WVU Sports with Mike Casazza

Texts from Alabama Game Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

“That happened to us,” he said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

12:56:
There’s no Tudor’s in Montana.

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

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

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

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

2:56:
Paul Rhodes is not proud right now

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

3:01:
7NA just came on radio…omen?

3:08:

Remember when we lost to Iowa State? …

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

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

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

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

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

3:36:
Oh noes! Playboards!

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

3:38:
SPOT THE BALL

3:39:
Cmon Clint!

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

3:44:
Bolivia.

3:45:
Points are points, right?

3:46:

Please remind me how to pronounce Nana’s name.

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

3:51:
When does our defense start?

3:52:
Reset!

3:54:
Is #FireLaneKiffin trending yet?

3:54:
“How you spell D?”

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

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

4:01:
Let the bloodbath commence.

4:06:
KJ Dillion go boom

4:07:
KJ is on that wall

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

4:07:
The ol’ 3-3-6 stack defense.

4:09:

How was that an even remotely accurate spot?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4:34:
WELL-man!!!

4:34:
Keeeeeeeeeeeeevin White!!!

4:34:
BOLIVIA!!!!!

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

4:35:

Kevin White…G.A.M.

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

4:35:
Kevin La Paz!

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

4:41:
Jordan Thompson catches errything. Unfortunately.

4:42:
How is he that stupid?

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

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

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

4:45:
Do these refs have flags?

4:48:
Nice knowing ya Mathis

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

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

4:59:
Dillon still on that wall

4:59:
Bending Bending Bending Breaking

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

5:02:
Death by 3rd down D.

5:03:
There’s the defense I remember.

5:04:
Humming the Super Mario music now.

5:04:
THE PRINCESS IS IN A DIFFERENT CASTLE

5:05:
YACKETY WHAAAAAAA????

5:05:
It’s me, Mario!

5:06:
Nick Saban looks like King Koopa

5:06:
Mario is ALLLLLLFORD!!!

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

5:07:
Joe D_____st!

5:07:

If they play TNA right now, we riot.

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

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

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

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

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

5:38:
That is horse [shoes]

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

5:39:
Mary Kay threw that makeup flag.

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

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

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

5:49:
#Kiffikyns

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

5:52:
I forgot we had an offense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6:13:

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

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

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

6:15:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6:21:
SPRING GAME [STUFF]

6:22:
Squirt doing a Kevin White impression!

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

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

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

6:30:
We learned how to fini…

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

6:34:
[FINALLY] A WORLEY!

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

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

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

6:53:

That play calling was offensive.

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

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

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

7:04:
TOWELS OF DECEPTION

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

7:07:
Biggest moral victory in many years.

7:07:
Leave nothing on film for Towson!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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