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What I Think As West Virginia Ends NonCon Play and Prepares for Kansas

The only problem with these easy games is too many easy games

NCAA Football: Delaware State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

I Think Marcus Simms is good

Marcus started the game with an 80-yard kickoff return. Had he gotten one more block, he would have returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Simms followed that return with a 4-catch, 91 yards, 2 touchdown performance at receiver.

We talked about Simms speed and through the last two games, despite the opponents, its quite apparent to see the dimension he adds to the team. The need needs someone with both straightline burner speed and the quicks and cuts to get in, out, and around defenders. Simms is also showing that rare vision on kickoffs. He is able to see a hole before and as it develops, not waiting for it to show itself then being too late as it closes.

I Think I’m not as worried about the defense as I should be

By the time the starters were pulled in the third quarter, the defense had yielded less than 200 total yards to Delaware State. The Hornets gained over 100 yards on the second team. The first team defense still finds itself out of position at times. On DSU’s opening drive, Tony Gibson got aggressive and called a Cover-1 defense with Askew-Henry playing the deep middle. We were man-up and someone simply followed the quarterback as he rolled out instead of following the running back. The running back then ran 80 yards for a touchdown.

Delaware State had two really big plays, the aforementioned play fake and one long run. Outside of those two plays, the defense gave up 33 total yards. THIRTY-THREE. Maybe Kenny Hill and Jesse Ertz will take better advantage of those miscues (I know Rudolph and Mayfield will) but I’m not as worried about the defense.

I think Chris Chuganov is good enough

If Will Grier has to miss significant time, West Virginia is done. If Will Grier has to miss a half, I think Chris Chuganov can get the job done effectively. Chuganov has completed 10 of 16 passes the past two games for one touchdown and 81 yards. No, those aren’t eye popping numbers. They are also played with second string players against first-team defenses.

Yet, Chuganov has looked competent. He certainly doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he does seem to understand the offense. He doesn’t looked phased with the offensive calls nor does he looked rattled with what the defense is doing.

Chugs also hasn’t been helped by his receivers, who have dropped numerous passes the past two games.

I Think playing two cupcakes hurt the first team but really helped the second

You could tell in the first quarter that the main starters were just annoyed to have to play this game. One warmup game is tolerable. Two is miserable. No one was focused. No one was energetic. You as fans noticed and let everyone know online.

I know that games like this are necessary and unfortunately a part of college football. These games are infinitely important for schools like ECU and Delaware State. Schools with far more limited athletic budgets completely understand the need for them to take payed beatings at the hands of Power 5 schools.

Before you go on rants asking why we aren’t playing _____ school or that green school in Huntington, remember this: schedules are made in advance. Shane Lyons has to look at this thing every year and make calls to schools asking “Hey, I have an opening in Week 3. Are you able to come to Morgantown?”. If that school isn’t, there is no deal to be made. That school in Huntington often wants a one-and-one. This hurts West Virginia’s revenue. It makes no sense to play one-and-ones at schools that don’t have the capacity to draw 50,000 fans and give WVU a sizeable payout. Why go to Huntington when 52,000 will come to Morgantown?

While these past two games have not been the greatest thing to watch, they have provided the coaches tape on second team players and that is extremely valuable. Chris Chuganov has now gotten over a full half of playing time. So have players like Reggie Roberson, Brendan Ferns, and Tevin Bush. West Virginia will need those players either later this year or next. It’s good to have early playing time.

I Think this is pathetic

Pitt went 8-5 the last two years and just hosted a top ten 10. I get that you just lost to Penn State and James Franklin called you Akron (though if you listen to the whole quote he actually lays it out that they take it one game at a time, but whatever). You are a Power 5 school. You supposedly care about football, and you let this turnout show up on TV against a nationally ranked foe.

Sorry Pitt fans, this is pathetic. Personally I think college football fans should show up to all the games. I know I would if I could. And don’t tell me that the school should play bigger names teams. Alabama played Fresno State last week and drew 99.3% of its capacity. The Washington Huskies played Montana and drew 97% of their capacity. Pitt just played a nationally ranked foe and the stadium looked bare.

I Think Mason Rudolph scares the $h!t outta me

Speaking of Pitt-Oklahoma State, Mason Rudolph looks like the best quarterback in the Big 12. Rudolph has now thrown for 1,135 yards, 11 touchdowns and 1 interception. Rudolph is on an insane pace right now, completing 72% of his passes for an insane average of 12 yards per attempt.

I don’t want to look ahead too much but that October 28 game against West Virginia could feature the two best quarterbacks in the Big 12 dueling it out with big play after big play.