many years.

7:07:
Leave nothing on film for Towson!

7:10:
I hope history remembers this game as much as that LSU game.

7:34:
Ill take 11-1 and a rematch in the college football playoff…lets go mountaineers

7:54:
Wanted to point out for the people at home that WVU fans appeared to give the team a standing ovation as time expired.

8:07:
At 11am an AL fan told me he was the nicest AL fan I was going to meet all day; I told him I was the soberest WVU fan he was gonna meet all day. 13 hours later,

8:07:
I’m confident we were both right.

8:08:
In summation, AL fans are [delusional].

8:38:
Ever seen the Alabama logo? It’s a giant …
–A

24 Responses to “Texts from Alabama Game Day”

  1. Dann White says:

    Michael,
    Let me know if you still need help with an easier and better way to edit video for The Good/Bad feature. I can solve that for you.
    Good job on Saturday by the way, now if we could get you to take over for Orlosky….

  2. Mike Casazza says:

    Dann,

    Can you send me your idea? I’ve gotten some help already, but I’ll listen.

  3. JC says:

    6:09 is grand!!

  4. Spatial Angel says:

    6:38 is some consolation.

  5. MontanaEer says:

    Re the shady ball spotting, some paranoia on other message boards claims the head line judge is from Pembroke, VA, and is a cHokie fan. Part of me wants to believe this.

  6. smeer says:

    I think the db aggressiveness meant the refs would have to throw too many flags, likewise the art of offensive line holding that Bama’s tackles mastered

    it’s Alabama – they get the benefit of the doubt – Nick Saban is obviously the best coach in the world henceforth his players are above reproach and he has the best players in college football so they get the benefit of the doubt

    despite all this, WE lost the game by our own mistakes

  7. smeer says:

    4:10 – goober

  8. Mack says:

    Is anything overly criticized more than a kick returner who brings it out of the end zone and gets tackled before reaching the 20… or a punt returner who catches one inside the 10 and gets tackled?

    In the former instance, any kick returner has a theoretical chance of taking it to the house on any kick return. Isn’t that worth the idea of potentially starting your drive at a spot where you’d need 90 yards to score a touchdown rather than 80 yards?

    The crazy punt return catch by Jordan Thompson was a bad play, but it wasn’t disastrous. If he lets it go, there’s a chance it goes out of bounds or is downed inside the five. In such an instance, any human being in Thompson’s place goes through a “fight or flight” mental process… Thompson chose to catch it and the ball sailed further than he probably planned. At the end of the day, he caught it so no harm no foul. Fans always act like every yard you start behind the 20 is a million dollars out of their pockets whereas every yard you start a drive past the 20 seems inconsequential.

  9. I love you, Doug! says:

    Is it raining on the parade to point out the offense managed only one TD? When’s Holgo’s legendary offense going to show up?

  10. I love you Doug,

    I can’t tell if you’re asking a general question about the offense, or if you’re blaming Holgorsen for the lack of touchdowns.

    Which one?

  11. Drew says:

    It isn’t Holgorsen’s fault the guys don’t catch it when they’re wide open. It is his fault, ultimately, that the offense continues to stall in the red zone, except that Clint should’ve taken his time and thrown a better ball to Wellman and White should’ve caught the second fade – which looked like a much easier catch than his first one. Overall I wasn’t impressed with the playcalls near the end zone and in the last few drives. We weren’t running the ball well. Screw keeping them honest. Attack their weak secondary and don’t get behind the chains on second/third/fourth down. Depth at receiver is a problem. White, Alford, and even Thompson are pretty good. After that, there’s nothing dependable.

  12. Daniel says:

    During the game, I came to the gradual understanding that the officials ‘had it in for us’.
    After re-watching it, I started thinking…

    Imagine you’re a ref. The historied and #2 team in the country is playing a 4-8 team in its opener. The LAST thing you would want is to be blamed for ruining their chances because of a bad call you may or may not have made against them, so you reflexively er on the side of caution. You subconsciously call the game in their favor out of fear. You’re human, after all.

    The only way to get calls like Alabama got in a game like that is to be a program like an Alabama.

    Same thing goes for the broadcasting crews and camera shots. Don’t like it?.. Force them to knock it off and respect you.

  13. smeer says:

    agree with Mack on Jordan’s punt catch

    he lost track of yard line tracking down the ball and made a pretty amazing catch. it’s the responsibility of the spotter to help him out in that situation and if memory is correct there was another WVU player less than five yards from Jordan – either admiring the catch or unable to shout instructions above the din.

    Bama tackled him immediately so potential for them to down it inside the 5 (or some other fluke) is real

    thought the spot should have been at the 9 where Bama first made contact – thus only one yard behind the magical “anything inside the ten” rule (that if broken requires penance and demotion and the wrath of the fan base . . .)

    the next play Shell runs for 14 to the magical 20

    no harm no foul

    the kid is working hard to break the Mr Spring Football nickname – from the end of last year he’s been fearless running across the middle and taking hits

  14. smeer says:

    daniel – agreed

    that explains most except that absurd PF foul on our bench – they could have swallowed that one with no harm done to the Alabama pedigree

  15. smeer says:

    agreed Drew

    Bama – had no clue what to do with the diamond – not sure why it wasn’t our goal line package in the first series – a change-up for an already reeling bama D

  16. Daniel says:

    smeer,
    Glad you agreed. But along those same lines, the entire team needs to know that the refs will be nervous about making calls against ‘Bama. The proper response for that kid would’ve been to flop, basketball style, and flail his arms while on his back.

    I know it’s nitpicking… but those are the little things you can do in a game like that. Refs refuse to make PI calls?? Start flopping when they have their hands all over you with the ball in the air with their heads not turned around.

    I guess what I’m saying is prep for the officials, too. There were comments made during the game that suggested that Alabama coached that very thing, for the same reasons, to it’s DB’s. Why not coach with the same mindset? “We need to beat ‘Bama. We need to beat the officials. We need to beat the crowd.” We prep’d for ‘Bama. We blared crowd noise through the P.A. during practices. Why not prep for officials that may be too scared to call an honest game?

    Actually… why not prep to take advantage of officials, and their onerous rull book, EVERY game…

    I miss when our Center would snap the ball when a defender was over the line while nobody moved from their stance, forcing the ref’s to throw flags. It was beautiful and satisfying to watch the refs be forced to do their jobs by coaching tactics.

  17. LoganvilleJeff says:

    One other observation that may have been made already in the hundreds of posts is this: Kevin White caught two passes at the five and on both it looked like he could have kept his feet and scored. He played an incredible game and I think he’s going to have a HUGE season. Those were missed opportunities that I bet he learns from.

  18. Mr M says:

    Daniel –

    Your point of “Prepping for the Refs” is well taken. In this time of videos of everything, if we know in advance who will be officiating and can have a video of most referees doing games we should be able to track THEIR tendencies for making (and not making) certain calls.

  19. Dann White says:

    Mike, as long as you’re doing OK with the Video Capture/Editing thing, then I’m cool with it.

  20. Brother X says:

    Well done with TFGD everybody. You all get a rifle sticker to put on your helmet for the week.

    Other rifle stickers go to;
    Larry Fitz…er…Kevin White
    Whoever designed the play call cards
    Willie Crest (for excellence in holding a towl to hide Dana from spotters/spies)

  21. smeer says:

    Crest looked really good out there

  22. I love you, Doug! says:

    Clarence:

    Upon retrospection, I think my question was not adequately tuned.

    WVU had 11 possessions against Alabama, and they went like this:
    - FG
    - punt
    - TD
    - punt
    - TD
    - missed FG
    - FG
    - FG
    - punt
    - punt
    - lost on downs

    That’s no TDs after the second quarter. Did Alabama adjust and significantly improve its defense? Was it the WVU playcalling? WVU execution? Alabama had the ball for 15 minutes more than WVU, but WVU had the ability to flip that if they could have kept drives going.

  23. Rugger says:

    Four rushing plays in the second half killed us. I realize we averaged 1 yard per carry in the second half and Dana is tempted to air it out but that never seems to work without some semblance of a running game.

    Let’s hope we can run v Towson.