Another game, another hard fought W for our Mountaineers. The game was frustrating at times, but in the end both the coaches and players showed their superior talent.
One thing I learned during the game is that it is impossible for me to not be a jerk at times. After going to Auburn, I wanted to improve my behavior but no more than 2 minutes into the game I was screaming the F word at the entire Marshall cheering section. I felt like it was deserved, but I needed to be better.
What else needs to improve for the Mountaineers? My grades will show you after the jump...
Offense: B Losing your starting QB just a few plays into the game will shake any offense up. After everyone calmed down and got back into our offensive flow, we dominated.
Our O-Line was dominated early, but came back in the second half to own the line of scrimmage. If you watch the game again, our big men up front were having no trouble moving the line of scrimmage to give Devine and Geno some room to run. Great recovery from a rough first half.
I can not say that I am surprised with how well Geno played. Even from his limited action you could see his poise and athletic ability. On the zone read play he constantly made Marshall's DE look like an idiot. When pressured in the pocket, he calmly stepped up and delivered perfect balls. This kid is going to damn good.
Defense: B+ If it wasn't for two HORRIBLE penalty flags, we shut out Marshall. I wanted to give this unit an A because they finally forced some turnovers, but when you let Cody Slate get open that many times, you are downgraded a little bit.
Chris Neild dominated from Marshall's first snap. Neild wore out Marshall's center and caused the eractic snaps in the second half. Julian Miller also looked good coming off the edge. Everyone on the D-Line looked great despite being held all day long.
Brandon Hogan finally showed why he was so hyped coming into this season. He was quick to step up to make open field tackles. He also had an interception and a fumble recovery. If the secondary continues to step up, this D will finally live up to its potential.
Special Teams: B+ HCBS made the decision to squib kick on a wet field to make the up-men and returners make split second decisions on how to handle the kick. That strategy led to Marshall averaging only 11.8 yards per return.
Austin came very close to breaking one kick-off and had a good return on the other. I don't see anything to complain about.
Coaching: B HCBS was up and down the sidelines chasing the refs the entire game. That is the most fired up I have ever seen him on the sidelines. I am pretty sure I read his lips saying a very dirty word multiple times. I love that he is our coach!
For me, Mullen was a little to tentative with Geno Smith in the first half. I know you want to ease him into the game, but let him air it out a little bit. In the second half, Mullen opened up the playbook to allow Geno more freedom in the offense.
I give a B mainly because we need to get Noel Devine more touches and made no adjustments to Cody Slate's crossing patterns. You could see Devine's frustration level rising as the game went on, but he made the most of his opportunities. Devine needs to touch the ball more the tougher our opponents get.
Marshall Fans: F Cheering while a player lays almost motionless on the field is absolutely horrible. You have no class and no clue what it is like to play major college football.
Also, the simple fact that they consider a 17 point loss a victory is sad. You will never be on the same level as WVU, just accept it.