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WVU vs. Cincinnati Grades: A Unit-By-Unit Look At The Mountaineers Victory Over The Bearcats

At the tailgate prior to the game, the constant refrain was, "The season has been filled with beautiful weather and horrible football." On Saturday, however, the 56,000 in attendance got to experience both.

While some of you may not be happy with the result, I love that we won in convincing fashion. I've said it before and I will say it again, I will never hope that WVU loses. Ever. A WVU victory is always the goal, no matter the coach of our team. I don't know why I ever left the Bill Stewart bandwagon, but I'm back on. All are welcome and accepted without question.

It may be the unseasonably warm weather or the fact that both my teams got back on the winning path this weekend, but I'm happy. Whatever the reason, the grades are going to be fairly high this week. Let's hand'em out...

Offense:    A-    This much maligned unit needed to step up and score some points for our great defense and that is exactly what they did. Having said that, this does not change my feelings of the Mullen regime. Unless we continue to perform at this level he needs to be relieved of his duties at the end of the season. It is the same old story, we have a "break-out game" and then go back to struggling against inferior opponents. I hope he can continue to call such a great game.

Geno Smith:    A-   He overthrew his second pass of the game by about 10 yards. It was such a bad pass, in fact, that ESPN doesn't even have an intended receiver listed for the throw.  It looked like it was going to be another long day for the WVU offense. Then, we caught a break when Cincinnati muffed a punt and J.T. Thomas recovered. On the very next play Geno found a wide open Tavon Austin on a deep pass and the rout was on. Yet again, he was poised in the pocket, but also showed a new found confidence in his legs. While he did not rack up a ton of yards he led the offense to one of its most productive games of the season.

Offensive Line:    B-  While the unit did not open up big holes for long runs, we were productive on the ground. They gave Geno time to throw and kept his jersey clean for a majority of the day. Nice step forward for another much maligned unit.

Shawne Alston:    A  He runs with power and a little bit of speed. Good change of pace for a sick Devine. If he continues to work hard in practice and perform at this level, he will be a good back next year.

Defense:    A+   This was the best defensive performance of the year. Take away Pead's fluke 53 yard run and our defense only gave up 228 total yards. They held this explosive offense in check for the entire game and forced three big turnovers. Our line got pressure on Zach Collaros, our linebackers tackled well and our defensive backs were great in coverage. Yet again, Casteel had his defense ready to play. Hats off to a great coach.

Keith Tandy:   A+   Great game from the Tandyman. He has improved leaps and bounds over the past few years.

Special Teams:   B-   Kick-off coverage is starting to be a little suspect, but our kick returns are looking better.

Coaching:   B   I would've liked to see more points, but I can't be upset with the game-plan or playcalling.  Stewart's sit down with the offensive staff after the loss to UConn seems to have helped, but it does not get some of them off the hook for past performances. We need to see this type of output for the remainder of the season for some to keep their jobs.

Vince "Dauber" Skolny:    F  Not only is he making money off the pain of Mountaineer fans everywhere by selling shirts, he is also bringing down the mood and tone of football Saturday's in Morgantown. In case you are not familiar with what happen Saturday, according to Colin Dunlap's BLOG, Mr. Skolny, paid for a banner that was flown around the stadium that called for Stew to be fired with a somewhat clever phrase. I don't know why I'm writing about this joker because he is obviously out for attention, but what he is doing is not good of our program. He is pulling all this tomfoolery simply to make him feel important. I commend the Mountaineer Athletic Club for refusing to accept his donation on the money made from selling the shirts. Dauber, get over yourself and cheer on the Mountaineers.