Sunday, September 30, 2007

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.

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