Monday, September 26, 2011

its gameweek! week 5 primer

Matchup: West Virginia v Bowling Green

When: Saturday, 3:30p, Big East Network

Line: WVU -20.5

West Virginia Players to Watch:
Geno Smith, QB: 1471 yards, 9 TD, 3 INT
Tavon Austin, WR: 31 rec, 423 yards, 1 TD, 1 return TD
Stedman Bailey, WR: 23 rec, 344 yards, 3 TD
Ivan McCartney, WR: 23 rec, 270 yards, 2 TD
Darwin Cook, S: 28 total tackles, 1 INT, 1 PD

Bowling Green Players to Watch:
Matt Schilz, QB: 1169 yards, 14 TD, 4 INT
Anthon Samuel, RB: 428 rush yards, 3 TD
Eugene Cooper, WR: 21 rec, 374 yards, 6 TD
Kamar Jordan, WR: 26 rec, 266 yards, 4 TD


How will WVU respond after the LSU loss? The first loss for the Mountaineers hopefully doesn't become a letdown. Dana Holrosen will certainly be rallying his boys quickly to get ready for a talented Bowling Green team. In fact, it might be better to have the conference talk muted and ESPN long gone. Time to get back to the basics of football, and football only.

Limiting mistakes has to be a focus this week. Too many eventually were the downfall last week. This team needs to limit turnovers and learn how to tackle. Both seem to come from a lack of focus, somthing the coaches are probably all over. This team will win a lot of games if they can just get more discpline.

Special Teams are a disaster...again. It's like a broken record. Why does this team struggle with covereage every year? Through four games, WVU has already allowed a heap of yardage and two touchdowns. Top add insult to injury, the team is also dead last in net punting. This needs to turn around, and turn around quickly.

Will this be the week where the running game busts out? Seems to be a good possibility. Dustin Garrison was solid in the second half against LSU, and now teams have to respect the pass. If the Mountaineers can get the ground game up to par, this offense may never slow down.

WVU-LSU Reaction

Well, it was a good effort, but too many mistakes ultimately doomed the Mountaineers. WVU did prove quite a bit though. There's no doubt that this offense is coming together. However, tackling and special teams must improve if this Mountaineer team has BCS hopes.

Most Valuable: Offensive Line. The much beleaguered group was outstanding. Geno Smith had ample time to throw all night long, and the ground game found some holes. WVU ended up putting over 500 yards on arguably the country's best defense. The major reason was the big boys up front. If this continues, imagine what the Mountaineers may do against inferior defenses.

Least Valuable: Special Teams. Nothing kills a team like an entire unit dropping the ball. Enter WVU's Special Teams...over the last six years. The coverage was dreadful, and ended up costing the Mountaineers dearly. The 99-yard kick return TD in the 3rd quarter proved to be the back breaker, as WVU failed to right the ship after. To make matters worse, the Mountaineers have the worst net punting in America.

Most Surprising: 533 yards. How good can this offense be if WVU can drop 533 yards on LSU's defense? Geno Smith was able to find open wideouts consistently, and the rushing attack had success in the second half. Now, if the Mountaineers can just hold onto the bal...

Least Surprising: Mistakes. Wish I could say I was surprised, but this WVU team is young, and haven't played in a lot of nationally televised night games. Turnovers, poor tackling, poor punting all plagued the Mountaineers, and ultimately buried them. However, those mistakes can be fixed.

Play of the Game: Morris Clayborne's 99 yard kickoff return. Just when it looked like WVU had a chance to steal the all momentum, Clayborne broke the Mountaineer spirit with the return. Poor tackling and outstanding ability for Clayborne were a recipe for disaster.


Quarterback: Geno played well. Sure, he threw a few picks, and had a fumble. But, he also threw for over 460 yards against arguably the best secondary in the nation. Geno's completion percentage does need to improve, but again, it was LSU.
Grade: B

Running Back: The crew did well, and Dustin Garrison may have won the starting job. The youngster has looked the best so far hitting the hole. Shawne Alston once again seems to be pretty good in a short yardage roll. The group was strong in blocking too.
Grade: B+

Wideout: A few drops and a fumble drop the grade down a touch, but a great job finding space and yards after the catch. This group will be very difficult to defend moving ahead.
Grade: B

Offensive line: Just an outstanding day for the group, Yes, there were a few penalties called, but the group was the reason WVU was able to go for over 500 yards of total offense. Look for this group to continue to shine.
Grade: A-

Defensive line: Still no pressure on the quarterback, and struggled late to stop the rush. Need to get more consistent.
Grade: C

Linebacker: Made plays early, but failed to slow the rush down when the team needed it. Also need to learn how to tackle.
Grade: C-

Secondary: Dropped a crucial interception early, and couldn't stop falling for playaction. Was bailed out by a dropped touchdown to start the second half.
Grade: D+

Special Teams: Miserable performance. No yardage gained, coverage was terrible, tackling was even worse, and the punting game is a disaster. This group needs fixing soon.
Grade: D-

Coaching: Mixed bag. Dana Holgorsen had a good game plan, and the turnovers you can put on him. Jeff Casteel was beaten all night. Game plan and adjustments just didn't add up. The defense looked out of place on more than one occasion. Special Teams need help soon.
Grade: C+