#WVU uni update: Blue helmets, atop blue jerseys, with golden pantalones. (No pink, as far as I can tell.)— Allan Taylor (@AllanTaylorWVU) October 19, 2013
Blue hat, blue shirts and yeller britches: THE WAY GOD INTENDED MOUNTAINEER FOOTBALL TO LOOK. I knew it would be a good day as soon as I saw this. My uniform evaluation system is flawless.
Trickett is really inconsistent. That must be maddening.— Viva The Matadors (@vivathematador) October 19, 2013
This tweet was sent in the first quarter. Yeah.
The defense better figure out a way to hit Webb or TT is going to move the ball at will ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 19, 2013
This is a problem. There was a time when Shaq Rowell and Will Clarke were monsters on the D line and Clarke was nationally ranked for sacks. I don't think either has notched a sack since Oklahoma State. If this team is going to turn things around, that has to change.
Smallwood was horrible on kick returns. Awful. He brought balls out of the end zone that he should have kneeled and consistently ran out at an angle like a kid in a bat spin contest. Listen Wendell I like you. You're really talented and I think we'll be spending a lot of time together. I think you can be a good returner. Catch, accelerate and HIT THE HOLE STRAIGHT AHEAD.
To a larger point the return game is killing WVU. I'm not saying we're Kick Returner U, but it's a solid tradition with the Terry brothers Nate and Shawn, Pacman Jones, Darius Reynaud, that Austin kid and more. You take for granted how nice it is to start drives at the 30 yard line or beyond. This WVU offense needs all the help it can get and returners making stupid decisions that result in starting drives at the 15 doesn't help matters. The $500,000 question is how do you fix it? Unless there are players hidden on the roster I don't know about, that's a tough question.
Pretty much. Things did not get off to a great start.
I love Dana... but he allows his emotions to get the best of him on calls.— The Deuce (@TheDeuceWVU) October 19, 2013
There was about a 4 month period where my Dad would play me in Tecmo Bowl in the early 90s. I beat him every time. Eventually he would get frustrated and do things like go for it on 4th and 14 instead of just kick the field goal. Did I mention I beat him every time?
Was that desperation? Well, in Holgorsen's 12 losses, WVU has been outscored 144-41 in the first quarter. It's 10-0 at the end of one today.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) October 19, 2013
I know I'm contractually obligated to bitch and be negative because WE LOST but there were good things to take away. This one was headed to a place that we've seen all too many times in the last two years. WVU was getting ran and their M.O. has been to ball up and let it happen. Not today. They fought back from down 13-0 and while it wasn't a win, I think that's important and that matters. Maybe you disagree. Well then go write your own damn column.
"West Virginia is just punching itself in the face." - Tony Caridi— The Sports Dude™ (@WVUSportsDude) October 19, 2013
And this is why I always mute whatever empty suit Fox throws at me and listen to the WVU radio crew. Don't ever change, Tony.
I normally try to steer clear of superlatives, but yeah. It's the worst ever.
WVU's average start today is the 15 yard line. Kick return guys need to go North-South.— The Sports Dude™ (@WVUSportsDude) October 19, 2013
ORRRRR.....they could build a stadium where the end zones are in the EAST AND WEST!!!
The thing about Clint Trickett's deep ball throws? They work once out of every 10 times or so. And that's enough to keep doing it.— Ben Kercheval (@BenKercheval) October 19, 2013
And you know why?
TT DBs just can not play the ball in the air. I would keep that in the back of my mind calling plays ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 19, 2013
Texas Tech's DBs sucked. I got a little tired of people referring to those pass interference penalties as "breaks." Let's get something clear - the Red Raiders secondary being awful isn't a 'break,' it's a thing about their team that is true. WVU was on the wrong side of that a lot last year and I don't remember those being breaks. As far as I can tell chucking it downfield and letting things happened seemed to work. I just wish they'd tried that a couple more times late.
Dreamius Smith cuts back and takes it for a touchdown! #WVU cuts it to 13-9, XP pending.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) October 19, 2013
So far Dreamius' 3 biggest plays of the year - two today, one against Oklahoma - were off cutbacks against the grain. He has absolutely spectacular vision and is a treat to watch. When he figures things out a bit more and if the line can develop some more consistency, he could be really special.
(Also isn't there a bylaw against saying that score, even in passing on an unrelated matter? There's not? OK, now there is. I just made it.)
Texas Tech was one foot away from going up 20-3 and likely running away with game. It's now tied 13-13 and #WVU gets ball to start 2nd half.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) October 19, 2013
And this is what made the entire 4th quarter so inexplicable. This team fought their asses off for 3 quarters and then just kinda packed it in. That was baffling.
My analysis on #WVU being tied at half time: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯— SmithFire13 (@SmithFire13) October 19, 2013
I have nothing to add to this.
Mountaineer Field is electric right now— Jonathan Martin (@JonathanKMartin) October 19, 2013
Mountaineer fans have come to play for a pair of noon kickoffs. Kudos to them. Here's hoping for some night games.
That was WVU's 100th third down this season. Fifty-eight required at least seven yards for a conversion. TD pass to Sims makes it 20-13.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) October 19, 2013
Haven't had a chance yet, but in my breakdown for TheSignalCaller.com later this week I'm going to look at 3rd down distances and what led to them. I did put myself through the torture of watching those last 5 drives again and those early failed 3rd downs were rooted in bad plays on first down. I bet if you calculate the average 3rd down WVU saw on their 5 scoring drives against the 5 drives to end the game there's a huge difference.
@BenKercheval very unlikely turnaround. Looked lost earlier.— Allen Kenney (@BlatantHomerism) October 19, 2013
Tell me about it.
Another freshman mistake there. That was the fumble at the 1 sitting in the back of his mind right there ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 19, 2013
This was on one of the TT red zone possessions that ended in a field goal and not a touchdown. Again, "breaks" don't happen in a vacuum. WVU did a lot of good things today.
Trickett hasn't been hit all game long. No pressure on him.— Viva The Matadors (@vivathematador) October 19, 2013
Offensive line with one of their better performances of the year and that despite being banged up throughout the afternoon. Not saying they were road graters, but they allowed Trickett and the tailbacks room to operate. That had been lacking.
I LOVE PENALTIES— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxCoachHolgs) October 19, 2013
You call them penalties. I call them offense.
West Virginia, what has gotten into you?— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) October 19, 2013
The best part about this tweet is it could have been sent about 3 different times and meant 3 different things. It was that kind of day.
By far the most on rhythm this offense has been this season. Mixing run and pass. Tempo. Masterful this half. #WVU— Randy Gyorko (@gyorkocfn) October 19, 2013
It was a thing of beauty. But it was a tenuous grasp on competency. Because
Get this #WVU offense off schedule in terms of down-and-distance and you might as well get the punt return unit ready.— Patrick Southern (@patricksouthern) October 19, 2013
They are a delicate flower. A big catch by Kevin White and a couple penalties converted a pair of 3rd and longs and obscured that fact for a few minutes, but eventually it would rear its ugly head.
There's Jordan Thompson with ANOTHER big 3rd down conversion to move the chains #WVU— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) October 19, 2013
It looked like they might get back on track. It really did. Then they got cute with the reverse to Alford. When you run the ball straight ahead you crush a team's will. WVU was about 3/4 of the way there and then for some reason plugged the life support back in the wall for the Raiders. Sometimes simple is good, guys. You don't have to prove how damn smart you are. You really don't.
#WVU defense forces a punt, and Holgorsen celebrates with a Red Bull!— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) October 19, 2013
Again, really close. The defense held TT a few times and Holgs was pounding Red Bulls and I thought we'd get the swagger back. They just CAN'T give yards away on first down.
It didn't end up mattering, but this was (flippin) terrible. Just awful. How are you RIGHT THERE and miss that call?
The last two games have looked a lot more like last year than I'm comfortable with. Holes in coverage, a couple bad angles (in all fairness there aren't really any good angles against Baylor) and shoddy tackling. If this team wants to make a bowl that has to stop.
TT hasn't shown the ability to cover Kevin White.— Christopher Lambert (@theDudeofWV) October 19, 2013
I mean, if you're going to inexplicably abandon the run game, can you at least throw it to the guy nobody can cover? Please?? Nothing about the playcalling in the 4th quarter made any sense to me.
#WVU had one designed run combined in 4 of last 5 drives. On 5 drives prior to that (3 TD, 2 FG), they ran 21 times for 100 yards, 2 TDs.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) October 19, 2013
Seriously, what part of that makes sense!?
@gyorkocfn we all saw running game was abandoned...any thoughts as to WHY? I can't think of 1.— Bryan Wilson (@BWilsonWVUFan) October 19, 2013
I'll be lyin' in bed, wondering what Holgorsen did. (see what I did there?)
Well, Dana Holgorsen pushed me and my camera out of the way after the handshake. Soooo that's nice of him— Mel Moraes (@melmoraes) October 19, 2013
In addition to that he spat a naughty word that sounds a lot like 'fork' on air as WVU radio broadcast sideline reporter Jed Drenning attempted to perform his standard postgame interview, which he always does immediately after the coaches have shaken hands at midfield. In all fairness it sounded like they were in the midst of being jostled around by some folks and I haven't talked to Jed yet so I don't know what happened. Here's a link to the audio for what it's worth, listen to it for yourself:
I will say this - at best it still didn't look good and if you're going to be the head coach of a major football program you need to comport yourself with more professionalism than what that sounded like, even after such a frustrating loss. Fortunately for Holgorsen Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace and Jed are all pros and did the best they could to cover it and the coach did give a full interview after a break, but again, no part of that sounded good.
OK, let's end this with a little happiness.
Love Talley. Glad he made the trip in for homecoming. Speaking of fan-damn-tastic Mountaineers who made the trip in:
Awesome. I'll just print that out and hang it on the wall.
That was a pisser of a loss but perspective, folks. For the 4th straight time in conference play WVU was playing an undefeated and ranked league foe. The road gets a little easier, although unfortunately a couple of those potentially winnable games - TCU and Kansas State - are on the road. The goal here remains what it's been since day one, 6 wins, a bowl game and an extra month of practice. There are 3 wins left to be had on this schedule if only this Mountaineer team can go take them.
And hey, it could always be worse:
Down 10-0 to Old Dominion is the Pittiest Pitt— IAmSPOOKY (@IAmSpilly) October 19, 2013
Sleep it off, bow your back and get ready for next week. There were good things today, there will be more good things in the future and Operation Bowl still has hope.