WVU vs. Auburn Recap: War Damn We All Got Swamp Foot

Walking towards Jordan-Hare Stadium, I was experiencing a nice bit of quiet confidence.  I knew this Mountaineer team was a group that could play with nearly anybody talent-wise, we just needed to put together a solid effort on both sides of the ball.  So I felt good going into the game.

And then it started to rain.  And rain.  And rain.

I was in such a hurry to get my poncho on that I ended up with it on backwards.  Next time you're out in the rain, try to keep your head dry when your hood is looking at you right in the face.  "Damned fool" would have been a good description of me if not for the other 87,000 fans that were in the exact same predicament.

Best I could tell, people were buying $5 programs just to hold over the heads as they sprinted towards the stadium.  And once you got to the stadium, you got to stand in a huddled mass with everyone else soaked to the bone.  It's a complete fluke that a malaria outbreak didn't take the entire stadium.

An hour and a half into this whole mess, they alerted us that we'd be playing football, which was a complete surprise to me since I had completely forgotten about the game.  OK, I thought, quiet confidence is back.  Of course, when you go up 14-0, the quiet confidence is quickly replaced by very f'ing out-loud confidence.

And then it all started to get sideways.

So was it the coaches?  Players?  Both?  God and his infernal rain?

Honestly, I don't really have a good handle on this game.  When things went right, they went really right.  That is a fact that seems to be clear with this incarnation of Mountaineer football.  But, when it went wrong, it went Springtime For Hitler wrong.  

It's such a shitty answer, but I think the jury is still out on this season.  We could continue to build on our positive offensive results, cut out the turnovers and silly mistakes, and really win some games this season.  Or we could not make much progress and watch in horror as the wheels fall of during games.  I think it's the former, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if it's the latter.  Your guess is as good as mine.

Now, the personal thoughts of 5th Year Senior:

Players play and coaches coach.  Both deserve their fair share of credit and criticism. 

Jarrett Brown - Oh my!  He is the Brett Favre of the Mountaineers.  He will wow you with his arm strength and abilities.  However, he will also make you want to poke your eyes out because of the interceptions.
 
He tried to fit the ball into double coverage and threw some terrible balls which got picked off.  He threw flat footed and off his back foot on multiple occasions.  Some with good results others were ugly.
 
He also placed a few balls perfectly into small holes and kept many plays alive with his strength and speed.  He is a great player that needs to learn his limits.  However, if the O-Line gave him more time he may not have rushed as many throws.
 
Offense: B  We had a good gameplan of mixing in the run and the deep pass but seemed to deviate from it after our early success.  The dinks and dumps were working until all hell broke loose.  We went to the well one to many times with the screen pass and it cost us dearly.  We needed to run the ball more down the stretch. 
 
Defense: C- We stuffed Auburn's vaunted rush attack but could not slow down its passing game.  How many times can a receiver run a 12 yard crossing pattern right behind our linebackers?  No adjustments.
 
Special Teams: A  Looks like we solved our kick-off coverage problems.  It also looked like our kick returners were really close to breaking a couple returns.  This is hopefully a precursor of things to come. A kicker should never miss an extra point.
 
Coaching: C The necessary adjustments were not made during the course of the game.  It was ours to win but we let them off the hook.
 
Officiating: F 
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