Monday, October 31, 2011

WVU-Rutgers Final Thoughts

Well, not exactly how you write it up, but a win is a win. The Mountaineers did well to deal with the adverse conditions, and are backing to controlling their own destiny. It also looked like the conference realignment wasn't much of a distraction. It was plenty of a distraction to the fanbase.

Most Valuable: Shawne Alston. The big back took advantage of the conditions, and bruised through defender after defender. The junior finished with 110 yards and two touchdowns, including a 52 yard scamper early on. Alston was also asked to do a lot of blocking due to the injury to Ryan Clarke, and ended up performing admirably. All-in-all it was an outstanding day for Alston.

Least Valuable: Pat Miller. Not a day to remember, again, for Miller. The cornerback got owned the entire game, allowing for numerous big gains. He also picked up two pass interference calls on the same drive, including one of 4th down. Broderick Jenkins would come in and outperform Miller by a mile. It makes you wonder if there will a change in the starting 11. Miller has made some big plays this year, but just hasn't been consistent...though in his defense, really nobody has on that unit.

Most Surprising: The final score. Didn't expect 72 points to be scored in a blizzard. We got the mistakes and turnovers you would normally get in a game like that. However, a plethora of big plays did come to some surprise. Now, normally with weather like this the offense will be on an advantage due to the bad footing, but that many big plays in the snow is ridiculous.

Least Surprising: Rutgers blowing the lead. The Knights haven't beaten WVU since the mid 90's, meaning no lead is ever safe in this rivalry. And just like many games before, the Mountaineers made adjustments at halftime and Rutgers had no answer. Greg Schiano has to be ecstatic that WVU is leaving the Big East. He is now a whopping 0-11 against the Mountaineers.

Play of the Game: Geno's 1-yard TD run. The 4th down play called for Geno to look for Tyler Urban in the endzone. However, Smith felt it was wiser to fake the pass and go for the line himself. He beat the safety and dove into the endzone to give the Mountaineers the lead for good. The quarterback showed great leadership in the 4th quarter, especially on that drive.


Quarterback: Geno had some trouble holding on to the ball in the fun weather, but ended up playing a solid game. His completion percentage was good, and made some big throws when needed. And, even ran a little bit, including scoring the game winner.
Grade: B+

Running back: Alston was the featured back in this snowy game, and even Tavon Austin got the reverse game going. The team went for over 200 yards, proving that when needed, this team can pound the rock.
Grade: A-

Wideout: Yes, a few drops in the tough weather, but also some sensational catches. The receivers did well to pick up as much yardage as possible after the catch.
Grade: B+

Offensive line: A good bounce-back week for the unit. Geno had time to throw the ball, and the ground attack went for over 200 yards. There were a few penalties picked up, but did handle a very good defensive line.
Grade: B+

Defensive line: Created little havoc in tough conditions. Created some pressure, and finished with one sack. Julian Miller did recover two fumbles.
Grade: C+

Linebacker: Struggled against the run most of the day, but did do better in coverage. Still a work in progress.
Grade: C

Secondary: Another day to forget for the majority of the unit. Coverage was loose, and tacking was also shambolic.
Grade: C-

Special Teams: Kicking games were a mess in the snow. There were a few badly taken penalties. However, coverage wasn't terrible. Mixed bag.
Grade: C

Coaching: The halftime adjustments seemed to work for the defense, as they shutout Rutgers. The offense was called well, and some aspects of special teams seemed to improve
Grade: B

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