September 18, 2008

Clock Management Costs Mountaineers in Boulder

How much does West Virginia miss RichRod now? After years of having an explosive offense and consistently finishing the season in the top 10, the Mountaineers find themselves 1-2 in the Bill Stewart era, with a win over Villanova and losses to East Carolina and Colorado.

The smile is fading as we speak.

Tonight, the Mountaineers had the momentum most of the second half, but couldn't capitalize. Late in the game, the WVU sideline looked confused and didn't call timeouts to allow themselves to get into field goal range. However, the problems run much deeper. The loss of Schmitt has resulted in a total inability to run up the middle, especially in short yardage situations. WVU might not have converted a single 3rd and 1 up the middle, against an undistinguished Colorado defensive line. On 4th and an inch (literally one inch), one Buffalo DT stuffed the WVU guard and center, and Pat White lost half a yard.

Colorado played well early with the wind, going up 14-0 quickly, but the offense faded and never impressed thereafter. In spite of their defense looking slow at times compared to Devine and White, the Buffaloes did quite a good job of containing the explosive offense and really only allowed one big play all game.

Schmitt added a physical dimension to the WVU offense that's not there in 2008.

The biggest question for the Mountaineers may be the passing game, which was supposed to be featured this year and take advantage of Pat White's "skill" throwing the ball. WVU had -5 yards passing at halftime, and the Mountaineers looked completely incompetent passing. White was lucky a Buffalo dropped an easy pick-6 in the 2nd quarter. Again, the Colorado defense is not an SEC defense or a top Big12 defense. The Mountaineers clearly miss RichRod and will be in bad shape against the better teams of the Big East (USF and... USF?). Can the Mountaineer AD already be regretting his long-term commitment to Stewart? I would be.

8 Responses:

"ben" said...

I'm not trying to take any cheap shots because, I mean, look at my team. But what the hell? Did Bill Stewart tell us all that Pat White could pass the ball for shits and giggles?

I didn't see his Villanova game, where perhaps he looked like a competent passer. But they almost never even attempted to throw the ball tonight.

Last year, when WVU lost to Pitt and everyone whined that there were no pass attempts, you had to figure that was because Rich Rod did not trust White to throw the ball. But supposedly Coach Stew thinks White can him pass.

I don't get it.

J-Red said...

I can't comment about WVU football. My boss' license plate is MT10EER and he reads the blog.

Russell said...

Maybe it's because, of his 5 first half pass attempts, one hit a Colorado player in the facemask, one missed his WR who was right in front of him and stationary, and they netted -5 yards. And you know it's not easy to sack Pat White.

Honestly, I think they called some plays downfield, but the receivers weren't getting open. White had to check down to the RB or run with it a few times out of the few dropbacks.

If you can't pass and can't run up the middle, you're a very one-dimensional offense, which is never good, no matter how fast you are because you're always running sideline-to-sideline.

"ben" said...

Sweet. That means when WVU plays Maryland, their fans can chant:

"That's alright, that's okay, you're gonna work for us, someday!"

Are they playing each other this year, or what?

Russell said...

So two predictions:

ECU will lose at least once, maybe twice. VT and WVU were way overrated at the start of this year. However, the ECU victories were not flukes.

WVU will get crushed a couple times this year by teams that have good defensive speed. They will finish with 8 wins or less.

Russell said...

WVU does not play MD or any other ACC team this year. Too bad, we might actually be able to win this year.

big tuna said...

Didn't you guys hear? RichRod left at the end of last year because he knew he wasn't leaving any talent behind. He purposely did not recruit any new talent to screw over the athletic department.

J-Red said...

Too bad RichRod didn't expend all that "screw WVU" energy on teaching his Michigan Men how to hold onto the ball.

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