We did this last week and I was blown away at the reception it got. I drop in some tweets, add some commentary, have some fun. Now I'm not foolish enough to think it was my brilliant writing that people loved so much (the most exciting WVU win in a year probably had something to do with it) but I do think it was a format that appealed to folks. Well we're about to find out how much it appealed. It will certainly take a special something to take some of the sting off the worst WVU defensive showing ever. Let's give it a shot.
On West Virginia, Forrest Gump and a weird couple seasons in Morgantown. http://t.co/ru1Fjxlizg— David Ubben (@davidubben) October 1, 2013
The "Prescient Headline Of The Week" goes to Ubben for "'You Never Know What You're Gonna Get' From WVU." Hell Ubbs, this is just your second year on the Magic Bus. In 25 years I've seen 27.5 dogs come within an inch of winning, I've seen 3-8 teams take Mike Vick to the wire and I've seen entire seasons collapse with a single blocked punt. You ain't seen nuthin' yet.
Seriously. This is where we were 6 days ago. And for the record I still think the world of Patterson, but the Broyles Award talk is probably shelved for the time being.
Daily Bears account got into a lot of back and forth with WVU fans this week - particularly @EersNation.
And it was apparent pretty quickly that there would be multiple helpings of crow to go around. In fact, if it weren't completely disgusting, I'd suggest that ODB show up in Morgantown next year and just serve it at a tailgate.
Just came home and turned on the game 😳— Jeff Braun™ (@JEFFBRAUN57) October 6, 2013
@JmillzHot97 128 yds rushing by that dude already?? Are they that legit or r we screwing up— Jeff Braun™ (@JEFFBRAUN57) October 6, 2013
I tried to warn you, Jeff.
There are a thousand tweets about that first quarter I could drop in, but they all basically say the same thing:
Baylor has: • 4 touchdowns • 356 yards of offense • 45 minutes of football left to play Buckle in.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 6, 2013
That was an otherworldly offensive performance. And it wasn't simply WVU's D being awful. Sure they missed some tackles, but every pass was on target and the ones that weren't got caught anyway - I counted 3 really good catches in that first quarter by Bears wideouts. It's easy to make the story about WVU's D getting torched, but I'd argue it was much more that Baylor is a well-oiled machine that can't be stopped when it's in the groove.
WVU has allowed 309, 435, 220, 330 and 433 yards this season. It just gave up 369 in the first damn quarter to Baylor.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) October 6, 2013
Again, just unprecedented carnage. The highest level of offensive execution any of us had ever seen.
Thought WVU was playing tonight. Guess not.— Mitch Vingle (@MitchVingle) October 6, 2013
I have in my scrawled game notes "Vingle is a dipshit" next to a reference to this tweet. So there you go. Mitch Vingle is a dipshit.
OK, it's probably not fair to just name call, so I'll expound a bit. He brings nothing to the table and it's clear if you listen to him on the radio pregame show he can't discuss Mountaineer football in any meaningful detail. He doesn't engage much on Twitter (unless you count serial retweeting of inflammatory opinions), so when I see uninventive snark like this it's frustrating but not surprising as it's consistent with his uninventive writing. Writing he gets paid for. Also I'd had a couple beers and was grumpy. I should just quit whining and unfollow, huh? Done.
There were obviously a lot of things that shocked me about that first quarter, but this was by far the most glaring. I fully expected WVU's front three to disrupt Baylor's attack at least some of the time. Instead it was like spearfishing for the Red October. The Mountaineers were completely dominated on the line. Aside from getting no pass rush, they couldn't do anything to keep Lache Seastrunk from running at will, which is a pretty good way to give up 56 points in one half of football. That was jarring, and given how good WVU's line had been to date against real teams like Oklahoma, Maryland and Oklahoma State, that doesn't bode well for future Baylor opponents.
I love how much Clint Trickett loves the deep ball. Not always effective, but always entertaining. Been chucking it for two weeks.— David Ubben (@davidubben) October 6, 2013
Well I'm glad you liked it Ubbs, 'cause it gave me an ulcer. I don't know what Trickett was thinking other than "these guys are open and eventually one of these are going to hit." More accurately he was probably thinking something along the lines of "GOTTA SCORE GOTTA SCORE GOTTA SCORE GOTTA SCORE!!!" Either way this strategy did nothing but inflame the Bear onslaught. The cool customer we saw in Morgantown was gone last week, replaced by a reckless quarterback flinging without conscience. Not an effective way to run an offense.
This has been driving me nuts for two weeks. With the exception of Kevin White, you feel like Trickett has to gift wrap a ball and drop it in these guys' damn hands for them to make a catch. And I'm basically talking about Carswell here. For a guy with such talent, he puts about as little effort into getting to balls as he could. Nobody's saying Clint Trickett (or Ford Childress, or Paul Millard) is the second coming of Johnny Unitas, but these WRs need to take that as a call to step up and make plays. Instead they seem to rely on it as a crutch for poor effort. The balls are there - just go up and try to make a damn play.
Seems like every Baylor QB throws a beautiful deep ball that just drops into a spot on the receiver's outside shoulder— Smart Football (@smartfootball) October 6, 2013
And the ones that weren't in the perfect spot they made plays on. I counted a trio in the first quarter, one of which was the third touchdown and another kept a drive alive on third down. It stood in stark contrast to what we saw when WVU took the field.
The speed option with Clint Trickett was your best plan?? On third and ten?— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) October 6, 2013
OK, I debated whether to even include this, but I guess I should address probably the most talked about tweet of the game. Listen I will always love Pat White the player. He fought and he killed himself and he took this program to places I had only dreamed about. Not a month goes by that I don't watch highlights from the most magical run of Mountaineer football any of us have ever seen.
I feel a bit differently about Pat White the GM. Certainly he has an opinion and has earned the right to express it, but he's coming at it from a very narrow viewpoint. He's not around those guys every day all day and he's never played under Holgorsen. We should have all learned something about the limited perspective of players after White all but hired a coach on the podium in Glendale.
Having said all that, I can't imagine how frustrating it must have been to watch a team that you've bled for reduced to rubble on national TV like that, so I don't begrudge Pat a little vent. He sent out the standard apology tweet later on Sunday. Let's just move on.
If Holgo crashes and burns next year, go ahead. But this year's team is a patchwork mess of skill players who have never played together.— Matt Kirchner (@MKirchner12) October 6, 2013
#LT And thats literally what we had to do to have depth. This year was always going to be a dumpster fire w/ some bright spots of potential.— Matt Kirchner (@MKirchner12) October 6, 2013
#LT The '14 recruiting class is bananas. Wait it out, reactionary people.— Matt Kirchner (@MKirchner12) October 6, 2013
Now for the sensible portion of our program. On a night when WVU fans went into typical melt-down, Matt did a nice job of laying out the current scenario in less than 420 characters. This was always going to be a rebuilding year. The offense is a recreation from the ground up. You know one thing that characterizes young, inexperienced teams? Wide swings of performance that can vary from week to week and even play to play. Sound familiar?
The goal for 2013 needs to be a bowl game. That extra month of practice is like getting another spring session, and on the heels of a season where the games are fresh in your mind, that's an invaluable experience. It's not a leap at all to think that there are 3 wins left on this schedule, and getting to a bowl to set the stage for a successful 2014 needs to be the indicator of success. Expecting anything more is just setting yourself up for failure.
Art Briles has been on the other end of a couple of these games when Dana was OC at TTech and OKST. He won't be letting up tonight— Smart Football (@smartfootball) October 6, 2013
It could have been so, so, so much worse. Thanks for Briles for calling off the dogs.
Look at that drive chart. Absurd. And they've done this 4 times now in 2013.
#WVU S Darwin Cook is ninth in interceptions (4) and 21st in solo tackles (35). He also has a defensive TD.— Tony Dobies (@DOBIEST) October 6, 2013
@EERNation Baylor is going to beat a lot of Big 12 teams in a similar manner to tonight, at home and on the road.— Smoking Musket (@SmokingMusket) October 6, 2013
Here's the reality of Saturday night - we won't know for sure what it truly means until we see Baylor against the rest of the conference. Can anyone else slow them down? Maybe, but if they execute anywhere near the level we saw in Waco, I highly doubt it. Seeing WVU give up 73 points and a record number of yards was tough to take, but if everyone else takes the same lumps maybe it makes it bearable.
WVU heads into a bye week with a mountain of doubt and basement level expectations, but there's a very good chance they emerge from the break ready to turn some heads for this Big 12 stretch run. Mountaineer teams do their best when we expect the worst, so if nothing else Saturday night certainly accomplished that.
Take the week off, breathe deep and steel yourself for the second half of the season. And let's be honest, if that performance scared you off, Mountaineer fandom just isn't for you.
The feint of heart can keep on heading north up I-79. They always need warm bodies there.