Judging by the approval meter Mountaineer fans are reacting in typical fashion. We get too high after a win and too low after a loss. A wise man once said, "A win is a win, you should be happy after a win." That man is a moron. Well, not so much a moron as a somewhat misguided soul. I still see the world through gold and blue glasses, but I think those glasses are starting to fog up because I could not bring myself to check approve of the job our coaches are currently doing.
Sure, I am happy after the win, I just don’t see how you can approve of some of the mistakes that have occurred over and over this season. Constantly seeing stupid penalties at the worst possible time, blown coverage all the time and the attitude from coaches that it isn’t the scheme it is the players.
Those areas shall be addressed in short order.
I’m always going to be hard on this unit because we have seen such a high level of output at times this year. We did not stretch the field and only operated within about 5 – 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Iowa State did not have trouble throwing the ball down the ball down the field. The wind seems to hurt us more than other teams and I’m not sure why.
Having Shawne Alston back made a huge difference in the running game. It allowed Dana to move Tavon Austin around and made the defense adjust to the different running styles. In the last two games we have seen more consistent production from our offense as our starters have recovered from injury.
Every unit goes through some rough patches and our offense is back.
Wide Receivers: A
Tavon Austin, J.D. Woods and Stedman Bailey are really good. None of them will be back next year. I’m scared…
Defensive Line: D
We got some pressure on the QB, but failed to record a sack. When we did get pressure, we failed to contain the QB. Richardson ran for 119 yards on 18 carries. He did that while looking completely loopy for the entire fourth quarter. I thought for sure he had a concussion multiple times in second half. I hope the kid was ok.
Tackling was once again a problem. Yet again, we took poor angles and missed tackles. We also fell for every play action fake thrown at us by Richardson. One lead directly to a touchdown pass as our linebacker couldn’t get back to the depth he needed to have to defend the play.
One positive is that I did see some improvement from our younger players. Terrell Chestnut made some good plays on the ball and was in position to make a few other plays. Also, some of Richardson’s runs were caused because we had good coverage down the field.
Stupid Penalties: F
Penalties almost cost us the game. While the officials were horrible for the entire game, the two calls that kept Iowa State’s final drive alive were the correct calls. You just can’t make those mistakes at this point in the season.
Offensive Coaching: C+
I honestly don’t know who is actually calling plays. Dana is around those signaling them in at times and is well away from them at others. Whoever was making the play calls allowed the wind to make them too conservative. Tavon Austin was once again the offensive savior.
Defensive Coaching: D
eForest’s remarks after the game show a coach that just does not get it. He is a more clueless version of Mullen. Mullen would at least admit the offense struggled to produce in a win. We were fortunate Paul Rhoads ran the ball, instead of passing.