Friday, October 7, 2011

From the Blue Lot

Each week, Danks and Dookiestyle will answer questions about the Mountaineers upcoming game…

Was Dana Holgorsen wrong to crucify the fanbase for inconsistent crowd size?


Not in the slightest.

Its a new ballgame in Morgantown, so to speak. The University is serious about become a national perennial power in football. Its something the fans have been clamoring for years. Yes...we've had good teams and played in big games. But I think the goal is to be that good EVERY year.

Its no longer puppy dogs and ice cream. Holgs eats puppy dogs. He wants to create a big time program, and the fans have to be a part of it. That means going to every game. 60,000 plus every time. Morgantown needs to become menacing. It will help the face of the program in terms of national media...and...ahem...potential other conferences.


Absolutely not. All we hear about is how WVU fans want to be known as one of the best fanbases around. Well, then you have to show up in rain, snow, sleet, hail, or shine. It doesn't matter if WVU is playing Georgia or Georgia Southern...every game should be packed. You don't see LSU, Michigan, or Ohio State with empty seats, no matter the weather or opponent. And, stop complaining about the ticket prices. It's simply economics people, supply and demand. Ticket prices can be that high, because people buy them!

Oh, and the students. Don't even get me started on the students. Unless I was in a hospital bed I would be at a game. Students just aren't tough anymore. "Oh, it's raining. Let's watch on the game on TV...or maybe we'll just watch Project Runway instead."

Over/Under WVU rushing yards this weekend...120.


I'm going to take the over, purely because I think the game is going to get out of control early. By the end of the game, the Huskies will be tired and won't feel like defending much, being down 50.


I'll take the under. I'm not a pessimist, I just credit UConn in having a good rush defense. They are allowing just 75 yards on the ground per game, and will be looking to make WVU as one dimensional as possible. I think WVU will still have rushing success, but closer to 100 yards. Plus, Geno Smith will want to throw all day against this secondary.

Gut Feeling. WVU in SEC, Big 12, stuck in Big East


SEC. I know I'm being very optimistic, but I think the cards are gonna fall fast on this. Now that TCU is gone, every team in the Big East knows that AQ status is going bye bye. All six remaining programs are like ugly kids on the eve of prom looking for a date. I like our leadership. And I think there's been a ton of smoke. All the rumors can't all be fake, can they?

I think the ACC act next. They take Uconn and Rutgers. Then the SEC goes. WVU, Missouri and Florida State to SEC.


Big East. Until I see concrete evidence about a move, I believe WVU is stuck in the Big East. The future could be grimm. I guess I am a pessimist.

WVU-Connecticut Preview

The conference season begins this weekend with an old foe coming to town. I'm not talking about UConn (though, they are coming to town). Nope, I'm talking about Paul Pasqualoni. The former Syracuse head coach is in his first year in Storrs. It hasn't been the start the Huskies were looking for, and this weekend poses major matchup problems. Meanwhile, WVU is coming off a very strong performance, and is looking to build heading into the conference schedule.


West Virginia: Don't look now, but the Mountaineers have found a running game. At least, they did last game. Dustin Garrison ran for nearly 300 yards, and WVU went for four rushing touchdowns. Garrison is now the primary back, but expect to see Shawne Alston, Vernard Roberts, and Andrew Buie get some work. As good as Garrison was, the offensive line was even better. The rush and pass blocking was very good once again. This group has pulled a complete 180 from the beginning of the season. The receivers also continue to get stronger. The route running, blocking, and tempo are much more to the liking of Dana Holgorsen. Tavon Austin, Ivan McCartney, and Stedman Bailey should be busy tomorrow, considering the UConn's secondary has been inconsistent. It will also be interesting to see if the running game boosts Geno Smith's efficiency.

Connecticut: The Huskies have been up and down offensively this year. Lyle McCombs has had an outstanding first year running the football. The redshirt freshman has over 500 yards gained, and is the fourth leading receiver. UConn expected more depth at the running back position, but injuries derailed it. However, McCombs has been able to handle the big workload so far. Expect him to be used quite a bit on Saturday to take the pressure off Johnny McEntee. The trickshot quarterback has struggled to get into rhythm, completing just 50 percent of his passes. The Huskies also have had personnel changes at wideout, but still have good experience with Kashif Moore and Isiah Moore. The problem is McEntee just isn't very good yet. His lack of experience has shown, but should have time to throw the ball this week. The Mountaineer line has been hit and miss, and the Husky offensive line is very strong. But, UConn will have to run the ball to keep it close.


West Virginia: The unit finally created some pressure last week, even recording a few sacks. Julian Miller and Bruce Irvin did a nice job to create that pressure, while WVU could sit back in good coverage. The linebacking unit continues to battle injuries, so look for Juwone Snow to get another start. The secondary played a billion times better than the last few weeks as well. Terrence Garvin continues to play well at safety, picking up a sack and another pick against Bowling Green. WVU will look to stack the box, and force McEntee to try to beat them. The Mountaineers have struggled a bit against the run this season, allowing three teams to go for over 100 yards rushing. If WVU can slow the UConn rushing attack, look for some serious pressure sent after the quarterback.

Connecticut: The Huskies are a mixed bag on defense right now. The front line is big. Really big. Led by Kendall Reyes, UConn is keeping teams under 76 rushing yards per game. If the Huskies can cut down the Mountaineer rushing attack it will certainly give them a better chance. However, the pressure will have to be there. UConn can't afford to give Geno Smith time to find receivers. Look for Sio Moore and other backers to go after the line early to see if they can break it down. The front seven need to play an exceptional game, because the depleted secondary will be in fro a long day. With Blidi Wreh-Wilson still injured, the young secondary will be in for a long day.

Special Teams:

West Virginia: The Mountaineers are still terrible in kick coverage. They should seriously just kick the ball out of bounds. Corey Smith lost his starting job at punter. Michael Molinari will get his first start tomorrow. Tyler Bitancurt has been perfectly fine placekicking, and Tavon Austin has good history returning the ball against the Huskies.

Connecticut: Dave Teggert has been inconsistent this season. He is perfect from 50+, but has missed a few from intermediate distance. Cole Wagner has done fairly well punting, and Nick Williams can be a dangerous returner on both kicks and punts. The Huskies' return coverage has been better than in past seasons.


On paper, it's a very good matchup for WVU. A weak secondary, and an inconsistent offense plays right into the Mountaineers' hands. Even if the running game is slow to get going, Geno Smith will find open receivers. Lyle McCombs will have to have a huge game to keep them in it. At the end of the day, it won't be enough. WVU is just too powerful, and should be breezing through by the second half.

Prediction: 38-20 West Virginia