WVU Gameday Blog

Friday Feedback

Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which today asks for help. We’re warming up the engine so the blog can run optimally this season. We did the same last season and I felt like we had a solid and reliable rotation of features. I don’t think I’ll mess much with it, though I do intend to try to make more room for the smaller sports, as can. I don’t anticipate covering them, but there’s no reason I can’t devote a little bit of space, say, once a week.

Anyhow, we do this thing here and it’s pretty much the most amazing thing we do. It could be the most amazing thing anywhere, but we’re not entering best blog competitions. It’s called the Good and the Bad and most editions look a little like this.

I track the stats and not even TFGD is clicked or shared as much as G&B. And people seem to like it. Helps them see the game after the game and better understand what happened and sometimes anticipate what happens the next time. It’s cool like that.

But … but it can be a nuisance. I always try to watch the game a second time, but sometimes that’s just a terrible time. Mostly I soldier on and do it because I learn a lot from it, too, but … but it can be a nuisance.

And here’s where you come in.

I need to streamline this. Presently, I set up a flip cam, point it at the television and record the play I want to feature. Scout’s honor. When I’m done watching the game, I upload the videos to YouTube. Then I save and edit them. Then I do the blog. It’s not a brief process, and sometimes the videos are askew because, you know, it’s a flip cam on a bar stool.

I know there has to be a quicker way to do this and to feature better videos. But I don’t know where to look or what to do, so I’m begging you to help save G&B.

I’m looking for a quicker and cleaner way to do the G&B and I am open to all suggestions.

Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, pick your battles.

tls62pa said:

So well put.

The words of Mike Calicchio, that is.

smeer said:

Mr Myers supplants Mr Crest as punt and kickoff returner. Mr Crest was placeholder for Mr Myers’ arrival.

I thought Myers would get a chance, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. At least not right now. Next year? Later this year? Has to be on the table. He can move and he has terrific ball skills. That’s a punt returner. 

Dann White said:

Thanks Caz for the bulletin.
If highly-touted recruits/transfers always turned out well, we would have every reason to be very excited two weeks before the season begins, and perhaps we really do. It has been almost like every wish comes true in Mountaineer recruiting through the past 10 months or so, both prep and JC, and that certainly has to be a good sign. The problem is that, with a great deal of our opponents, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, and even Baylor, things have been coming up roses for years on end. All of these teams have dibs on the dearth of talent that is Texas – save Alabama who if I’m not mistaken has a number of favorite sons each year who play in the upper ranks of division one.
I’m hopeful, I have managed to crank up a bit of enthusiasm, mainly because as our first Big 12 season proved; Dana’s offensive prowess has the ability to steal you a win – or three- or five. Good defense might get you a few more.
Anyway, it seems like it keeps breaking our way! Now if we catch a break or a bounce or the on the field, we’re on our way.

I’m not sure this counts, because eligibility matters aren’t really a matter of getting the sort of breaks that have recently gone the other way for WVU, so let’s say that WVU is getting more good news than before. Myers is a difference maker, and late is better than never. 

Kevin said:

Some reports are saying Banks has been absent due to academic issues. Hope that isn’t true.

You have to be careful reporting academic things, but given when this happened, well … Anyhow, I’ve heard WVU is hopeful this can be fixed, but also knows there isn’t much gray area involved here. I’d say the Mountaineers are preparing for life without Ickey.

BobbyHeenan said:

Also…after watching his highlight reel the kid (Myers) can obviously go and has better ball skills than what I’ve seen from any of our secondary and most of our receivers.

However, he’s almost exclusively playing free safety – so there’s a big time learning curve and footwork change to deal with if we’re going to play him at CB.

Tape doesn’t lie, right? But he was a cornerback most of the time in junior college. I’d say he was moved around on passing downs or third downs to give the defense a larger presence to consider. Football is football, no matter the level. He’s big enough to be a safety, and he can move, but he’s fast enough to be a cornerback and he’s big. This is not a bad thing. My guess is we’ll see him in nickel/extra defensive back stuff at first. 

Down South said:

Losing a fifth-year senior CB while picking up a JUCO who hasn’t been able to practice (and it’s 12 days until the first game). I’d say that is a net negative for the defensive backfield.

Aug. 18 Myers doesn’t solve the Banks problem. That’s on Chestnut and Bell And Also Brandon Napoleon. And again, I wasn’t sold on Banks being the guy if things went uninterrupted. Good player covering routes and shadowing receivers, but a lesser player when the ball was in the air — and the ball is in the air a lot in the Big 12 and against WVU. Chestnut and Bell were said to be (getting?) better at that. 

JC said:

Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that CB would be a difficult position to bring in. JUCO. Schemes, game speed, covering better receivers…..and only 2 years to get it right. And just saying “hey go cover that guy” definitely doesn’t add up in the Big 12. Did we need depth there enough to go the JUCO route at this position?

You’re not wrong, but you’re more wrong than right. It’s not as easy as I presented it to be, of course, but junior college guys on defense generally play right away at cornerback and defensive end because there’s a simple skill at both spots that doesn’t need a lot of practice to make use of in games — cover that guy, sack that guy. Man and zone aren’t exclusive to the Division I level, so that’s a base WVU can take advantage of right now and build on. If Myers had been here since July 31, he’d have enough under his shoulder pads to start. 

avb31 said:

I just can’t see this defense being much better than last year. Pass rush will probably still be a major problem, given the loss of Will Clarke up front. He was a relatively high NFL draft pick and I’d say that nobody on this DLine has NFL caliber talent.

If we can’t pressure the QB it will be another long season. Hopefully the return of the 3-3-5 will help make up for what we are lacking up front and help us get pressure on the QB.

No offense to Will, who is a pro after all, but he wasn’t a sack artist. He played the run pretty well and he was 6-foot-6. Shaq Riddick helps mitigate that loss. It sounds like Noble Nwachukwu has something up his sleeve and he’ll have chances to play. Dontrill Hyman is healthy and up to speed, and he really wasn’t one, the other or both last season. WVU needs a healthy Brandon Golson and a competent Ed Muldrow to pressure from the second level. Lots of crossed fingers there, but it feels like WVU has more pass rushers than in past years. No?

tls62pa said:

I just hear so many contradictory statements from players and coaches. Simplicity, complexity, guys playing here, guys playing there. To me, it’s all rah rah now til they roll it all out come gametime.

It’s rubbish. The way players and coaches tell different stories ought to assure you of significant subterfuge.

anxiouseer97 said:

Recently, our defensive philosophy has been completely at odds with our offensive philosophy. Under Rod and Holgorsen, the offense is supposed to perfect a few set plays. The plays are pretty basic. Repitition and execution = perfection (theoretically). On the defensive side of the ball, however, we something completely different. Different schemes every year. Linebackers posing at lineman. DB posing as linebackers. I consider myself modestly educated and enlightened. I can’t figure out what the heck our defense is supposed to be doing, and I’m beginning to wonder the same holds true for the players.

That is indeed a concern, but it sounds to me that Tony Gibson and Tom Bradley came together and said, “Let’s simplify this, first and foremost.” What if they’re taking a “repetition and execution = perfection (theoretically)” approach to defense? I was intrigued by Patterson’s moving parts, as you mentioned, but also with safeties playing corner and corners playing safety, but, yeah, maybe it reached a point where it was too much. I don’t believe that’s going to be the issue.  

ph kelly said:

The cover 2 or 2 deep is a defense used widely by Penn State and Michigan to allow the receivers to catch the ball in the middle and then quickly adjust and hit them hard immediately afterward which causes them to fumble or “hear footsteps” and drop the ball. For this defense to be effective the defense must be fast enough to adjust and know how to tackle hard – two areas WVU is lacking. Considering WVU’s talent, they will be well served and more effective to adopt Bowden’s blitz and stunt defense which confuses the opposing qb into mistakes.

I don’t believe you’ll see a ton of Cover 2 this season, at least not in base situations.

Laughing said:

fun to start a conversation but ()as shown by last year’s list and their performances) this could just as well be entitled random guys who practiced and we pray have improved/ are better than thei other options.

I’d have thought last year’s OL performance would have provided enough evidence as to why it’s a fool’s errand to talk up offensive linemen based on watching them practice against our defense. We were very bad on the offensive line last year and unless one takes that hook deep in the jaw, there is no reason whatsoever to think Pankey, Orolsky and Lucas won’t have huge problems and that Sapin and Glowinskii have done absolutely enough to warrant any hype beyond adequate on many days.

You understand we’re here mostly for conversation, right? As for the offensive linemen, yeah, I have my doubts. Individual flashes, which is the majority of what I see in practice, look good, but what do they mean? Not a lot. Two new tackles and a new center, that’s a chore. I think Glowinski will prove his worth, though I wonder if Spain would receive the same respect if he were an average-sized or even above average-sized guard. But that’s a good base and that will enhance Orlosky, though he still has to be good himself. What happens up front will most likely be decided by what happens with the tackles. There’s no denying that, but that wasn’t the point of the All-Camp Team.

anxiouseer97 said:

Holgorsen gets us to 10 wins and a nice bowl win, and then I’ll listen to talk about more improvements. Until then, it just sounds like an excuse for why we’re not any good.

This is a little dangerous. He didn’t say anything about improvements. That was me. No one made any excuses, but it’s silly to pass that field off as adequate now that we know what we know.

DaninNJ said:

I remember Holgorsen bringing this up a long while back….as I remember he didn’t stress the condition of the facilities as much as the premise that MPS should be considered hollowed ground of sorts and should only be used for walk-throughs and games. There should be an adequate practice field.

I make it rain through the MAC every year with a $100 donation. If I live another 3,500 years they will have their practice field and it will have my name on it.

 The Hallowed Grounds argument doesn’t stick to me, but mostly because the argument that they should have a better practice field is much stronger. That said, the Hallowed Grounds thing is a Thing. It matters. It’s relevant. Let me put this into perspective: Hardly any team practices on its home field. Mostly everybody has an adequate practice field and/or facility. Still, there are people who don’t think this is a Thing or that it matters. They wonder why what worked in the past shouldn’t work now. Well, land lines and telephones were adequate in the past. You need a cell phone now.

JC said: 

Why are such fundraising efforts needed with the large (and growing) amount of conference money rolling in? Or how about the IMG contract money? Or how about the facility upgrade plan throughout the athletic department, which I recall not all of the overall estimated dollar amount was account for in potential projects? What good is all this new CFB/Conference money if you can’t even afford to replace a dumpy practice field without begging for donations…..

…good question.

Drew said:

Anybody tell you that they miss the practice field, if, if, if a coach says they missed the practice field and y’all hear it then that’s that. They might have used the practice field for one practice this year, but if, if somebody say “They can’t use the practice field” but for one practice out of all the practices this year, that’s enough. If they can’t practice on a practice field, they can’t practice on a practice field, man. If it isn’t safe, it isn’t safe. I mean, it’s as simple as that. It ain’t about that. I mean, it’s not about that. At all. You know what I’m saying, I mean, but it’s, it’s, it’s easy, to, to talk about…It’s easy to sum it up when you’re just talking about a practice field. We’re sitting in here, and Mack thinks he’s the franchise commenter, and we in here talking about a practice field. I mean, listen we’re talking about a practice field. Not a game field, not a game field, not a game field, we talking about a practice field. Not a game field. Not, not, not a game field that they go out there and die for and play every game like it’s their last. Not the game field, but we’re talking about a practice field, man. I mean, how silly is that? And we talking about a practice field. I know they supposed to be there. I know Dana doesn’t want to practice in the stadium. I know that. And I’m not, I’m not shoving it aside, you know, like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important. I do. I honestly do, but we’re talking about a practice field, man. What are we talking about? A practice field? We’re talking about a practice field, man. We’re talking about a practice field. We’re talking about a practice field. We ain’t talking about the game field. We’re talking about a practice field, man. When you come in the arena, and you see them play, you see them play don’t you? You’ve seen them give everything they got, right? But we’re talking about a practice field right now. We’re talking about pr…
Man, look, I hear you. It’s funny to me, too. I mean, it’s strange. It’s strange to me, too, but we’re talking about a practice field, man. We’re not even talking about the game field. The actual game field, where it matters. We’re talking about a practice field.

In an upset, this was not the best longform comment of the week. Let’s call it a tie…

Patchy said:

Practice field? You mean something that would directly contribute to the improvement of the football team itself?

How can we worry about such trifles when we are funding many more acres of concrete outside the concrete stadium?

Red Square? A mere patio compared to the grandiose Master 20-Year Vision Conceptual Plan, Blueprint & Ordnance Map offered up by The Almost But Not Quite Texas AD (his agent’s number is still in the book, wink wink). Indianapolis Motor Speedway? Hmpf! A carport, nothing more. Hoover Dam? A pathetic little curb.

We are going to have SURFACE AREA, baby! A plaza here, a terrace there, steps, stairs, ramps. Skateboarders are staying up at night just dreaming about it, even if there’s a chance the new structures will incorporate those nasty metal protuberances. The proposed truck ban in downtown Morgantown will have an exemption for the convoy of Central Supply mixer trucks to and from the stadium.

But the way forward is clear: green grass and the natural topography will be shown no mercy! Roundup spraying crews will be on 24/7 alert! We’ve got 3-D computer models and they MUST be made a reality so donate generously, please. Law School Hill is SO pastoral 19th century. How does it ‘enhance the game-day experience?’. We can make it Law School Ziggurat (handicapped accessible, of course) – all in that same shade of Tombstone Gray that so dazzles the eye Marketing, people! If you want that passe’ college football atmosphere with bands, cheerleaders, spontaneous fan applause and the odd two seconds of hearing the birds chirp go watch the Shepherd Rams. We’re busy staging the equivalent of an outdoor NBA game here! Clap now, you idiots! Cheer now, you fools! Hey Mountaineer Fans, you bought expensive tickets and parking passes, but we still think you’re a violent, drunken, profane, debris-throwing rabble and will be happy to inform you of our low opinion of you several times per game.

If these highfalutin college football coaches and players want a practice field separate and distinct from the stadium tell ‘em to hitchhike over to Pony Lewis. The budget has already been consumed by, er, progress.


Rugger said:

Our coaching staff lost their poise at times last season. I hope Tom will help in that regard. How long can he work for a guy who makes 6x what he makes and knows 25% of what TB does?

Yikes. That’s interesting, I suppose. I contend the staff wasn’t harmonious the past three years. The first year was just not a good situation. Guys like Daron Roberts and Erik Slaughter, and probably even Joe DeForest 1.0, didn’t work out for Dana. Bill Bedenbaugh, Jake Spavital, Robert Gillespie (Dana guys, right?) and Keith Patterson left. That’s a lot of smoke and I think it’s fair to say things had to calm down and people needed to act professional. Scrap is a healthy does of professionalism. 

JC said:

Most coaches are very confident, high ego, alpha males. I don’t see one of them on this staff leaning on him during rough times, using much of his past experience for their benefit, or relying on him for much more than his positional duty. Especially coaches on the other side (or two) or the ball. I’m not saying they shouldn’t, I’m saying they likely don’t/won’t…..

He’s here for the possibility of next year…..

That may very well be true, and if it is, that’s a big problem. You have to like the guys you work with and you have to be able to row the same direction.

smeer said:

they’re alpha males but they also get teamwork better than just about anybody. they want to win more than they want to silo or solo. chemistry is always an issue with any team. winning cures a lot of the lesser evils. losing magnifies them.

none of us know what goes on in the coaches meeting room – but any coach worth his salt is going to pick the brain and learn from others – they borrow, they steal, they scheme, they get out little football men and play chess 11 on 11.

and the more they do this in the “boardroom,” the better the communication happens on game day, TG and others will benefit greatly from Bradley during the week. The verdict is still out on how that will translate in the heat of battle on any given Saturday.

But they all have a common cause – alpha male or not.

That’s perhaps a little too utopian. Coaches can be wildly dysfunctional, especially as things go south and people try to find footing or a safe haven away from blame.

Oklahoma Mountaineer said:

I know a big deal was made about every member of last year’s class making it to school….. I recognize defections have happened, but they all made it — never happened in my memory.

Does the fact that this last year’s class had a few that didn’t make it, left already, etc. mean that they took more guys with problems but bigger upside as they could “afford” a miss or two??

Big problem that has yet to be addressed are on the lines — this guy getting in helps, but they had 2 others who didn’t……..anyone worried about this besides me??

I don’t think anyone will ever cop to it, but I think it’s reasonable to say WVU was willing to reach a little bit. Angus, Myers and McCrary were in that upper echelon of the signees. There was risk, of course, in recruiting them and letting them sign. A year ago, that might not have happened. And if we’re being technical, WVU had three linemen who didn’t pan out — Justin Scott didn’t make it, Jamie Herr had to reclassify to the 2015 class and Walter Rauterkus left school after enrolling in the summer. Suboptimal.

Josh24601 said:

Almost regardless of 2014 record, in my view, Holgo should just about get another year for reconstructing a full roster after Stew’s odd decision to only sign 18 guys a year on purpose.

I still get two sides of that story. The one I hear and trust more is that he just didn’t get the guys he aimed at … and then tapped the brakes and crafted an explanation.

The Artist Formerly Known as EER96:

I’ll take WVU and the points if you don’t mind…WVU will not lose by 27 points.

I don’t mind.

avb31 said:

I don’t know if I’d take the points. I think back to the LSU game in 2011…. I think most look back at that game and think that we proved we could compete at that level, and while that might be true we still lost that game by 26 points.

This game could be similar. We could come out of feeling good about the team and still lose decisively.

I can get in that boat. And I can’t remember a game that history has treated as kindly as that LSU game. 

Oklahoma Mountaineer said:

Couple of things to consider — Alabama is not coached by Lloyd Carr; they will be ready to play us. That said, I think we have a puncher’s chance……

1. Experienced QB with receivers he now knows in a system that he is comfortable in.
2. Returning a large number of defensive players from a squad that wasn’t that good, but I lay that largely on depth and injuries.
3. They can say what they want, but tell me Alabama is focused on playing WVU in the first game…..I’d lay odds a good chunk of them are on to game 4 against Florida based on the hype being poured on them.
4. I don’t care how many stars are beside their name — a first game QB in that dome is not a good option…..and that’s the hand they have to play.
5. This offense lives and dies with the ball in the air and that is something they aren’t real good at defending……

I’m with the Artist — take WVU and the points.

Valid, all of it. Again, crazier things have happened.

Clarence Oveur said:

I’m convinced that WVU won’t lose by 27.

I’m also convinced that WVU won’t win this game.

That seems like the most popular POV here now.

Marty Funhouser said:

When does Scoop n Score return, Mike?

Eh, not for the football season. Don’t get the wrong idea, because I did take the summer off, but that’s because I was supposed to be gone for three weeks on a trip to South Africa — and that trip was cancelled. SMC and I planned all along to come back next Thursday, but I can’t. It was my decision and it kills me to do it because I really liked what the SMC people did for me. But I’m teaching a sports writing class in the fall that meets twice a week, and the College of Media has never offered it before. I want to give the school and the kids everything I have. And then there’s my full-time job that also deserves my attention. I won’t half-ass anything, so I had to put something on the back burner. But SMC and I have talked and they’ve been gracious enough to let me come back when the semester is done. So it’s a pause. 

SheikYbuti said:

TheVLC says:
August 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm

On a side note, if this is a mock game week does that mean we can do a mock TFGD on Saturday???

This is the most awesome idea I’ve heard all summer. I am IN. I hope all of you participate and look forward to Mike’s recap on Monday! #MTFGD

After careful consideration, let’s do it. And if you don’t know what TFGD is, get up to speed and find the number. I can’t give it out because that would be encouraging the story, but it’s not hard to find.

And enjoy the weekend!