Thankfully our long national nightmare is over. Yes, the 2010 edition of Mountaineer football is mercifully in the books. I know some teams in the past have been disappointing, but this season beats them all, it was an absolute waste.
Our biggest memory was the comeback against a Marshall team that could not break .500 in Conference USA. Our biggest disappointment came at the hands of a UConn team that lost to Temple and will be obliterated in the Fiesta Bowl. This seasons highs were akin to taking the fat A-O Pi home after your friend just walked out with the hot Alpha Phi and its lows were <redacted because impressionable youths read this blog>.
Before we can totally forget this season, I want to hand out the end of season grades and awards.
Offense: C- While the unit was not a total failure, it was a severe disappointed throughout much of the season. As usual, there were glimmers of hope that were quickly stomped out with predictable play calling and uninspired performances. When the talent and speed on this team was actually utilized, it was done in questionable ways. Jeff Mullen was an epic failure as an offensive coordinator at WVU. I wish him the best, but am damn glad he is nowhere near my football team anymore.
Offensive Line: D Whether it was Dave Johnson’s coaching or the lack of talent from our linemen, this unit was bad. Sure, Geno occasionally had time to throw, but there were never any holes for our running backs to hit. Yet again, WVU will enter the season with the offensive line as the big question mark. Is Trickett available?
Offensive MVP: Tavon Austin Somehow, Bill Stewart and Jeff Mullen only managed to get the ball in their biggest playmakers hands six times a game. Every time Tavon touched the ball there was a sense that it was going to be a big play. Whether he was tackled for a loss or only gained a couple yards, the potential was there for something big. Holgorsen will understand this young man’s talent and will get him the ball.
Defense: A+ The defense was great. While it wasn’t the best in WVU’s history, it was one of the best in the nation this year. Some may question the defense entering next season because we will lack experience, I trust that Jeff Casteel will have the D working like a well lubricated machine after a couple games. I hope Holgorsen is able to keep Jeff Casteel happy.
Defensive MVP: Chris Neild While he may not have the personal numbers to deserve this award. He made the numbers put up by the rest of the defense possible. If he did not require a double team, Bruce Irvin would’ve had a much tougher time getting to the quarterback. If he did not require a double team, talented linebackers like J.T. Thomas would not have been free to fill the holes or reach the running back about to clear the edge of the line. He made the stats of this defense possible. He is an unsung hero, and could make a very good pro.
Special Teams: D Every time we lined up to kick a field goal I thought it was either going to be blocked or barely missed. We were never able to gain any yardage in the return game and only managed a middle of the pack performance in covering kicks. This unit was all-around horrible for a majority of the year. The only reason this unit did not receive a failing grade was punter Gregg Pugnetti.
Team MVP: Oliver Luck I was initially unhappy over the perceived manner in which the coaching change occurred. Then, more information was revealed and I realized my initial reaction was misguided and wrong. Oliver Luck handled the situation very professionally and was up-front with Stew about his intentions. He knew, what I felt deep down in my lumpy gut, that Mullen had to go and Stew should follow soon thereafter. I commend Luck for having the business savy and balls to pull off this move. He took the necessary steps to improve the football program and move it in a positive direction. If it works out he is well on his way to being a great AD. Now we just need him to do something about our baseball team.
Most Improved Player: Shawne Alston
Best Social Media Personality: J.T. Thomas
Biggest Hit: Keith Tandy on DJ Woods