Monday, October 3, 2011

WVU-Bowling Green Final Thoughts

West Virginia improved to 4-1 with an impressive 55-10 win over Bowling Green. Dustin Garrison was the story, as the Mountaineer ground game destroyed the Falcons all game long. Too bad nobody was there to see it.

Most Valuable: Dustin Garrison. The kid was fantastic. In his first start, Garrison rushed for 291 yards and scored two touchdowns. He averaged over nine yards per carry, as West Virginia finally found a running game. The offensive line gave Garrison some huge holes, but the freshman showed plenty of skill to hit that hole, and strongly hit the second level. Look for Garrison to be the number one back moving into conference play.

Least Valuable: Corey Smith. Yes, this is a little picky, but WVU didn't have a lot of problems in this game. However, punting continues to be brutal. Smith only had one punt against Bowling Green, and it went a whopping 14 yards. In the last two games, Smith has two kicks of 14 yards, and one for 27. WVU continues to be last in net punting. This isn't much of a surprise considering the kick coverage is shaky as well.

Most Surprising: Um...hello...291 yards from Dustin Garrison. Sure, the ground game was going to get going at some point. But 291 yards from a freshman? Just fantastic.

Least Surprising: Weak Attendance. The stadium holds 60,000, but just 46,000+ were there to see it. Sure, the weather was poor, and the competition wasn't sexy. However, if Mountaineer fans want to be compared to the best, then that stadium needs to be filled for every game. And, once again, the students show their true pathetic colors, with scores of empty seats. Way to man up, students!

Play of the Game: Travis Bell Fumble Recovery. First kick of the game finally brought WVU its first fumble recovery of the the fifth game of the season. Funny thing is Boo Boo Gates nearly got clear. If it wasn't for the Eain Smith strip, who knows how far Gates is running. The fumble set up a WVU field goal, and 52 points later, the Mountaineers called it a day.


Quarterback: Geno Smith had a good day. Completion percentage was a bit low, but still made plenty of big throws to help WVU to the easy victory. Smith also went to the rush more often on the run/pass option. Apparently those choices worked well.
Grade: B+

Running Back: The group played well. Dustin Garrison was on fire, and Shawne Alston also went for two touchdowns. Garrison did lose a few balls, but the Mountaineers were lucky enough to retrieve them. But, rushing for over 300 yards makes you forget about those.
Grade: A

Wideout: The group wasn't used as much, but still solid when needed. There were a few drops, but really did fine in a rainstorm. The receivers also helped the ground game quite bit with decent blocking.
Grade: A-

Offensive line: The blocking was outstanding, as the balanced attack couldn't be stopped. Not one group has improved as much as the o-line.
Grade: A

Defensive line: Better pressure this week from the boys up front, creating sacks and turnovers. Needs to be more consistent.
Grade: B

Linebacker: Injuries forced some youngsters to play significant minutes, and did well. Tackling remains an issue, but the effort and intensity were there.
Grade: B

Secondary: Caused havoc on the Bowling Green passing game. Coverage was tight, and took advantage of every opportunity given. Three interceptions highlighted the big day.
Grade: A-

Special Teams: Tyler Bitancurt was perfect, but kick coverage and punting continue to be a huge issue. This group still needs major improvement.
Grade: C-

Coaching: No true complaints for the offense and defense. And, special teams problems may be more about players than schemes. The coaching staff seems poised for conference play.
Grade: A-

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