After a gut-wrenching home loss last week expectations were low for the road tilt against Kansas State but then WVU played well and then they played better and damned if they didn't get our hopes up and I'm not entirely sure they don't do that just so they can turn around and crush them.
Nobody knows crushed dreams like college football fans on Twitter, so let's comb through the frustration, hide the razor blades and long pieces of string and see what larger truths about Mountaineer football and the universe can be gleaned from a Twitterific postmortem
Let's start off with some Fashion Police:
This is for all the folks who bitch and moan that the coach only wears black. Personally I think it was a nice look and if he wore that baby on the sideline one day it would be phenomenal.
While we're talking about Holgo, a quick sidebar if you will allow me. Last week in the game recap and retweet feature, I made reference to a Holgorsen f-bomb that was caught on-air when the coach had been expected to give his standard postgame interview. It didn't sound good when I heard it, but I made some leaps of judgment about Holgo letting his frustration get the better of him. I had a chance to talk with WVU radio sideline reporter Jed Drenning (who gave the interview) and go the full story.
Normally Jed and Holgorsen have a chance to communicate how to handle the postgame interview. Unfortunately because of the way the game played out Holgs was busy and they never had a chance to clarify. The coach wanted to do it after he ran off the field but the studio sent it down as Jed was running next to the coach. Not knowing the mic was live, Holgorsen said the type of thing one might say when making their way through a mass of humanity, many of whom would like your attention. I took it as a lack of professionalism, but in reality it was an honest misunderstanding.
In actuality Holgorsen was a consumate pro, waiting through the commercial break he hadn't expected (2-3 minutes) to give a thoughtful postgame spot in the tunnel. At a time when he had to be frustrated, he waited extra time before even talking to his team to meet his radio obligations.
I'm not saying the guy is perfect and there is a headset graveyard somewhere in Morgantown that would attest to that fact, but in this instance he was a stand up guy. I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions, but given that I'd mentioned it I wanted to circle back and give the full story.
Back to the fun.
That didn't work out so well as the vast majority of reviews I saw contained the word awful. Personally I'm a traditional guy. Give me blue hats and that's it. Do I think it mattered? Of course not. But we here at the Mountaineer RT know how important fashion is to you.
I haven't even bought a can of shaving creaming since 2007.— Jon Kimble, Mtnr (@WVUMascot) October 26, 2013
He's just the best, y'all.
"I hate the shotgun" - Andre Ware. The feeling is mutual.— Good Bull HAUNTING (@GBHunting) October 26, 2013
Well I hate Andre Ware so that all works out pretty nicely. (System QB gaudy number posting Heisman trophy stealing sonafabitch).
There simply aren't many press boxes in America that are going to hook you up with a lamb cookbook for stopping by. pic.twitter.com/AxJMmDg9VH— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) October 26, 2013
In the Big Apple you go out an order lamb. In the Little Apple dammit you cook your own. Big 12 >> Big East.
1997 me: [cries crocodile tears of joy] "WE'RE BOWL ELIGIBLE!" 2013 me: "cool."— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) October 26, 2013
This is also applicable to other fan bases you may know..........just sayin'. Boy I really want that 6th win this year.....
This made me way happier than a kid taking a knee on the opening kickoff ever should. See it was right in that danger zone of a couple yards deep. That danger zone where he's consistently taken it out and cost his team 10 yards of field position or so. Well he's learning and for now I'll take all the small victories I can get.
Or actually K-State called timeout hoping to get a review of the play ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 26, 2013
I just included this as a way to point out how obscenely stupid college football's replay rules are that a coach would have to waste a timeout in the hopes that a ref will wander by and notice his pleading puppy dog eyes and think "ohhh...alright.....I'll review your play for ya!" This is a dumb rule that needs to change. Give them 3 challenges like the NFL and take the onus off the refs.
And this was about the last good thing we got from the WVU secondary all day.
K-State now -20 in turn overs on the season— Wolfman (@Wolfley64) October 26, 2013
This shocked me. No way I would have guessed a Bill Snyder coached team would have been at -20.
We should be fine in pass pro. These dl are run stuffers.— Jeff Braun™ (@JEFFBRAUN57) October 26, 2013
Big fan of Jeff because he can point out things like this that would never occur to me. And he was mostly right, I didn't feel like Trickett was under a lot of heat. As a quick aside I'm working to put together something with Jeff where we talk about the WVU O line play so stay tuned.....
Dreamius Smith goes 20 yards to the right, one yard forward. 2nd and 9 for #WVU— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) October 26, 2013
The best thing about Dreamius is also the worst thing about Dreamius. His big runs this year have all been cutbacks that put his outstanding field vision on display, but there's a time when you need to just put your head down and get 4 damn yards on first down. He did a better job of it later in the game, but this run just killed me because the lanes were there. He just needs to take 'em.
I'm starting to think we're not very good.— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxCoachHolgs) October 26, 2013
Wind really strong at field level, O'Toole trying to keep punts low and not having as much success #WVU— Jeff Culhane (@jeffculhane) October 26, 2013
I was worried that this would become a problem. Fortunately it didn't aside from putting a hurtin' on #Boomstache's average, but it was worriesome. Stupid middle America rolling plains.
Barring a freak turnover or Navy's kicker missing, this is a drawn out, painful loss for Pitt.— Chas Rich (@ChasRich27) October 26, 2013
Drawn out and painful is exactly how I like them.
Icky Banks beat over the top on post route, KSU TD to Tyler Lockett 7-0— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) October 26, 2013
This secondary looks more and more like the 2012 edition and less and less like the 2013 crew I loved for the first 5 weeks every game. That's a problem folks.
Bruce beaten on the TD pass but Waters had all day to make that throw ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 26, 2013
And that last tweet is directly related to this one. We're seeing a decent run-stopping team, but they're not getting the QB pressure we saw early in the season and I'd wager that's a big reason the secondary doesn't look so hot. Maybe that led to.....
And Darrien Howard is in the game for WVU. Debut for the freshman nose guard.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) October 26, 2013
The 8th game of the season seems like an odd time to burn a redshirt but hey, what the hell do I know. Report from the sideline was that this wasn't brought upon by any Shaq Rowell injury but instead to build depth. It's needed so maybe he can provide some help.
"Just when you were used to one man's butt, you've got to get used to another man's." - said just now about WVU's Center change on FS1— Eric Little (@TheEricLittle) October 26, 2013
Fox Sports 1 ladies and gentlemen! (This is why I listen to the radio and mute the TV).
Really like what Clint Trickett has done today. Mostly accurate. Not out of control throwing the ball downfield like he's been at times.— David Ubben (@davidubben) October 26, 2013
This is what was so frustrating about how things worked out. Trickett was really in control of things for awhile. He stepped into a couple balls and really put them on a rope. He's clearly developed a much better command of the offense than he had a month ago and he's doing a lot of good things.
There we go Trickett, that's gonna have to be a part of his game rest of season, forget lobbing it up, take off and run #wvu
Here's this week's nomination for "Tweet That Reads Entirely Different After The Game Than It Did When You Favorited It And Thought It Was A Good Idea."
We have the talent. Confidence in what you do provides execution, stop shooting yourself in the foot and believe! Composure!— Wolfman (@Wolfley64) October 26, 2013
If only it were so easy Wolf......but I agree with this 100%. I've said it once I'll say it for the rest of the year....this team is close.
Thompson not catching that punt cost West Virginia about 10 yards of field position. Starting at the 17 down 7-6— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 26, 2013
First off this was an amazingly dumb thing for Squirt to do. You don't settle in to fair catch and then back off at the last minute. That ball bounced between 4 or 5 Mountaineers and could have easily been a disaster. In fact that play magically NOT ending in catastrophe was the first time I felt good about their chances. We've graduated from "get some breaks" to "just nothing awful happening." Those are our expectations now.
That was after starting 1 of 6. Again, things were going REALLY well there for a bit.
WVU winning the field position battle— The Deuce (@TheDeuceWVU) October 26, 2013
I was impressed with Holgorsen's patience to do this, particularly not going for it on 4th down from near the middle of the field. K State scored first, but Holgo's patience paid off. That first WVU scoring drive started at the KSU 47 after a poor punt.
Charles Sims has been one broken tackle away from, like, 10 touchdowns this season.— Ben Kercheval (@BenKercheval) October 26, 2013
(sooooo damn close....this team is soooooooooooo damn close.......)
#WVU is discovering they can run on most Big XII teams— SmithFire13 (@SmithFire13) October 26, 2013
Which is a dramatic shift from last year. These last 4 games are going to be VERY interesting.
Too far to fake a run.. Throw the fake? Yep. Like the decision. Hate the play call. #WVU— Randy Gyorko (@gyorkocfn) October 26, 2013
My first instinct said the same thing, but after I watched the play over a few times I realized that the play was actually there, only Will Clarke whiffed on a block that almost certainly would have sprung Molinari for the first down. Not to beat the dead horse, but this team was inches away for the first 3 quarters.
I did too, Bruce but here's the kicker. If Holgorsen's halftime interview is to be believed, that wasn't a call he made - that was a read made by players on the field in response to something they saw before the play. I am dumbfounded that a decision of this magnitude could be subject to players and am intrigued to know more. I'll share what I find out.
WVU leads Kansas State 9-7. All 16 points scored with the wind at the back of the offense.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) October 26, 2013
This was the worst part about that KSU drive that bled the clock in the 3rd quarter. Not only did they score, but it kept WVU off the field under conditions that were conducive to scoring.
@abpriddy why the hell didn't we use our 3 TOs to get the ball back? What kind of clock management is that? I'm bumfuzzled...
This was immediately following the fake FG with almost a minute left in the half and it was a very good question. At least make KSU punt from near their own end zone. Who knows what happens.
When points are as hard to come by as they are today, I take the FG. But then again I grew up with sensible football.— Bob Hertzel (@bhertzel) October 26, 2013
You ever get the feeling that some of these guys just don't like ole Holgo? They're very subtle about it of course so it's hard to tell. At this point I just want him to succeed so we can collectively double-bird every print writer over 60.
These plays seem to happen to 3-4 football teams ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 26, 2013
Ah, but which one is the chicken and which one is the egg?
Great receiver screen to Kevin White. We have been looking for this play since the spring game ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 26, 2013
I love Kevin White. I think he's a freaking stud and needs to get the ball more. I think he's at times impossible to cover and the more he gets the ball the better things will be.
I KNOW, RIGHT!!!!!
Then he drops the next one ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) October 26, 2013
(strangles self with iPhone charger)
Josh Lambert had missed on 3 previous long attempts this season, so this was a big deal for him. And given that he's a freshman whose foot will figure prominently in many games both this year and years later it was a big deal for us, too.
PSA: Duke 13 Vagina Tech 0 - 3rd— The Deuce (@TheDeuceWVU) October 26, 2013
When I'm a little in the dumps nothing warms my heart like a little sophomoric schadenfreude! You'll always suck to me, Tech.
HE'S WELL SHORT UNFORTUNATELY.— THE KEY PLAY (@thekeyplay) October 26, 2013
That's what she said
@davidubben hard to explain how wvu is hanging with k state from a Baylor perspective.— DFW SportsNerd (@DFWSportsNerd) October 26, 2013
Tell me about it.
Will Clarke just got mugged on that TD pass.— EERS Nation (@EersNation) October 26, 2013
This happened a lot and was very frustrating. I'm not saying it made a difference in who won or lost, but it HAPPENED A LOT AND WAS VERY FRUSTRATING.
i am still weirded out by k-state's mascot combining giant cat head with tiny human arms— Matt Kirchner (@MKirchner12) October 26, 2013
There is no place for that in the animal kingdom is what I think.
That K-State drive: 14 plays, took up more than 8 minutes. Syndercats took a lot out of the #WVU defense right there.— Michael Carvelli (@Carvelli3) October 26, 2013
Huge body blow. 3 friggin' third down conversions. They never recovered.
We just threw a jump ball to a 5'11" wide receiver. And it worked!— Bring On The Cats (@BringOnTheCats) October 26, 2013
Ladies and gentlemen your 2013 Mountaineer secondary!!
I would like to see more fight and better close out from our secondary when the ball is hanging in the air! #WVU— The Sports Dude™ (@WVUSportsDude) October 26, 2013
It felt like they had this problem solved in September. I guess not.
Man Kwiatkoski is fun to watch. He made a fantastic play at the goal line last week against Texas Tech, too where he unfortunately hit the ball runner about 2 inches on the wrong side of the line, but that didn't change the fact that he STONEWALLED the dude. Kid is going to be a monster for the next couple years.
After going 1 for 5 on 3rd in the first half. I just don't get this team.....
Two weeks in a row the defense has just fallen apart in the second half.— Sean Manning (@SeanManning_DP) October 26, 2013
This was the same unit that killed itself against Maryland with the clock running down trailing 37-0. Now a team takes a lead on them and they just crawl away. I just don't get this team.....
If that throw from Trickett is on point, Thompson might be dancing in the end zone right now. #WVU— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) October 26, 2013
So. Damn. Close.
Brutal fumble for WVU. This offense is a nightmare. And after some nice steps taken a week ago vs. Texas Tech.— Ben Kercheval (@BenKercheval) October 26, 2013
But it's NOT a nightmare. In fact there are some moments where it is a quite pleasant afternoon nap. It's a collection of guys who have never played together that is consistent only in its inconsistency. That shouldn't surprise anyone. Having said that we're 2/3 of the way into the season. The expiration date on this excuse is just about up.
Insert Millard— ArchitEER (@joffutt1) October 26, 2013
Millard has no arm— The Deuce (@TheDeuceWVU) October 26, 2013
This is not new.
I hope everyone calling for Millard is watching this.— Brandon Priddy (@abpriddy) October 26, 2013
Seriously, I love you guys, but some of y'all on Twitter just piss me off. Paul Millard seems like a great kid and would be a very serviceable backup. He looks very good in a hat. He also can't throw a ball through a wet paper towel. I'm not saying Trickett is the second-coming, but that doesn't mean the guy behind him is a better option.
Nice job by Jordan Thompson going straight up field for the first down. #WVU moves the sticks again.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) October 26, 2013
Squirt is very quietly turning into a reliable little possession receiver.
And a great win for Navy football today against Pitt. #GoNavy— David Robinson (@DavidtheAdmiral) October 27, 2013
I just wanted to remind everybody that Pitt lost to Navy and Virginia Tech lost to Duke.
Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 27, 2013
Pat's just the best.
Aw hell....I'm not mad......come on.....bring it in.....big hug. You know I love you and can't stay mad at you. I mean, what the hell else am I gonna do on Saturday? Now let's go get drunk and watch Orange Bowl highlights on YouTube. We need to get right in the head anyway, got TCU in a week and I'm already excited.........
I'm telling you......these guys are close.