Sunday, September 30, 2007

Links and a Song to Make Us Feel Better

As we all drown our sorrow from this past weekends game/games, it might be a good time to remember that we weren't the only ones to have our national title hopes crushed. I do a thing over at the FanHouse called the College Football Songbook where I take the funniest happening in the college football world (always an upset to this point) and put it to song and video. And here's this weeks offering titled: America's Wang and the Tasty Tears of Upsets.

Also, I have been fortunate enough to be interviewed the past couple weeks on a new internet radio station dedicated to college football blogs called College Football Weekly. Man did I ever get it right about the South Florida defense. Ugh! Anyway, head over and give it a listen.

WVU-USF review

If you missed the game, congrats. If you watched, then you will understand why none of us are capable of posting a rational review of the game without simply spewing "fuck" over and over again, as in:

"Fuck, another fucking screen pass?"
"Fuck, another fucking turnover?"
"Fuck, why not fucking throw down field?"
"Fuck, you have one fucking job Dent, get the fucking ball to the fucking quarterback."

I wish I had more to say, but invariably, coach Rodriguez, despite his alleged offensive genius, reverted to the same bullheadedness we have heretofore chronicled resulting in a perplexity that yields few coherent thoughts from this Bastard.

During the discussion with tummysticks the following day, in which we continued to ponder the lack of vertical passing game, we've come to the conclusion that RR simply has no faith in our receiver corps. We strongly suspect that Patrick White is capable of making throws. So the only explanation for the lack of downfield attempts is perhaps a deficiency at receiver.

At WR, we have Hogan and Reynauld, two sub-six-foot converted runningbacks who are speedy, great in space and can make the occasional catch on a crossing pattern, but with their small frames, do not impose physical difficulties upon covering defenders. Similary, Tito Gonzales serves little purpose other than downfield blocker or again, the occasional crossing pattern. Dorrel Jalloh has emerged perhaps our best true receiver, but at an even six feet, lacks the requisite height to battle for jump balls with corners. Wes Lyons, who had his best performance yet as a Mountaineer in the second half Friday night, has crazy height at 6'8", but lacks the break free speed at a reported 4.6 forty.

With the tools we have, however, there are certainly downfield pass plays which would presumably be effective against 8-9 man fronts. For instance, I have yet to see the Slaton wheel route which was so effective last year, particularly against Pitt. Similarly, with safeties coming up to the help against the run, get Lyons out on 15 yard flag or post pattern and simply throw the ball up. He has atleast an 8" height advantage over any corner. Watch Oregon play sometime. You'll see precisely what we're talking about. Preferrably, I would like to see Lyons and Jalloh on the outside with Reynauld in the slot. But we shall see.

Consider for instance, play action post to Reynauld from the slot. Immediate pressure on White could result in a dump off to Schmitt "lead blocking" the play action. If White has a moment to set up, two scenerios present themselves. One, the safeties will have bitten on the play action 9 out of 10 times. Reynauld is on an island, throw it up and let the kid make a play. If they haven't bitten, you still have the dump off to the wide out running a shorter route. (From my hazy recollection, this resembles the play upon which Reynald caught the TD. But we only ran it once. And late in the game when we had to.) I, of course, am no head coach, so I suspect RR has his reasons. I just wish someone would ask him about it. Maybe I should call in to his radio show this week.

Compare, for instance, the WVU offense circa 2004. The self-destruction to be, Chris Henry, with all the speed and hops of a potential NFL star, often stretch the defense vertical both scoring touchdowns on his own accord, but also, and more importantly, forcing the defense to take at least one safety out of the box. With the questionable play of our line, forcing at least one more defender to play the pass would certainly lessen the pressure on our front 5.

Additionally, we are beginning to believe that WVU is incapable, for inexplicable reasons, of maintaining long scoring drives. Perhaps with the inexperience of the line and the complexity of the plays and if contained to only 4 or so yards per play, which would be otherwise unstoppable, mistakes occur and the drive is prematurely stopped. If we ever play for a national championship, I would anticipate it to be against a good defense and if we ever want to win that game, we're going to have to be able to grind it out. Unfortunately demonstrated Friday night, we just can't do it this year.

I'd also like to point out that the majority of fumbles were caused more by the ability of the USF defenders and their perfect helmet on ball tackles than on the inability of our own runners. It certainly is a point of concern but I do not expect it to reoccur this horribly again this season.

Anyway, for an analysis better than any of us could objectively post right now, see SMQ for more details.

West Virginia thrives on creating indecision, isolating defenders, getting them overpursuing, off-balance and missing tackles in space, and USF had none of it. The Bulls kept contain, took proper pursuit angles and got the runner to the ground on the first opportunity on virtually every play.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cock Gobblers!!!!

Fuckity Fuck Fuck Fuck! More coherent words when I'm sober.

Halftime Thoughts WVU-USF

-If I never hear Chris Spielman's voice again, it will be too soon. Chris, shut the fuck up! I have finally found someone that I hate to hear more than Mark May.

-Mike Dent, you have one job from hear on out. Ball to the quarterback in the air between the numbers and block if you can.

-As bad as White has played in the first half, I say stay with Brown. If all else fails, get Mr. Pink in there.

-I-formation seems to work like gangbusters. So naturally we don't run it again.

-USF offense nonexistent. Just don't turn the ball over and everything will be fine.

-My balls are itching so I need to step away. Trust me, it's a good sign, like Eric Estrada's character, Chili Bean, in the movie Midway.

-Oh yeah, FUCK YOU Chris Spielman!

Weekend Watching

Believe it or not they are playing games on a Saturday this week. What will they think of next? And what about all of the kids playing high school football? Or those trying to respect the Sabath. Shomer fucking shabbos. There are some big games out there this weekend and Lou Holtz is all ready to give them pep talks about marriage, business, bumble bees, your wife and the drummer, vertigo, trees, blimps, herpes blisters, and what ever else pops into his head during his rants of a man with a brain destroyed by an uncontrolled case of syphilis.

"Big week in the Pac10 men. Those who say we can't win haven't seen a prairie dog. Men they have social networks and kissing rituals. Plus they are adorable AND edible. Men when you are having sex with a hooker always remember that it isn't important for her to get off, since she is getting paid and that applies to stay at home moms as well men." Anyway on to the games.

Early games are just appetizers this week. Most ranked teams should have the game well in hand by half time. LSU plays Tulane, VT plays UNC, BC plays UMass, and Oklahoma plays Colorado. Take the extra time to sleep off that hangover from either celebrating or drinking away the sorrows after WVU plays tonight. Or take the little lady out for lunch to let her know you are sorry about not paying attention to her the last month or so on weekends and will make it up with a soup/salad combo. However, make sure you're home in time for the afternoon games.

Cal vs. Oregon--Oregon showed off more than ugly uniforms against Michigan. They unleashed the hellfire that is a spread offense willing to throw downfield. Oregon scored 32 first half points and put up 624 yards in that game. On the Season the Ducks are 4-0 and Dennis Dixon has thrown for 932 yards and run for another 291. Meanwhile Cal has been cruising since the Tennessee game with wins over Colorado State, La Tech, and Arizona. Desean Jackson has been held in check, but as teams have sent the entire secondary after him Lavelle Hawkins has gotten off for 315 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 receptions. Cal is scoring 41.5 points per game and giving up 24.5. Oregon is scoring 48.5 points per game and giving up 21.5. The over/under is around 72.5. Enjoy.

Those of us in Big10 country will get the infinitely less enjoyable game of Michigan State v. Wisconsin. Both teams are undefeated. Sparty has been deadly on the ground with Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick both over 300 yards rushing on the year. When the ball goes in the air it is usually to Devin Thomas (370 yards receiving). Wisconsin has survived at UNLV and a scare from The Citadel for a half before taking Iowa in a 17-13 slugfest last week. PJ Hill has over 500 yards rushing for the Badgers. If you get stuck with this game it has officially become nappytime for the afternoon.

Alabama v. Florida State--One team was good a long time ago. The other was good a less long time ago. Bobby Bowden was Bear Bryants grandad. I give up this game isn't that exciting.

USC v. Washington--The first test for the Trojans wasn't much of a test. They had all the answers in advance for Nebraska in a 49-31 win that was 42-10 in the third quarter. USC uses about 50 different running backs in the 10th best rushing offense in the country and is limiting opponents to 64 yards rushing per game. Washington has faced one high caliber defense in Ohio State and managed a respectable 346 total yards but were unable to score and turned the ball over 4 times in a 33-14 loss. Washington must run and control the clock to have a chance otherwise USC will wear the Huskies down and out.

Finally, Auburn tries to save their season v. Florida. Auburn is 2-2 coming into this game and Brandon Cox has 6 interceptions. The Tigers are 91st in the country in turnover margin. The defense has been respectable (26th in the country) to attempt to offset the beleaguered passing attack (99th). Florida is 22th in total offense and 27th in total defense in a 4-0 start. However, despite holding Ole Miss to 2-11 on third down, having no turnovers, and over 100 more yards of total offense, the Gators trailed in the fourth quarter to the Rebels. Tim Tebow leads the Gators with 1096 passing yards, 358 rushing yards, and Chuck Norris random generators with 1.

It keeps getting worse for the Cards

In further proof that God is a spiteful god with a mean sense of humor, things have gotten worse for the Cards.

Sure, their season is going down the drain. We all know that. But now, former blue chip 3 star linebacker and career criminal Willie Williams has been dismissed from the team (ht: EDSBS). We briefly chronicled Willie during recruiting season. Williams had contributed 5 solo tackles, 4 ast. tackles, and 1 solo for loss, which is enough for 10th on the team this season.

And the Card Chronicle, who's having a rough time this year, reports that "Louisville lost a pair of top basketball recruits late Wednesday evening as Olek Czyz committed to Duke and Eloy Vargas announced that he's taking his game to Florida."

I guess at a certain point, you have to start feeling bad for them. Fortunately, we're not yet to that point.

Lou Holths Pep Speech to South Florida

We can only hope that this will be played to the Bulls right before kickoff tonight. As they are sure to be confused beyond belief and covered in spit. Transcript below.

Men, thith ith hoth fothballth.......Ruleths of lifth saysure growing or dying.....Bumble Bees! Aeronautical princsipalths say Bumble Bees can'th flyth! (wipes mouth) Bumble Bees can'th readth stho they don't listhen. Leth Go!

Update: video fixed. Damn WWL.

Coach Rod on ESPN

Somebody who has the time use this space to write up a second about DickRod on the ESPN talking about getting ready for the big game, and comparing the Mounties to the Yankees.
I actually have to go to worky now. Let's Go!

MLB Predictions Revisited- AL

Predictions /Results

1. Yankees 1. Red Sox (2)
2. Blue Jays 2. Yankees 2 gb
3. Red Sox 3. Blue Jays
4. Devil Rays 4. Orioles
5. Orioles 5. Devil Rays


1. Tigers 1. Indians
2. Twins 2. Tigers
3. Indians 3. Twins
4. White Sox 4. White Sox
5. Royals 5. Royals

1. Angels 1. Angels
2. A's 2. Mariners
3. Rangers 3. A's
4. Mariners 4. Rangers

Trusting that you need no explanation of how the above chart works- I will dive right in and keep it brief. There is a football game tonight to write about.

I had the Yanks taking the East (which still is a possibility- two games back in the division with a wild-card clinched) and had the Red Sox third. That may have been due to personal bias. I would like to have seen the Jays put something together- at least more than Boston.

The Central I had given to the Tigers- and they probably should have won it. The Tribe got hot, stayed hot, and Sabathia pitched wonderfully all year. If you will notice, excepting the boost in the standings by Cleveland, the rest of the division wrapped up in just the order I predicted.

I called the Angels to win the West, and they did. The Mariners played a lot better than I expected them to- keeping it close much of the season. They fell like a lead balloon a couple weeks back. Good job to them, and lets hope they don’t sign Barry. Lets secretly hope no team signs Barry. Yeah, fuck you Barry.

Overall I have two teams solidly picked that made the post season from the AL. The Yanks, who haven't won the division yet- I stress YET and cross my fingers. Also the Angels, who everyone should have picked from February to take the West. The race is close for the best record in the AL. Four team race- Yanks two games off the the tie between Cleveland and Boston. I love October. Look for the NL prediction wrap up early next week.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Site News

I would also like to welcome Johnny to our humble little blog.

In conjunction with his arrival, we are making some site changes such as including the blog poll stuff. So I'll be making some layout changes over the course of the day. Consequently, we may experience some occasional technical difficulties, but just check back in a few minutes if the site ends up all garbled.

Around the Conference Week 5

If you don't know what week this is, just ask Tron. Friday night marks the only Big East game between two conference teams as most schools are finishing up the out of conference schedules on Saturday. Every game is winnable for the Big East teams, but as we have seen so far this year, you never bet on Pitt, Syracuse, or Louisville.

Akron vs. UConn--UConn leads off for the conference on Saturday by taking on Akron. Akron comes in 2-2 with loses to Ohio State and Indiana and wins over Army and Kent State. The Zips are struggling on offense to say the least. The total offense is 111 with a rushing offense at 102 and passing offense at 111. The defense has not stopped the run (98th) but has played well against the pass (15th). UConn shocked Pitt last week by forcing 6 turnovers and jumping out to a 34-7 lead. Through 4 games, the Huskies have yet to lose and Tyloer Lrenzen has thrown for 880 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Miami (OH) vs. Syracuse--Syracuse attempts the unimaginable. After beating Louisville just a week ago, Syracuse now goes for a second straight win versus Miami (OH). Last week, Syracuse piled up 465 total yards with 423 yards passing en route to the victory over the Cardinals. The 423 yards came on only 17 pass completions which says more about Louisville than it does Syracuse. The rushing offense has fallen to 118 in the country and the defense is now 112th (105 rushing and 103 passing). The Orange scored more points against Louisville than their first three games combined. The RedHawks are also 1-3 with a win over Ball State and then losses to Minnesota, Cincy, and Colorado in succession. Miami averages around 333 yards of total offense (88th in the country) and gives up about 500 yards (111th) so look for a titanic battle in this one, which has some how been left off of the ABC game of the week.

Maryland v. Rutgers--Maryland is 2-2 and still an unknown. The Terps beat Villanova and Florida International then lost to WVU and Wake Forest the last two weeks. WVU averaged 7.4 yards per carry versus the Terps in 353 rushing yards while WF ran for 178 yards and averaged 4.3 yards per carry. Rutgers will try to match those numbers with the 16th ranked rushing offense at 228 yards per game. In addition Rutgers is passing more efficiently as they are the 19th passing offense in the country behind the number 1 qb in the country in effeciency Mike Teel. Of course all of this has come against Buffalo, Navy, and Norfolk State so the competetion hasn't been intense yet.

Louisville v. NC State--The Cardinals are at a fork in the road. They can either start working their way back to respectability or they can quit. Given the state of the defense (104th against the pass and 90th overall) it may be easier to quit. The Cardinals are averaging 619 yards and 50 points per game and have two loses. NC State beat Wofford (who beat Appy State, who beat Michigan) so the only things keeping the Wolfpack from a high ranking are loses to Central Florida, BC, and Clemson. NC State is getting gashed against the run to the tune of 247 yards per game but have been pretty good against the pass at 161 yards per game. Of course most teams have quit throwing after building a lead. Louisville won't, and can't afford to, do that even if they are up 30.

Pitt v. Virginia--Pitt has UVA and Navy in a row and could win or lose both without surprising anyone too much. LeSean McCoy is averaging 6.4 yards per attempt on offense. That's it for Pitt on offense. The Panthers are only averaging 22 points per game with a schedule that included Eastern Michigan, Grambling, and UConn in three of the four games thus far. Pat Bostick is the present and the future and has responded with 4 interceptions to 1 touchdown. Virginia has a blowout loss to Wyoming and then has rattled off three straight wins all in conference. The Cavs are horrible on offense averaging under 300 total yards per game and less than 20 points and are average on defense. The defense has given up more yards than the offense has generated (357 per game) but UVA has found was to win despite also losing the turnover battle on the season.

Cincy v. San Diego State--In the final Big East conference game of the week, Cincy travels to see Ron Burgandy and take on the Aztecs. San Diego State is 1-2 with loses to Washington State and Arizona State by big margins and last week a blowout victory over Portland State. The Aztecs will throw the ball all over the yard and are averaging more than 300 yards passing per game. The Bearcats are number 1 in the country in turnover margin, but have given up some yards through the air (221 per game). The only real concern for Cincy is that they are ranked for the first time since 1976 and have Rutgers next week. This is a trap game that could be closer than most would guess because of those factors.

Owen Schmitt Approves This Post

You guys really have no idea what you are getting yourselves into do you? Likewise I guess I can give you guys a buffer period. Since I do the first down cheer every night before I go to bed, and before every meal, I tend to rub some people the wrong way. And yeah, that whole "Fuck!" thing. Such a beautiful word, and it has so many different meanings. (The following are not my words. I just don't think I should link to the page they came from until I'm sure you guys aren't going to kick me out)

Fraud : "I got Fucked at the car dealership"
Dismay: "Oh Fuck it"
Trouble: "I guess I'm really Fucked now"
Aggression: "Don’t Fuck with me pal"
Difficulty: "I don’t understand this Fucking question"
Inquiry: "Who the Fuck was that?"
Dissatisfaction: "I don’t like what the Fuck is going on here"
Incompetence: "He's a Fuck up"
Dismissal: "Why don’t you go outside and play hide and go Fuck yourself?"

I'm sure I'll fit right in at the Bastard Sons of Pinfall Marks Cheep-ass Tailgate 2007. Anyone up for Black Label beer bongs? Ummmmm!

If you guys ever hear me utter the words, "Hey! Watch my cannonball!", please make sure I'm standing in front of a large body of water. And preferably not standing on the Star City bridge. M'kay?

Life interrupts, but in all seriousness thank you for having me on board! I'm looking forward to it.

Here Comes Johnny

I welcome Johnny to our humble site. Not so much with open arms... I am not quite ready to hug it out. I like the idea of adding to the Bastard family. I do approve of the things I have read from our newest addition, and especially like Pink Floyd references. They make me so happy. Johnny may well change his mind once he meets up with our little tribunal. Especially once he meets OS. Not kidding at all. Definitely if they happen to meet at a golf outing and share a cart. Once McGoo drives him over a cliff and through a pond on the first hole only to get angrily silent for the last seventeen- Johnny may well decide to reopen his solo affair. I hope he gives us enough time to get through the First Annual Bastard Sons of Pinfall Marks Cheap-ass Tailgate 2007. We could certainly use another guy to chip in on the goodies. I have personally pledged a case of Natty Light. LPTS is in for some cheap plastic bottle o' booze- or is it vice versa? Anyway- maybe Johnny will sponsor a 40 oz. or something.

I am a Bud Heavy guy myself, but do approve of Coors Original. Coors light is awful. Cheers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Site News

One of the first WVU related sites I would regularly read was the Mountainlair which was well written and used the word "fuck" a lot. In the writer's Blogger profile he listed Gates of Fire as his favorite book and it's the only book I've ever finished that didn't have pictures or a Hardy Boy within. So when OS asked me the other day if I minded if Johnny, the one man gang at the Mountainlair (site not place), joined our gang of misfit toys I of course immediately said "Am I being replaced?" When OS informed me that in fact I couldn't be replaced because he needs me to get good seats for football games I was on board. The additional writer means more for you to read, some of which may even exclude inside jokes about white shoes, the gasiness of OS, or other OS related humor. At least until Johnny gets a chance to meet him. Then all bets are off. The only downside is the obvious pseudonym of "Johnny." As many of you know my real name is Francis letsplaytummysticks (it's Scandanvian), Brave Sir Robin is an old family name from Robin's traveling gypsy family and Option Spread is such a common Appalachian name I grew up with three Option Spreads in my neighborhood alone. So to this "Johnny" I say hello and welcome to the group.

Game Week--USF

This week the Big East has its first in-conference game matching ranked teams for the year and will do so in prime time in front of a national television audience with a few people desperate for a WVU win. Of course it is also on a Friday so that takes a little wind out of the sails. That's right the first big game for WVU this season takes place opposite Painkiller Jane, Moonlight, the Ghost Whisperer, and Meerkat Manor (called one of the saddest Meerkat's ever). Fans of these shows with kids playing high school sports will be glad to know that many of the high school games in the state of West Virginia are being moved to Saturday to accommodate fans of Numb3rs WVU football. This game will mark the first game of the year that a member of this site did not attend. But fear not as I have dispatched my newly Florida residing parents (already unable to cope with temperatures below 70, much faster in the 40, and storing up on guns and coke for the winter) and longtime reader/commenter/drunken fool Wolf to the game to give us insight into the USF big game experience. Wolf has guaranteed pictures unless he either a) gets too drunk to take pictures; b) trades the camera for more alcohol c) falls down and breaks his camera (falling down is a common experience for him when drunk) or d) says "fuck it" and sleeps through the game never leaving his house. Really it's a crap shoot. Now on to the game.

USF is the ninth largest university in the United States with a total enrollment of almost 45,000. USF has been around since 1959 and maybe put the cart before the horse as there is not even close to enough campus housing as only about 5,600 of the students live in university residence halls. Even the football players try to commute from as far as possible. One positive outcome is highly successful campus bookstore selling only books on tape. The football program started in 1997 and has been in 1-A since 2001 with Jim Levitt as the only head coach in the school's history which also makes him the winningest coach in school history. The WVU game will mark the first sell-out in the history of the USF home games. Last year South Florida beat WVU in Morgantown behind a defense that allowed 310 total yards and forced 4 turnovers. In that game USF was able to shut down both Slaton and White (combined for 60 yards) with a strategy of playing man to man on the receivers, getting penetration from the ends (especially Julmiste who is not on the team this year), having the interior defensive line hold the line without over penetrating, and using linebackers and safeties to play assignment football and fill all of the gaps. On offense the Bulls were led by Matt Grothe's 279 passing yards and his 47 rushing yards.

This year the defense will probably try the same strategy as corners Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams are back and as seniors are both considered shut down corners with NFL potential. WVU must be able to get big plays through the passing game as once again USF will put those corners on islands and bring everyone else against the run. In order to pass effectively, however, WVU will need to block George Selvie. Selvie leads the nation with 8.5 sacks and has at least 1.5 sacks in every game this year. The defense as a whole ranks 7th in the country (13th run, 14th pass) and has 7 interceptions in three games. Offensively the Bulls have been sluggish thusfar with an offense ranked 70th in the country (58th rush, 65th pass). The leading rusher has been Freshman Mike Ford with 181 yards this season with 4 touchdowns. He splits time with Benjamin Williams who has 117 yards and the two are complemented by Grothe adding 88 yards. Grothe has also thrown for 652 yards with Taurus Jhohnson leading the team in both receptions and yards. Should the game come down to a kick the Bulls are screwed unless someone takes out Delbert Alvarado before Friday.

At least the night game keeps the team and fans out of the Hard Sun (and yes this is just a blatant excuse to post the following song from Eddie, but I don't care).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Tuesday Morning

In honor of Tummysticks birthday, I offer this pic of him watching the ladies. I am not positive of the date, I know it is soon. Maybe today... I have a secretary that handles those things. I should call and ask.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Rock bottom--Pitt

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh a stunning loss to UConn has left Dave Wannstedt with a career record of 13-14 at Pitt. Losing to Ohio in 2005 was a nadir, but it was the the first season for the Stache. Losing to UConn last year was bad, and kept Pitt from a bowl, but there weren't really big expectations. This is the third full year for Wanny. He put together recruiting classes ranking 38 in 2005, 21 in 2006, and 26 in 2007. His current class ranks 33rd. The problem isn't the lack of talent within the program so what could it be? Let's compare Pitt with UConn over the last three years of recruiting. 2005 for the Huskies was a tie for 79th in the nation, 2006 was 85th, and 2007 was 65th. The last two season have resulted in two Husky wins including by 20 on Saturday.

The Panthers committed 6 turnovers in the loss and brought in Pat Bostick, the qb who left the program a few months ago, and let the freshman throw the ball 41 times in the second half. Besides threw for 230 yards and three interceptions before losing all sensation in his throwing arm due to overuse. The only first half score came on the back of LeSean McCoy who was coming off of back to back 100 yard games. He had 11 carries total in this game as the Stache decided to give the ball to LaRod Stephens-Howling instead. Some are now questioning this decision including the Post-Gazette here:

The Pitt band's halftime performance usually includes several numbers from the "Sound of Music."

After the latest performance by the Panthers, however, director Jack Anderson might want to consider finding the sheet music from Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" and make it a staple because the Panthers are sinking like the Titanic.

The Panthers lost, 34-14, to the Connecticut Huskies last night before 40,145 at Heinz Field in one of the low points of the Dave Wannstedt era.

And Joe Starkey here:
I thought I saw Pitt's best player, tailback LeSean "Shady" McCoy, standing on the sidelines for the first series of the second half, even though he was the Panthers' only viable option in the first half.
I can't recommend the Starkey article enough as he completely chronicals a list of coaching failures from the game. Finally check out Pitt Blather for more fallout including:
1/3 of the way through the season and this team still has no clue and neither do the coaches.
Pitt now has two losses to UConn, a loss to the Ohio Bobcats, and is 0-8 against USF, Rutgers, Louisville, and WVU losing by an average score of 17 points. But on the plus side Dave has singlehandedly brought the pleather lettermens jacket to the forefront of sideline attire in Pittsburgh.

Rock bottom--Louisville

After 4 weeks of play Rutgers, WVU, USF, and Cincy are all getting top 25 votes wiht Cincy being the upstart this year with a chance to prove themselves in two weeks at Rutgers. UConn is 4-0 and could conceivably get to 7-0 and go bowling this year (next three games for the Huskies are Akron, Virginia, and Louisville which may have given up football by then). However, the real story of the conference right now is the utter collapse at the bottom. The sharks are circling Kragthorpe, Robinson, and Wannstedt as these programs are taking on water at an alarming rate. Syracuse is unfortunately nothing new and as such not worth wasting time on. But the other two deserve further inspection. First up, Louisville.

Louisville is racing with Notre Dame and Michigan to see who can punch themselves in the junk harder. With Michigan righting the ship due to Big10 conference smashmouth football which they can handle it only leaves the Cards and the Irish throwing punches and both are going to need to ice their balls soon. I would like to extend a hardy "Fuck You" to Louisville as they have completely ruined my season. I have season tickets on the 50 and had two extras for the game which I wisely held off on selling so that I could get my season cost back in one game. Similar tickets went for around $600 apiece a few weeks ago, but I held out to get more value as game time approached. Those tickets now are gong for roughly $5.50 if you throw in a hotdog at the game. So Louisville I hope you all get herpes. I'm not the only one pissed, others for non-monetary reasons such as the Card Chronical.

I can't spin this anymore, this is every bit as awful as it looks and as it feels. I'm generally a pretty positive person, but there's absolutely nothing I can pull out of my ass right now to make any of us feel better. I'm still going to watch every week and cheer like hell for our guys, but it sure seems to me like we're witnessing ten years of awe-inspiring hard work being ripped apart block-by-block.

Even if this team does improve, beats USF, WVU or Rutgers, goes to the bowl and humiliates the runner-up from the MAC, are we supposed to be excited about 2008? This was supposed to be the season, and one month in it's already an abomination.
And this from the Courier-Journal:

Mario Urrutia continues a downward spiral that can only be categorized as self-inflicted. Not only did he fumble the ball after getting hit, but he dropped a pass on second-and-thirteen with enough open acreage in front of him to run for another ten or fifteen yards. Aside from these two frustrating occurrences (a point Mario himself promised to address), Mario continued his audition for Snoop Dogg's latest video by toting up two more personal fouls -- the first a classless flip of the ball on the fallen defender after getting deep into Syracuse territory; the second a thuggish attempt to pop the defender's head like a Pez with a stiff-arm to the face mask. The second battery resulted in Kragthorpe yanking Mario from the game. (You could read his lips, "Get him out of there.") On the bench he probably would have remained were it not for the fearful injury to Harry Douglas. (No word yet from the athletics department; not a good sign.) Add to that Patrick Carter's senseless Pearl Harboring of a defender near the Syracuse goal line nearly took the Cards out of scoring contention. Like school in summertime: no class.

National title expectations. A defense that can't make an important stop. A defense that can't tackle and also picks up stupid personal fouls. A receiver that has become a headache and maybe thinks he's a little better than he is. A quarterback admirably fighting through a lost senior year. Welcome to WVU football 2004 Louisville fans.

My completely unqualified opinion thus far.

Yes, we looked pretty good on Saturday. My estimation of WVU has grown from Top 15 after Marshall, Top 10 after Maryland to now fully believing we're a legitimate Top 5 team. I'd give us the following grades (and disagree with this guy):

Run offense: A
It won't be a A+ until the offensive line starts blocking like they mean it. Wide receivers get bonus points for great downfield blocking, particularly Dorrel Jalloh. Noel Devine maybe took a step back this week. It looked like he was trying to stretch everything out in hopes of a big play instead of taking what the defense gave him. It was also the first game where he was tackled solidly. WVU is averaging 7.17 ypc as a team. The only Mountaineer averaging less than 6 ypc is Jock Sanders, but he makes up for it running the screen from the slot (10.7 yards per catch).

Pass offense: C+
Sorry, 20 screen passes does not make for a great passing game. True, these screen passes have stretched the field horizontally, but so has our outside running. For some reason, ECU defended the wr screen by giving 10 yard cushions. I thought that was odd. Throwing to Devine and Slaton and Sanders in the slot is a great way to get them into space and has been effective, but we can do so much more with PW's arm, if only RR would call the plays.

Through 4 games, I can recall only a handfull of downfield passes. (I wish I had the time to make up a passing chart.) And by "downfield" I mean only past the line of scrimmage. I'm not asking for much here. Against Maryland, I can recall 3-4 10+ yard throws: 2 of which resulted in huge plays. Against ECU, again, I can only recall 3-4 10+ yard throws. Tito Gonzales let one bounce off his face, but caught one for a crucial first down while Eddie Davis, who is justifiably inexerienced at wr, misjudged a sure touchdown.

Patrick White has proven the ability to hit receivers at the 20 yard range (see bubble/screen/tunnel/jailbreak screens past 3 weeks). He has also shown great decision making capability (screen covered, run for your life!). I suspect against the USF defense, we will have to stretch the field, not only horizontally, but also vertically. So we will hopefully be revising this grade next week.

Run defense: B+
I don't have much to base this on. Other than we've looked pretty good. The defensive line is thin and has been getting pushed around a little. (They've actually looked better at pass rushing so far this year.) If a defensive lineman gets hurt, then we're... well, for lack of a better word: fucked. The linebackers look freakin' great this year. Morty Ivy has immerged as a leader on this side of the ball.

Pass defense: B-
After looking horrible against WMU and Marshall, the secondary has calmed down and is, perhaps, the surprise on this team. In WMU, the secondary faced a quality quarterback perhaps as good as any other QB we'll face this year outside of Brohm (if Brohm doesn't take his ball and go home before then).

Additionally, the pass rush has been much better this year. Blitzes have been very effective coming off the edge. But, perhaps due to the inherent inadequacies of the 3-3-5, we have little middle pass rush, and if we get too aggressive against the pass, we become susceptible to the run. We shall not yet discuss the 3-3-5 any further.

Special Teams: C+
What the hell are we doing on kickoffs? WVU has mixed it up on kickoffs this year now that everyone is kicking from the 30. Pat McAfee seems perfectly capable of kicking to the end zone, but that might be a tad past the coverage. We've also tried "sky kicks" and the tricky kick out of bounds play. On Saturday, WVU kicked the ball deep 3 times resulting in an averaging starting spot (not counting penalties) around the 26 yard line. After squibs and sky kicks, ECU was starting around the 32 yard line.
Let's not forget how awful the kickoffs looked against Marshall.
We need a punter. McAfee can handle only so much kicking and jumping around and tackling.
Vaughn Rivers has done a good job returning punts this year keeping the speedy freshmen on kickoffs only. But what was the deal with getting 3 penalties - 2 clips and a holding - on one return Saturday?
Anyway, it was a good day Saturday and I liked hearing from our readers at the game. You guys keep us posting. Here's a great opportunity for you guys to get involved. Let me know if I'm a complete moron in the comments.

He's at it again

Jon Wilner, AP voter and man about town for the San Jose Mercury News is at it again this week. You can find his votes here, but I'll give you some of the highlights. South Carolina, off a loss to LSU, stays at number 4. Georgia, losers at home to South Carolina a week ago, moves up to 7 after beating a highly suspect Alabama team in overtime. That Alabama team? Number 11. WVU is 14th, Rutgers is 24th, Ohio State is 13th and Tenessee with victories over Southern Miss and Arkansas State and blowout losses to Califormia and Florida is number 25. At least he took Appy State out this week since they lost to Wofford. 7 of the first 8 are either SEC or Pac10 and it's clear from his article, which is here, that he only watches SEC games as every win is a good win and every loss a good loss within the conference. I could go on but I'll let WSUSpartan from the comments take over:

1) Jon maybe one of the worst voters in the AP this year, and these are the reasons why

a) Florida and Cal have a common opponent, and since Florida beat them by more than Cal did, Florida is ahead of Cal. Yet Missouri and Florida have a common opponent at a common location, but Florida is ranked higher because… apparently Florida STate, Troy, Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky (all at home) is better than Mississippi, Illinois, Western Michigan and Illinois State. (with the first two away from home)

b) South Carolina is still ranked high because they didn’t get blown out by too much AND because Georgia beat Alabama who beat Arkansas who beat…. Troy.

lets not forget that Arkansas still has to play noted nat’l powerhouses Chattanooga, Florida International, and North Texas.

c)Oh right, Arkansas is still a quality opponent *gag* despite being 1-2

d) West Virginia is over rated because they’ve played nobodies. Apparently home games against Troy and Western Kentucky are worth more than away games against Maryland and Marshall.

e)Ohio State and BC also deserve to be ranked lower than South CArolina and Georgia because beating the likes of @ Washington and @ Georgia Tech and Wake Forest is easier than beating the likes of Oklahoma State, Louisiana Lafayette and South Carolina State.

f) failing to schedule a nontraditional out of conference road game is a sign of strength, while travelling to non traditional road games and returning favors deserves criticism.

g) getting blown out on the road twice is worth more than blowing out teams while on the road.

h) squeaking out wins against bad teams is worth more than blowing out bad teams.

i) in conference Road win in the SEC = amazing.
out of conference Road win in the SEC = meh.

j) A 13 point win on the road against is worth less than a 2 point win at home vs. that same team

Sunday, September 23, 2007

East Carolina 7, Mountaineers 48

Not gonna lie- that was a fun game to watch. The Mounties damn near threw a shutout. PW was 18-20 with 2 TDs and 181 yds. Super Steve rushed for 110 yds on 18 carries and put one in the endzone. Brown ran for more than eighty, and Reynaud caught two TDs while having over 50 yds on the ground and in the air. Fun was had by all in attendance, assuming they weren't wearing purple. Below find a couple views of the action from a Bastards perspective.

The gentleman pictured here sporting his pirate disguise is classic. He tends to pick out one of the opposing players along hte sideline and ride his ass the entire game. On Saturday lucky winner was #98, Khalif Mitchell, a junior DL. I was just a little late getting to my seat so maybe tummysticks can tell us why he was chosen. Once he injured his ankle and had to sit within ear shot, things went from bad to worse for Mitchell. I informed him that if he were to transfer to WVU he could both win games and not wear purple pants. He took so much hazing during the course of the second half I began to fell for him. So the Bastards sent him a lemonade ice. Worried he may get in trouble for accepting gifts and risk NCAA suspension, he hid his delicious treat in a towl. Everyone else on the sideling thought he was just drinking that towel. See our newest friend in purple below.

There was also a wicked awesome Weedhawks show as part of the post game tailgaiting. They played from fourish to tenish. My recollection of anything after nine or so is spatchy at best.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekend Watching

Before we get to the games of the weekend some news on a former WVU quarterback. TJ Mitchell was a star in the spring game two years ago, but after a redshirt year he saw the writing on the wall and the writing was Pat White and Jarrett Brown for the next 4 years. That left Mitchell fighting for third string. He was mobile in the pocket, but not enough to move to another position and so he transferred out of Morgantown back towards his hometown of Virginia Beach to Hampton University a historically black university in Hampton, VA. Mitchell has worked his was to the starting quarterback for the Pirates and in a win over Morgan State last night threw for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns to bring his season total to 773 yards and 9 touchdowns. Hampton is currently 3-0 and according to ESPN are playing Morgan State AGAIN in TWO days. This could be a mistake or it maybe the two schools think off days are for pussies.

USC(Cocks not Trojans) v. LSU--On to the games on television. Saturday will start slow with no ranked teams squaring off until South Carolina visits LSU at 3:30. The Tigers are a full fledged nightmare defensively for opposing teams right now. They are number one in total defense, number one in scoring defense at 2.33 points per game. Also the Tigers have 7 interceptions in three games, although they did have 6 in the first. However, LSU always seems to have a lapse game or two during the season and Blake Mitchell is hoping for it to be Saturday. The Gamecocks sandwiched a Georgia victory around a La-Lafayette/South Carolina State shit sandwich. They are lead by the number 8 scoring defense in the country. That may change this week.

Penn State v. Michigan--ABC brings us this as the Big 10 afternoon game of the day. I give the remote a rest and stick with South Carolina and LSU until that gets ugly then it is nappy time. I suggest the same for all.

The late games include two watchable games, a blowout possibility and a pig in a skirt.

Kentucky v. Arkansas--Kentucky likes to throw and run (504 total yards per game). Arkansas likes to run (325 yards per game). Neither play much defense (Kentucky 70th and Arkansas 85th). The chain crew on the sidelines are bringing on IV kit to the sidelines to keep up with the hydration problems.

Georgia v. Alabama--Georgia lost to South Carolina but rebounded by taking out Western Carolina to split with to of the four states of Carolina this season (North and East didn't make the schedule). Matt Stafford has thrown for 621 yards this season and Knowshon Moreno has 268 rushing yards for the Bulldogs. If Georgia is able to stay two-dimensional they could give 'Bama fits. Last week Alabama gave up 450 yards to Arkansas. Arkansas is a one-dimensional team, but that one dimension includes Darren McFadden and Felix Jones (who looks to be 50 years old in his picture) which is like Chuck Norris without a gun. Maybe he'll have to pummel you to death slowly with just his hands and feet, but that doesn't make it any better. The Tide will try to shut down the Bulldog run game and force Stafford to beat them. Stafford doesn't mind the pressure as long as there is beer after the game.

Washington State v. USC--This one could be the blowout for ABCs primetime game for most of the nation. Washington State beat San Diego State and Idaho after losing to Wisconsin. The Cougars are 80th in total defense and scoring defense with most coming through the air at 265 yards a game. Of course the Trojans shouldn't have much problem running the ball either. USC dismantled the Black Shirt defense with 313 yards rushing against the Huskers. John David Booty has yet to unleash the aerial attack and if it doesn't happen soon he is going to assassinate somebody.

Iowa vs. Wisconsin--The other late game and one to avoid unless you graduated from one of these schools or have money on the game. Wisconsin is undefeated but has played even for a half with the Citadel trailed UNLV until the final two minutes. Iowas is 201 with wins over Northern Illinois and Syracuse and a loss to Iowa State. Iowa State had lost to Kent State and Northern Iowa before beating Iowa. If this game comes on in your area do yourself a favor and leave the house, smash the tv, or gouge out your eyeballs to be safe.

Something is wrong with this picture

Is it that Beetlejuice is really not a WVU fan? Was he really not at the WVU/Maryland game? Was he the guy that got tackled? Is he wearing a shirt that may be a little too long for his body type? Is he wearing white shoes given to him by a former WVU football player? No it's the pud wearing the camo shorts. He is attempting to look like cool to the ladies, but couldn't set his real drink down before they took the picture.

Keeping Tabs on Terrence Kerns

Last recruiting season, WVU received a commitment from a 4 star, 208 pound 6'1" running back from Frederick, MD - Terrence Kerns. I believe we mentioned him once or twice. Several weeks later, Noel Devine signed with WVU and, well, we all know how that's going.

We've seen Devine and another true freshman, Jock Sanders, share some second half time. Now that Devine is becoming a bigger part of the first string, I would expect to start seeing Jock Sanders on clean up duty in the fourth quarter. But what happened to this four star guy Kerns? I haven't seen him on the field yet.

Well, there ended up being some injury and academic issues and Kerns is taking the academy route. He is currently playing ball at Chatham Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. Since the spring, Kerns has rehabbed and hit the weights. He has put on 10 or so pounds (listed at 215) and ranked by Rivals as the 20th best prep school player in the nation. So what does he think now that WVU already has its "future back"?

That's gonna work out fine. One two punch. Plus, they like to run the double man back there - it'd be me and Noel back in the backfield just handling business. I like that.
Yes, Terrance, we like that, too. Think Ronnie Brown/Cadillac William circa 2004.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thomas and Lankster Reinstated

WVU has reinstated JT Thomas and Ellis Lankster for the ECU game on Saturday. The two have entered a pretrial diversion program which means they will receive no jail time and have the charges dropped after a certain amount of time if they stay out of trouble. The full details of the agreement have not been released so the amount of time they have to keep their noses clean is not currently known. Both will be in uniform this weekend, but neither will start according to Rich Rodriguez. The two players have issued apologies.

1st from JT Thomas:

“As many of you in this community know, I was involved in an incident that has caused a great deal of disappointment and embarrassment,” Thomas said. “This last month has been very difficult for me and my family, because of action I have brought upon myself. I have brought embarrassment to myself, my family, my teammates, this University and the State of West Virginia.

“For that I apologize from the bottom of my heart to all of those I have affected. I know that actions speak louder than words, and I know that I am going to have to prove myself all over again. Whether in the classroom or on the field, I promise to work hard to regain the trust and credibility from all of those people I have let down. I thank the University and Coach Rodriguez for their understanding and their support.”
From Ellis Lankster:

“I sincerely apologize to West Virginia University, my teammates, coaches and fans for my recent lapse of judgment,” Lankster said. ”I regret my actions and the embarrassment that I have caused to those closest to me. I appreciate the opportunity to return to WVU football and will work hard to demonstrate my commitment to those who have so generously given me the chance to return to the WVU football team.”

In other news all laptops and plasma screens at the Puskar Center have been bolted down.

New Mountaineer Reading.

that is a dumb name for a WVU sports blog but I won't say anything about it- I prefer to keep quiet and just smile whenever I hear it or see it in text. Snackers

FYI- Two regular readers of Bastard Sons of Pinfall Marks have collaborated to form a new blog dedicated primarily to our glorious Mountaineers. Thus far they are dedicated solely to WVU football. Who isn't? (BSR until after the World Series) They call themselves The Unmistakeable Power of Fission (I have no idea) and have been up for a little over a week now. I promised to introduce them when they got a few posts deep- and so I am. Read them here:

Many of you may recall the fledgling stages of this glorious site. When the three of us made fun of each other with no readers and no cash cow advertising. Well, nothing has changed I guess. We do have some ads- but you assholes won't buy big tickets through OUR stub hub link. We aren't permitted to sit and click the ads ourselves. We still make fun of each other, only now three or four of you are reading it. In time I hope that the Fission guys develop their site into all the wonderment of our own. We DO have a BSPM tailgate coming up. Vladimir and Natty Light on us- come one come all.

Also, be looking forward to my MLB prediction review. Who picked the Brewers when nobody else would? BSR. Where are the Yanks now? A game and half behind the BoSox ready to overtake them the last week of the season. Who loves baseball more than BSR? Nobody- especially since football season is here. I understand this- its okay. WVU football is worth missing a game for. Please leave disparaging comments on the Fission site. I do.

Around the Conference Week 4

A pretty uninspiring third week of the college football season for the Big East on the field leads to the most inspired week of football for the Big East in scheduling. The first two conference games of the season highlight the total mediocrity of this upcoming week as the WVU/ECU game may be the best game on the slate and only two games are even on television for the conference. Maybe it's a week to lay low and lick the wounds for Louisville and Pitt. On to the conference games this week. You have two times to watch a Big East game this week; noon and 7 p.m. (however the late games will only be shown on ESPNU and on Gameplan).

Syracuse at Louisville--The nooners are kicked off with the first conference game this year and the first chance for Syracuse to run to the basement. First the bad. I watched the replay of Louisville-UK and Louisville's defense continues to underwhelm with missed tackles and blown assignments. On the last drive alone UK took possession with under two minutes and Woodson struggled with a few overthows early in the drive. On third and 10 Woodson dumped off a short pass and three missed tackles later it was fourth and 1 with a stopped clock instead of 4th and 9 with a moving clock. Later Kentucky committed a horrible personal foul to move back to midfield only to have the winning touchdown follow one play later on a blown overage and then two Cardinals tackling each other to ensure the touchdown. The offense is under such pressure that Louisville is now going for touchdowns bombs instead of short chunks like the machine of last year, going for it on fourth down, and bypassing field goals to try to get 6. The offense also has no semblance of joy as they move up and down the field as even touchdowns are muted. They play like a rabbit with the hounds chasing them. Every touchdown only serves to hold off the dogs for a few minutes before they are back out there trying to score to save their season. That said, the Cardinals did show a lot of heart in coming back after two turnovers to start the game and had a chance to win with a stop or if Douglas could have scored on the tip. They still put up 467 yards in the defeat and Brohm is on pace to throw for 4500 yards and Douglas had 13 catches and 223 yards versus Kentucky and has combined with Urrutia for already over 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. The ugly is still Syracuse. Syracuse marches into the game with the 116th total offense and 101st total defense. They are averaging 10 points and giving up 39. They are bad enough to make you want to throw an onion.

South Florida makes ESPNs other early game with a tilt at North Carolina. The last time the Bulls were on the field that win over Auburn looked pretty impressive. Now, not so much. North Carolina comes into the game 1-2 with two straight loses to Virginia and East Carolina after a win versus JMU. The Tarheels rely on the passing game which is ranked 19th in the nation at 303 yards per game which should play into the hands of the Bulls' strength which is the secondary. Defensively Carolina is yielding 356 yards per game which is 55th with both the pass (58th) and run (59th) defense being about equal. USF is lead by Mike Ford's 5.8 yards per carry in the backfield and Taurus Johnson's 10 catches at the receiver spot. Grothe has thrown for 422 yards and no interceptions as the Bulls have not been spectacular offensively, but haven't hurt themselves either. Now the kicker is another story.

The second conference game is such a clash it will be shown to millions thousands hundreds of interested fans on ESPNU as UConn takes on Pitt. UConn survived against Temple thanks to a controversial replay which caused Bill Cosby to spit up his pudding pop. UConn can now boast of victories over Duke, Maine, and Temple although that is like boasting about screwing a hooker. Of course you won that's why you paid them. Pitt on the other hand is coming off of a 17-13 loss to Michigan State. In that game the Panthers were only able to throw for 85 yards and were 0-12 on third down. Even more depressing was the fact that the radio announcers have decided to call freshman running back LeSean McCoy by the nickname "Shady" which really sounds stupid from old white dudes. At times Pitt went to the Shady offense which is Arkansas' wildcat with McCoy at tailback. Although his nickname is stupid, McCoy did manage to run for 172 yards on the game and should run all over UConn on Saturday night. The nickname's origin:

"My mom gave me the nickname Shady,'' McCoy said. "She said I was a shady baby. I cried, and then I'd be happy. I was smiling. So, I had a shady attitude. And it just stuck with me since I was little..."
True story when I was a baby I managed to pee on a light bulb which caused it to explode, but nobody ever called me The Stream which is a little disappointing.

The final Big East game is Cincy versus Marshall. Marshall has shot their season wad with the first half against WVU. Since then the Herd has given up 90 points in the last 6 quarters and have reached the polls for the first time this year as ESPN placed them in the "Bottom Ten" so they've got that going for them. Cincy is 3-0 with victories over Oregon State and Miami (OH) the last two weeks. The Bearcats are leading the nation in turnover margin and are in the top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense. Nothing should change after the game this week.

On a side note...

I wanted to thank a former professor of ours, Chuck Disalvo, for finally lowering the prime rate and revigorating reinvigorating this economy. Let's just hope he manages inflation as well as he knows the Federal Rules.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Game Week--ECU

After two straight road games the West Virginia Mountaineers return home this Saturday for a nooner with the East Carolina Pirates. West Virginia is the second leading rushing offense in the country and is currently 16th in total offense and 9th in scoring offense. The pass defense has improved to 68th while rushing defense is 19th in the country for a total defense of 33rd. Steve Slaton is 12 in the nation averaging 130 yards per game on the ground while Noel Devine is now 52nd and Pat White 66th. White is also 15th in passing efficiency while Darius Reynaud is 25th in receiving yards per game with over 93 yards per game. The defense is led by Reed Williams at over 10 tackles per game which is 23rd in the nation.

The Pirates come into the game with a record of 1-2 with a 17-7 loss to VT and a 28-21 loss to Southern Miss. sandwiched around a 34-31 victory over UNC. East Carolina's offense is led by another Pickney, this time Patrick Pickney at QB. Pickney has 724 yards passing and 109 yards rushing to lead ECU. The leading receivers for ECU are Soph. Jamar Bryant, Senior Phillip Henry, and Senior Steven Rogers. Running back Chris Johnson is averaging 20.6 yards per catch and has more receiving yards (165) than rushing yards (92). The total offense ranks 85th in the country with passing leading the way at 242 yards per game (49th). The defense is 61st in the country; 25th against the run and 100th against the pass.

Last year WVU lead 14-7 at the half before winning 27-10. The biggest play of the game was a 60 yard catch and run by Darius Reynaud to finally give WVU some breathing room. Running was tough for WVU as only 153 yards were gained on the ground with Slaton and Whilte both held to 3.5 yards per carry or worse. Offensively ECU went with a 5 WR attack for most of the game and had some success underneath and controlling the clock with James Pinkney attempting 40 passes and Robert Kass attempting 7 more. Of the returning receivers Phillip Henry had the best game with 6 catches for 54 yards.

This season could be another slugfest if WVU doesn't open up the vertical playbook. The Pirates have been stingy against the run again, but hopeless against the pass as they try to survive three new players in the defensive secondary including two sophomores in safeties Van Eskridge and Chris Mattocks. The inability of ECU to run consistently means that the Pirates may take to the air early and often again Saturday. The game should be a good test for the improving WVU secondary before Big East play begins. However, it also means a long game for fans as 40+ passes stops the clock constantly. The move to noon kickoff means most people will be out of the stadium for the night games at least. For those watching at home the game will be on ESPN2 and Sirius channel 123.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Drop in the Rankings and Other Miscellany

While I have no excuse for the previously mentioned voter from San Jose, I can understand WVU's slight dip in rankings. Fox Sports says it this way:

Beating the Terps isn't the same as beating Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Miami or Tennessee.
Close, but I would say it like so:
The beating of the Terps was not the same as the beating of Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Miami or Tennessee (but close).
Can we assume, without too much of an argument, for now, that Virginia Tech and Miami are relatively comparable to Maryland and that Nebraska and Tennessee are slightly better than Maryland. Ok... so

Score after the third quarterScoring Efficiency (if I bothered calculating it)Opp. Current Ranking SL119

So anyway, what can we tell from that chart? Well, not too much I suppose, but it does at least demonstrate that we dominated a slightly lesser team slightly lesser. (My english teachers would be proud.) Fortunately, college football being what college football is, Oklahoma could lose to Texas in the Red River Shootout and USC could get too cocky and screw the pooch against a lesser team later in the season. LSU and Florida will eventually face each other resulting in at least of those schools losing.

And while the above detailed games do not solely justify WVU's drop from #3 to #5, trailing at the half to a team, who, in the following week, was embarrassingly thumped by a IAA school, may justify the slight slip in the national polls.

I was going to do some more analysis, but this has taken long enough already. I'll leave it up to you guys to elaborate in the comments.

Round of Reubens

WVU had one of the biggest weekends in school history for soccer starting last Friday. The men's soccer team beat a top five Duke team on the road on Friday night 1-0. The women's soccer team lost 2-1 to #5 Texas A&M on the road, but then beat down Xavier 5-1 on Sunday. I'd attempt some in depth analysis, but my soccer knowledge mostly comes from foosball so the team needs to remember that spinning is illegal and drink after you give up a goal.

This turned out to be a bad weekend for many people. WVU football was off after a Thursday game so many people had to rediscover the wife/girlfriend or both if your lucky after a few weeks and she demanded a weekend of attention. That meant a lost weekend for many unfortunate souls. Those without a significant other may have spent the weekend hungover after a football-less bender or even worse drunk enough to talk to that 9 hanging out at Wiley's or da Lizard only to discover the next morning she was a 3. But no matter bad you had it, these weekend warriors had it just as bad.

1. WVU football fans. Not only did WVU not have a game, but the Big East teams that did play may want a do over. Louisville losing to Kentucky hurts Rutgers, USF, and WVU as much as Louisville as all the top Big East teams need to lose only to each other in order to keep schedule strength high. On top of the Cardinals loss WVU fell to #5 in both polls despite continued winning. Thanks to the site WVPressbox as they pointed out the voting of Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News which can be found here. Wilner is an AP voter and has WVU 15th behind Nebraska and has Appy State at 23rd and South Carolina at 4 above Florida, WVU, Texas, etc.

2. Charlie Weiss. He has the same haircut every fat kid has in fourth grade and seems to always have a bit of snot stuck to his upper lip, but his biggest problem is his offensive bodily odor offense. ND has yet to score an offensive touchdown this season and is averaging 4.3 points per game. The Irish are averaging negative 4.67 yards per game rushing and are last in every major offensive category except passing and they are 115th in passing (out of 119). Navy is averaging 378.67 yards per game to lead the nation (WVU is 2nd at 343.67), at this point it may not be a stretch for ND to not achieve that in the entire season. Remember that Weiss is a former offensive coordinator.

3. Mark Snyder. The WVU hangover was worse than a $3 bottle of wine hangover for the Herd as they took a beating from a I-AA team at home. The University of New Hampshire beat Marshall 48-35 and lead at the half 24-0. NH ran for 213 yards and threw for 289 against the Herd defense. Marshall now has the second worse rushing defense in the country and 100th total defense. Remember that Mark Snyder is a former defensive coordinator.

4. However, according to reports the worst weekend belonged to Pitt basketball player Levance Fields. Fields, 20 years old, was asked to leave Pure night club's under 21 alcohol-free party after showing up whiskey bent and hell bound. After yelling and swearing in the night club Fields was ushered outside where he proceeded to start yelling at another male in the street. Fields was approached by Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Johns who working security at Pure. Johns asked Fields to stop the ruckus. Fields then allegedly punched Johns in the chest and grabbed at Johns' gun. Another security guard was nearby and proceeded to taser Fields' ass. Fields was taken to the hospital to piss out the electricity then thrown in jail.

Fields was arraigned yesterday afternoon before District Judge Tara Smith on charges of aggravated assault, disarming a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He was released on $3,000 bond. His next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.

I would assume the arrest looked something like the following (NSFW language) with Fields saying "You fucking hammered me." You're going to get it again.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Let's Go Mountaineers!!

Words would not serve this image any justice. Enjoy.

You stay classy, Maryland.

So full of pride those Terp fans are. Affluent. Sophisticated. Tailgating with wine and cheese. Proud of blindsiding a helpless WVU fan.

No, the big moment came when junior American studies major Thomas Agbonyitor took down a West Virginia fan walking through Lot U4, delighting Terps fans tailgating in the area.

Agbonyitor wasn't the only one getting in on the act. Andrew Lynch, an 2007 alumnus, was only too happy to return to the campus for a chance to torment Mountaineers fans."We've been throwing shit at them, sausages and stuff," Lynch said. "We like to f--- with them."
Well, its been a few days since I practiced any criminal law, but I'm pretty sure that's assault. I sure am glad that an "unofficial student newspaper" is on the case and helping local authorities and law firms track down wayward ruffians.

I call bullshit on this story though. Mainly because it would be rediculously irresponsible to publish names of people committing criminal acts, but also because the parking lots weren't anything like that. Sure, there was some trash talking. But from what we observed, there was a lot of inter-school mixing going on. Everyone was pretty much hanging out together having a good time. Hell, we even had a Maryland fan give us a few beers.

Oh, I also wanted to add that those same Maryland fans truly represented their passion for football by getting drown out by the "Let's go"..."Mountaineers!" chant throughout the second half.

Alas, I guess when the following is what you use to fire up a crowd, anything is possible:

Link via Deadspin.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not a particularly good weekend for the BE

Coming into this weekend (but including Thursday night), the Big East combined was 15-2 this season. Both of those loses came during the Greg Robinson farewell tour. Two of those wins were over presumedly decent teams Oregon State and Auburn. In the AP Poll, the BE was represented by WVU at 4, Louisville at 9, Rutgers at 13, USF at 26 and Cinci falling in at 34 just behind Appy State.

Of course, the biggest hit to the conference was Louisville falling to Kentucky 40-34. Unfortunately, my cable company hates me and decided to pull the plug on ESPN Classic so I didn't get to watch it. But from the Middle Tennessee game and the stats from tonight, the problem is obviously their defense. Coming into the Kentucky game, Louisville had scored on 20 of 25 possessions (16 TDs, 4 FGs, 1 punt, 1 fumble and 3 end of half/game). While that efficiency is gawdy, it was accomplished against less than stiff competition. Enter Kentucky, who managed to stop Louisville on a few drives and suddenly, the Cardinal offense couldn't keep up with the deficiencies in their defense. (Between UK and Mid. Ten., the Cards gave up 1014 yards of offense and 82 points.)

The SEC also hurt the Big East today in a second way: Auburn losing to Miss. St. USF squeaked by Auburn in OT, Auburn lost today to Miss St, and Miss St opened the season by getting pummeled by LSU. So where does that leave the quality of USF's win? Well, it certainly doesn't look as impressive now as it did last weekend.

Pitt, despite looking god awful, hung with a Michigan State team until finally losing 17-13. I doubt it will happen, but if Mich. St. loses to ND next week, jesus... Pitt just sucks. How does Pornstache still have his job?

UConn almost lost to Temple. TEMPLE!

Rutgers played a practice squad again today, so they are neither helping nor hurting the conference at this point. A big test comes next week against a decent Maryland team. I think that game will be the first demonstration of what the Scarlet Knights have this year. Thursday night showed me that Maryland has enough talent to finish in the upper 1/2 of the ACC this year. (Yeah, I know. That's not saying much.)

On the other side of the coin, Cinci helped us today. Yes, their win over Miami Ohio helps some, but I'm talking about their win over Oregon State last week. The Beavers beat Utah 24-7 to open the season. Today, those same Utes knocked off #11 UCLA 44-6. Forty Four to Six!

While most of us recognize the fact that A > B > C does not prove A > C in the world of football, those comparisons unfortunately come into play for voters and computer ranking systems.

Um... I had a point to make when I started writing this post... then I drank 3 more beers while writing it. Hmm..
Three weeks in, four conferences have seperated into the lead team and everyone else: WVU, LSU, Oklahoma (whom I still haven't seen, but the WWL seems to love them), and USC. Similarly, those teams face mild out of conference challenges, if any. Its becoming rather likely that we end up with 3 undefeated teams at the end of the year, potentially even 4. If that comes to pass, for WVU to get the nudge into the championship game, the Big East needs to be stellar this season. We had started out that way, but today was a little bit of a bump. And let's hope that is all it is - just a minor bump.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Noel Devine in action

We give OS a hard time, but I've got to give hime credit for this picture on Devine's 76 yard run which if made into a poster would be in every house in Morgantown. Click the pic for Devine saying hello to the nation. Also, you don't want this guy next to you if you're on the bottom of a pile.

From OS: Feel free to use any of our pics, but if you do, please at least give us a link. We could use the publicity. Thanks.

Maryland Game with Photos

Yesterday was a long day. Even longer I'm sure for tummysticks - he drove - and I sprinkled his car with Doritos and strange smells. Sorry about that. Getting home late and my head cold together managed to keep me in bed until 1:30 (as if I need the excuse to sleep that late).

WVU played its best game of the season last night. Every segment of the team played great. Well, except for Pat McAfee, but that's OK because at least he got his name right. Unlike the game announcer who went through at least 14 different pronounciations for "McAfee". How freaking hard is it to say, "McAfee"?

Wicks had two picks. Larry Williams found his homework. Patrick White continues to make no mistakes (except one irrelevant fumble at the end of the first half). Slaton contributed 147 total yards and 3 touchdowns. Noel Devine (who?) said "Hello" to the nation. Rich Rodriguez called much better plays.

I could keep writing good things all night, but there is also plenty of room for improvement. On offense, it again took about a half for Rodriguez to find the best way to use his weapons. On defense, while the level of intensity was much better and the play calling much more aggressive, there were still lapses and some loss of focus. There were still a few missed downfield blocks. And an offensive lineman occasionally got plowed 5 yards deep on the snap.

On a side note, anyone remember Brian Knobbs? Well, he's apparently resurfaced:

Anyway, here are some select photos with the remainder being available at our photobucket page.

Weekend Watching

Hopefully OS will get his pictures up this weekend as he actually did get some good ones when he finally put his sausage down. A few notes from the game. Maryland's pregame is way more wine and cheese than WVU. Maryland treated the game like a minor league baseball game with trivia contests and little prize games etc. at every break. All that was missing was the Weiner races. Erin Andrew's assistant is as good looking, if not more (a debate that lasted the entire game between myself and OS), than EA. Fridge called a strange game as Maryland had success with the stretch run play and then abandoned it for 2 quarters. The defense looked as good as it has in 2 years with big hits, good coverage, and some pressure on the quarterback, we were especially impressed with Wicks, Ivy, and the d-line. After the third carry by Devine everyone in our section turned to us and asked us who he was. Talking to Maryland fans makes me happy to be a WVU fan, when I asked who their big football rival was they said the ACC doesn't really have football rivalries and that they didn't really like VT (who does?) but they had only played them 3 times. Finally, I'd like to put on record the hogginess of OS. He spent the entire day spewing strange smells and then managed to smash an entire bag of Doritos into my floor board and somehow managed to mix that with leaves. It was like taking a road trip with Pigpen. On to the games:

Tennessee at Florida--Florida is ranked number 5 after wins against Western Kentucky and Troy. Florida is led by Tim Tebow with 536 yeards passing and 131 yards rushing (9 total tds). This week marks a step up in competition, at least for Florida's defense. Tennessee checks in at 1-1 after a loss to California and a win over Southern Miss. In the loss to Cal the Vols gave up 45 points and 471 yards. Southern Miss hung with the Vols for a half before getting the doors blown off in the second. Ainge has thrown for 547 yards and 5 tds already this year and will need a big game to keep pace with the Gators should the D struggle again. Make sure to check with LWS (Vols) or EDSBS (Gators) if you are a fan of either team or just want a laugh at the other team's expense.

Ohio State v. Washington--America gets to meet Huskie QB Jake Locker as does the number 1 total defense in the nation. Ohio State is giving up 122.5 yards per game and 4 points per game. Locker has accounted for about 500 total yards for the Huskies in wins over the Cuse and Boise State. Win or lose Washington has played one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the nation and are rewarded with UCLA and USC to open Pac-10 play. The Buckeyes will rely on Chris Wells on the ground and receiver Brian Robiskie through the air. Ohio State will also rely on the choke you out slowly (sorry Jim Sorgi) and punch you in the face (sorry Charlie Bauman) style of play that has won so many games for the Buckeyes over the years. Expect a low scoring slugfest (sorry Albert).

Notre Dame v. Michigan--Hey kids it's the 119th ranked offense in the country averaging -4 yards per game rushing versus the 108th ranked defense in the country giving up 505 yards per game. And it's on national tv. Nappy time for everyone.

Arkansas v. Alabama--Another good SEC matchup as Arkansas brings the number one rushing offense in the country and Darren McFadden into Tuscaloosa to face a defense giving up 66.5 yards per game on the ground. Alabama is led by Terry Grant on the ground with 307 yards in wins over Vanderbilt and Western Carolina. At qb the Crimson Tide have JP Wilson who looks and throws similar to Brodie Croyle which isn't necessarily a compliment. Arkansas, on the other hand, has thrown for 157 yards ON THE SEASON in their Land Before Time offense with only 108 coming from the starting quarterback.

USC v. Nebraska--last year Nebraska went into a complete stallball strategy as they lost 28-10 in a game that was in no way competitive. The Huskers have beaten Nevada and WF so far this year behind a rejuvenated running game averaging 264 yards per contest. Marlon Lucky is averaging 161 yards on the ground per game. USC had a week off before this game to prepare a defense that allowed 250 yards to Idaho with 98 coming on the ground. On offense the Trojans have a stable of 5-star running backs to compliment John David Booty. Hopefully this year Nebraska plays to win instead of not get blown out.

BC v. GT--One of those fierce ACC rivalries. BC has beaten Wake Forest and NC State and apparently will never play out of conference again. Matt Ryan has thrown for 550 yards and 6 touchdowns. Georgia Tech, number 8 in total defense, will blitz early and often as they showed in beating Notre Dame and Samford which is a school and not Redd Foxx and friends. Tashard Choice already has 306 rushing yards heading into this game. BC is number 4 in the nation against the run. This game will probably come down to turnovers and whomever scores the most points.