WHEW. That was exhausting. My head is tired, my face is tired, my soul is tired. WVU got off to (another) slow start before righting the ship, rallying for 24 furious straight points and riding some huge breaks to a season-saving 30-27 win at TCU. Mountaineer football looks a helluva lot different now than it did a few hours ago, so let's light up that celebratory cigar, crack open a cold one, sit back and rehash a Great Night To Be A Mountaineer!.
But first a little schadenfreude. I LOVE MARSHALL DERP!!!
Now for our weekly fashion segment. Personally I'm not a big fan of the storm trooper look, and if I'm not mistaken this is the first time since 2011 that WVU has worn the same combination twice in a season (they also broke these out at Oklahoma). But you can't argue with the results. A great effort in Norman and a huge win in Ft. Worth. (Beware: nerd joke coming) These ARE the droids we're looking for!
Oh yeah? Well WVU will see your WR out for legit personal reasons and raise you a headcase:
#WVU WR Ronald Carswell is out today due to a violation of team rules.— Michael Carvelli (@Carvelli3) November 2, 2013
But here are the guys who DID dress (hint, I'd trade either of these kids for 10 Carswells):
— Blue & Gold News (@BlueGoldNews) November 2, 2013
And you can't convince me the improved WVU D didn't have a lot to do with getting these guys back.
Helmet was pretty open, tho. RT @Mengus22: Iowa's QB just threw a pass directly into the back of his center's helmet. It was picked.— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) November 2, 2013
BIG 10 FOOTBALL KIDS!
Also, for today's game, I'm doin "pushups for points." Everytime WVU puts points on the board, I'm crankin' out the pushups.— Jim Ashley (@JimAshley18) November 2, 2013
I like this idea by my man Jim. I mean, I didn't like it so much I actually did it, but I liked it. Maybe there's a tie-in here with a heath initiative for the state? GET MICHELLE OBAMA ON THE PHONE!
Virginia Tech's regression to the mean in recent seasons has been a sight to behold.— Patrick Southern (@patricksouthern) November 2, 2013
I prefer to wrap myself up in it like a warm blanket and hold it up to my nose and breathe deep because HokieFail is the best fail there is. Somewhere an AP voter swirls his glass of red wine and struggles within his soul as to how far within the top 15 to drop the Hokies.
ALL THE HOKIE TEARS!!!!
(But really. This game was huge. If you care to take a look I walked through potential scenarios if WVU were to win or lose this game today over at TheSignalCaller. I am glad we don't have to consider the latter.)
The TCU student section 15 mins before kickoff.... pic.twitter.com/MMnuSIzstG— Jon Kimble, Mtnr (@WVUMascot) November 2, 2013
Catch the Purple Fever! (it is evidently not infectious and is treatable with a light topical cream)
For the record I really like deferring. Always good to give yourself a chance for a couple straight possessions between halves.
Right off the bat Kwiatkoski gives WVU a big turnover at the TCU 25 ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) November 2, 2013
And also this helps.
IM A DEFENSIVE MASTERMIND— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxCoachHolgs) November 2, 2013
3rd and 7 for TCU... and the #WVU defensive gives up the first down.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) November 2, 2013
The middle.... again— Deuce (@TheDeuceWVU) November 2, 2013
So we're doing this again, huh? Fine, let's do this again (switches to liquor).
NOBODY MOVE. You'll scare the endangered sustained drive away.— Frogs O' War (@FrogsOWar) November 2, 2013
Pretty much described both fan bases all day. For a pair of teams that had been steaming garbage on the offensive end, this was quite the exciting shootout.
Need to figure out 3rd down.— Wolfman (@Wolfley64) November 2, 2013
Also need to figure out who killed Kennedy, what happened to Judge Crater and where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. But yeah. Third down defense has entered 'bugaboo' territory.
Shorts is becoming West Virginia's most dependable receiver ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) November 2, 2013
And he's a freshman. I'm excited about 3 more years of Daikiel Shorts in my life. Love the way this kid plays.
TCU clearly targeting Travis Bell in the passing game— Blue & Gold News (@BlueGoldNews) November 2, 2013
(prints out tweet, tucks it into shorts) "This feels like something that will be important later..."
This defense looks like they did last year again. I don't know what happened.— Sean Manning (@SeanManning_DP) November 2, 2013
This defense has a bizarre habit of being consistently vulnerable over the middle when the offense is struggling. Not surprisingly that vulnerability is based on QBs having tons of time to wait on those deep routes to develop in the middle of the field. So once the heat gets turned up in the opposing backfield, this problem goes away. I understand that. What I don't understand is how it so closely mirrors the offensive success. Once the O started moving, this entirely went away. I don't know why. I'm not even trying to figure these guys out anymore. I'm just along for the ride.
Raise a glass for TCU's FOURTH first-quarter TD of the season. Frogs lead 10-3 after 80-yard drive by the 114th best offense in the land.— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) November 2, 2013
This did not get off to a good start. The WVU defense acting as an elixir for what ails crappy offensive units isn't the type of thing you can base a hype video on, you know?
Hope Neinas and DeLoss are enjoying the half-empty stadium, TCU/WVU game today.— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) November 2, 2013
Watching Mark's mentions were quite fun after this. Farewell Louisville, we hope you find prosperity in the land of raucous crowds of 25,000 watching Boston College and the Cards play a noon kickoff.
WVU's next possession ends as All-American Verett makes diving breakup of 3rd down pass.— Bob Hertzel (@bhertzel) November 2, 2013
What is this "All-American" in the "secondary" that you speak of? This concept is foreign to me. I know not of such things.
Part of me believes #WVU's pass D issues are due to the fact half the defense are safeties. Both corners, both safeties (duh) and OLB.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) November 2, 2013
For my money Chris has some of the smartest in-game WVU tweets around. Great point here. This is a Mountaineer team with depth issues in several places on defense and they're addressing those with the personnel they have and a lot of times the results are less than ideal. They're basically trying to make a cake with a bunch of milk and no eggs. That's not a very good cake.
Maybe WVU fans will take their bowl trip budgets and sponsor Christmas presents for the less fortunate. Gotta look at the bright side, folks— Eric Little (@TheEricLittle) November 2, 2013
Again, things didn't look too good there for awhile. But hey, always look on the bright side!
TCU has 17 points already vs WVU, they had 17 yards in the first half vs OU— Landthieves (@LandThieves) November 2, 2013
Not good times.
This hurts...— Jeff Braun™ (@JEFFBRAUN57) November 2, 2013
Folks this is what happens when your offense sustains drives. The defense gets even better.— Frogs O' War (@FrogsOWar) November 2, 2013
Well that's interesting. That seems like the type of thing that's more one of those 'universal' truths than just a 'TCU' truth, ya know?
Never would have thought WVU would find itself in such trouble at QB. Had three guys in camp who looked like they could get it done.— David Ubben (@davidubben) November 2, 2013
@davidubben perhaps bc they were playing against WVU defense?— Randy Gyorko (@gyorkocfn) November 2, 2013
Zinger of the day to Randy. Well done, sir. Well done.
Huge stop by #WVU D, needed that badly. Kwiatkoski and Co stop Aaron Green for no gain on 3rd and 2— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) November 2, 2013
My man-crush on Kwiatkoski is entering "my wife looks at me funny" territory. I don't know if it was the poster I hung on the ceiling of our bedroom or my silent tears of joy when he came back after injury, but I don't care. That kid is a destructive force of nature and he's on my team and I like that. I like it a lot.
Uncle Mo may be changing a little bit. Let's see if the offense can keep it going ...— John Antonik (@JohnAntonik) November 2, 2013
Hell, Uncle Mo looked a lot more like Aunt Mo, the 40 year old cougar flitting about from man to man as she racked up free drinks on the promise that someone would get to escort her to the parking lot at closing time. I'm just glad this week she picked the bearded guy with the gun.
Sims was awesome. Also we're about to enter the "Brandon defends the playcalling" portion of our program.
Charles Sims might be the most underutilized player in America.— All 'Eers (PG) (@MountaineersPG) November 2, 2013
Ahem. Charles Sims. The ball. Get it to him. All day.— Ben Kercheval (@BenKercheval) November 2, 2013
Wait for it.....
Correct me if I'm wrong here twitter coaches. But id be happier a drive stalling because we're pounding the rock with Simms than by TCs arm— SMCMorgantown (@SMCMorgantown) November 2, 2013
OK. Here we go. Listen, I want to see the WVU offense utilize what works as much as the next guy and I remember one drive in particular where there were three straight passes and I grumbled a bit that Sims didn't get the ball. Having said that he carried the ball 24 times. He caught 3 passes. That's 27 touches. That's a lot. If you get much above that you risk wearing a guy down. Not to mention it was the mixing in of passes that kept the ground game effective. This Mountaineer offensive line is improving as a run-blocking but keeping the threat of the pass alive makes their job easier. And hey, when you have linebackers immediately dropping into coverage this happens:
Third-and-12, WVU runs a draw play. Is this Dana Holgorsen or Don Nehlen coaching? (Also, it worked.)— Patrick Southern (@patricksouthern) November 2, 2013
(Quick aside: my all-time favorite Nehlen draw play moment was the 1996 Maryland game when he called the draw on a 3rd and 41 and Amos Zereoue took it for 42 yards. I remember the stadium didn't even break out in a cheer as much as a laugh. It was fun.)
Darwin Cook already credited for 8 tackles so far in this game #WVU— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) November 2, 2013
Let's just say when your safety is the leading tackler, that's not the sign of a good defense.
Much better late in the half. At least defensively. Golson and Clarke starting to beat their guys consistently.— Randy Gyorko (@gyorkocfn) November 2, 2013
Pachall is going to be dead by the 3rd quarter— SmithFire13 (@SmithFire13) November 2, 2013
But then they quit sucking and started doing some good thing. Once Pachall began to get some heat you could feel the worm turning. The 14 point lead turned to 7 and the momentum began to shift around the half.
WVU OFFENSE TWO MINUTE DRILL GUYS— Matt Kirchner (@MKirchner12) November 2, 2013
I know, right! Awesome! Quick halftime score and we'll tie this baby up!
Trickett is confident. Way too confident for that arm.— Ben Kercheval (@BenKercheval) November 2, 2013
That was a really bad pass Trickett threw into double (triple?) coverage at the end of the half. Really bad. We'll talk more about Clint later.
I will throw things at halftime guys, don't worry.— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxCoachHolgs) November 2, 2013
Well that's good to know.
BAH GAWD, NICK KWIATKOSKI WITH THE HIT!!!— Jim Ashley (@JimAshley18) November 2, 2013
Cookie is awesome, great leader, great year, but boy is Kwitakoski getting Strong?— Wolfman (@Wolfley64) November 2, 2013
Darwin Cook leads the Big12 in "Yeeaa-OOOHHHH!!!"s— Fake Bob Huggins (@FakeBobHuggins) November 2, 2013
Boy does he ever. Cook's made some huge plays this year, but he's left about as many on the field. If this team is going to have a chance against Texas he can't miss those opportunities.
20 Ribeyes,50 grilled shrimp,5 Racks of Babybacks,10 pounds of mashed potatoes,30 yeast rolls,corn, 24 apple tarts&3 gal of ice cream later.— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) November 2, 2013
This has nothing to do with anything other than former WVU assistant coach and current Vanderbilt o-line coach Herb Hand is awesome and I would love to hang out with him. His Twitter feed is great and you should check it out. I want to be on his offensive line.
Japanese people love Notre Dame because they know what it's like to lose to Navy too.— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) November 2, 2013
And this is your snarky non-sequitur of the day. Enjoy.
And it would have been glorious.
Man he really was having a bad day. I sure hope he gets a shot at redemption......
TCU gets a pick six erased by defensive holding from its best defender. Again I say: this is how you end up at 3-5. On third down, too!— David Ubben (@davidubben) November 2, 2013
Biggest break of the game by far. Not even close. Hard to see how WVU comes back from that. But hey, when you're playing up and down football you need a break here and there.
— Tony Dobies (@DOBIEST) might not be able to throw the ball more than 15 yards, but he should get a look. Trickett has made some terrible decisions.November 2, 2013
Could not disagree more. Listen, Trickett is far from perfect and he's obviously learning on the job. He makes some pretty big mistakes and can dig himself some holes. Fortunately he also does a lot more good things and brings a dimension to the offense that Millard simply does not. For better or worse Clint Trickett represents the best chance for this team to win right now. This is a fact. I don't see how it can be argued with everything we've seen this year.
Yes Ashlee. We all struggle with this.
The game has reached unwatchable status. I'm voluntarily going furniture shopping. No better example of the state of the #wvu program ...— Matt Gatewood (@GatewoodWVU) November 2, 2013
Internet, please remind Matt of this when it's Saturday night in June and he's sell his left pinkie for some football.
This team...— Boote (@TjBooten) November 2, 2013
Tell me about it. You don't even know when this tweet was sent because it could have come at one of 35 different times. Because man, this team.......
BURN THIS GAME. BURN IT WITH FIRE.— Ben Kercheval (@BenKercheval) November 2, 2013
Awww come on, it's not that bad!
Two struggling teams!— Wolfman (@Wolfley64) November 2, 2013
See, they're just struggling!
This one gets this week's "Coach Dwight Wallace Honorary Positive Spin" award. The trophy is a glass half full of......something.
Give credit to #WVU defense for turning things around. Last six TCU drives - punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, fumble.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) November 2, 2013
This was nice to see again.
Does Patterson and the defense deserve credit now?— Deuce (@TheDeuceWVU) November 2, 2013
Absolutely. But I feel like someone else deserves a little credit.......wasn't there something earlier about helping out the defense?....
Folks this is what happens when your offense sustains drives. The defense gets even better.— Frogs O' War (@FrogsOWar) November 2, 2013
And all of the sudden, we have a cocktail party...— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) November 2, 2013
Well, I'd call it more of a Moonshine Get Together. What's that? He was talking about another game going on?
INT Icky Banks!!!! D comes up with big play to take the ball back! #WVU— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) November 2, 2013
Boy was I glad to see him come up with that play. It was the exact type of play we need these DBs to make. Awareness of the ball in the air and flip around to make a play. More of this, please.
Same S, different day.— Frogs O' War (@FrogsOWar) November 2, 2013
Tell me about it.
Trickett rolls out of the pocket and finds Smith for first down yardage to extend drive #WVU— WVU IMG Sports (@WVUIMGSports) November 2, 2013
Pay particular attention to the part about "rolling out." Millard can't do that.
Cody Clay the real— Jason Perdue (@jason1040) November 2, 2013
TCU radio announcers say— Matthew Peaslee (@thempeas) hometown of Alum Creek, W.Va. is "just outside" of Morgantown. Alum Creek is actually 168 miles south.November 2, 2013
I grew up in St. Albans right outside of Charleston. We played Alum Creek in grade school basketball. It is not outside of Morgantown but hey, at least they know West Virginia is a separate state. Improvement!
This was awesome. Cody has busted his ass and been a huge contributor for an offense that needs them desperately. That play was a hell of an effort and the exact type of thing this team needs to take the next step. That it was a home grown Mountaineer just made it that much more sweet.
Well Texas I've seen your quarterbacks play. Maybe you should think about it.
Oh now this is just desperate comedy— Spencer Hall (@edsbs) November 2, 2013
Believe it or not he's not even talking about the WVU game.
Defense, is the reason we have won the games we have. They are young and Patterson is a great coach who will only make them better. #wvu— David Newman (@GhostShaman) November 2, 2013
Yup. Lot of youth on that side of the ball, but you can see improvement and I'm getting pretty excited for 2014.
#WVU had been outscored 35-0 in 4th quarter of last two games. Up 17-0 on TCU today.— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) November 2, 2013
It was so important for this team to not just win this game, but win the way it did. Sure a 20 point win would have been a little easier on our collective hearts, but we're entering the 'you are who you are' portion of the season and who these guys are was getting dangerously close to "can't win a close game." Huge leap for them to win a game like that and battle the way they did. You can only build confidence by doing it, and they did it.
I do not remember a streak like this. Arkansas has now given up 111 unanswered points.— Jim Dunaway (@jimdunaway) November 2, 2013
See. It could always be worse.
Not quite done yet, Jim.....
Dan Hawkins breathlessly just said "What a game!" This is probably one of the five worst games I've ever watched.— Patrick Southern (@patricksouthern) November 2, 2013
Oh come on, Pat. It wasn't that bad. Hell we spent two decades watching Rutgers and Cincinnati play each other on Wednesday night and cared about it. This game doesn't crack the top 4 worst games UConn played in 2010.
BAH with the Hoopies in a tie game I have to wait to see Pitt. BOOOOO— Spilly (@IAmSpilly) November 2, 2013
That's right Panthers, go to ESPNews. Go and don't ever come back.
I knew two things. First I knew that TCU was going to score as soon as they got the ball for that final possession. Second I knew that as soon as this WVU team went to overtime they would fold like a cheap suit. I'm ashamed to say I had no faith. I thought blowing that 10 point lead was more than their psyches could handle. Road overtime is not for the faint of heart.
TCU attempting a 62-yard FG... umm wow!— Chris Anderson (@CMAnderson247) November 2, 2013
And then this happened. Huge stand by the defense and then a horribly boneheaded penalty by TCU to take them way out of normal field goal range.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TOUCHDOWN SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMMMMSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #WVU— Jim Ashley (@JimAshley18) November 2, 2013
AND THEN THIS HAPPENED AND I WAS HAPPY.
Game-winning touchdown erased by a holding penalty. TCU-WVU is squirting out microcosms of itself at record-setting rates.— David Ubben (@davidubben) November 2, 2013
And then this happened and I was spent. At this point my computer was out of battery and I was relying on the WVU radio feed over my iPad. I was just sitting facedown on the floor. The last 3 games have really just been too much. Enter Josh Lambert.
SHOOT THAT MUSKET— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxCoachHolgs) November 2, 2013
My favorite random moment of the day - getting a text message from my dad seconds before the kick (my radio feed was on delay) that just said "YESSSSS!!" So I smiled, put my face back down and listened for the inevitable game-winning call. Again, I was spent. Also my dad is awesome.
<-- good coach again— Not Dana Holgorsen (@FauxCoachHolgs) November 2, 2013
We always loved you, Coach.
FWIW, If your school sports motto is "Fear the ______" you're already admitting your mascot isn't intimidating whatsoever.
— Smoking Musket (@SmokingMusket) November 2, 2013
WEST VIRGINIA IS A JUGGERNAUT!!! IT WASN'T A BAD LOSS!!!!!— CRFF (@CowboysRFF) November 2, 2013
Glad we could help, fellas.
103 PUSHUPS TODAY! BANG!!!!— Jim Ashley (@JimAshley18) November 2, 2013
That's a full day's work, Jim. Well done.
I can't remember the last time I saw that many smiles on the #WVU sideline.— Jonathan Martin (@JonathanKMartin) November 2, 2013
Good for those guys. They earned this one.
My 4 yr old is singing Country Roads in the middle of Ryans.— EERS Nation (@EersNation) November 2, 2013
I love WVU football.
Seems like a pretty effective level of production to me. Gonna have a hard time getting me to complain about playcalling that results in those stats.
Trickett 25-of-41 for 267 with 2 TDs and two INTs— Allan Taylor (@AllanTaylorWVU) November 2, 2013
Not a fantastic stat line, but not a bad stat line, either.
Really like this kid. He's got a lot of big kicks in front of him.
I'm with ya. At this point it's hard to say anything is off the table for this Mountaineer squad. So regroup after this latest nail-biter, schlep through another week of pretending to work while you're really reading The Smoking Musket and get fired up to welcome the most historic name in college football history to Milan Puskar Stadium for the first time.
It'll be a great night to be a Mountaineer wherever you may be.