Bits and Bytes: Towson

Night games are special at WVU, but the wait for kickoff can be a bit long. We help pass the time with our final compendium of notes and observations as the Mountaineers prepare to face the Towson Tigers.

GOOD COMPANY

Clint Trickett's 365 passing yards was the 17th best such performance in Mountaineer history. Only four WVU quarterbacks have had better days. Can you name them?

BREAK EVEN

West Virginia played its 201st network television game against Alabama. In such contests, the Mountaineers are a dead-even 100-100-1.

CONVERSION IS…NO GOOD

West Virginia and Towson combined for an 8-28 mark on third down conversions in their opening games. The Mountaineers' success rate places them 79th in the country in Division 1. (By the way, there are 119 Division 1 schools this year.)

JUST A BIT OF SIZE

Towson has a pair of thumpers on the defensive line in the form of nose guards Jon Desir (6-5, 310 lbs.) and Max Tejada (6-2, 285 lbs.). Elsewhere, however, they more closely resemble they typical FCS level team. No other starting defensive lineman tops 250 pounds, and the two of the three starting linebackers check in at 195 and 190, respectively.

Does this mean that the Mountaineers are automatically going to run all over the Tigers? No, but they will certainly have their hands full if WVU’s offensive linemen and B backs are able to get out to them in the running game.

THOSE NUMBERS

When the guy you are guarding catches 12 balls for 130 yards, and goes for 24 of those on the very first play of the game, you might assume you didn't have a good day. That's not the case, however, for cornerback Daryl Worley.

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Against Alabama, WVU's precocious sophomore drew Amari Cooper, perhaps the best wideout in the nation, as his primary assignment. If Worley wan't on Cooper every play, he was there the vast majority of the time. And looking at the stats, you might think that Worley got worn out. But that assumption, like many based on numbers alone, would be wrong.

The Pennsylvania native actually turned in a solid job on the Alabama star. After that first play, a wide receiver screen that turned into a big play when Worley got blocked, he managed to hold Cooper to fewer than ten yards per catch, and kept him out of the end zone. Granted, some of Cooper's grabs produced drive sustaining first downs, but he never seemed to be able to shake complete free of his Mountaineer counterpart.

What does all this mean? Basically, it's a less to not let numbers lead you to erroneous conclusions, and to use them only as one point of the evaluation process.

TOPS

After week one, the Mountaineers weren't ranked near the top of many statistical categories, but did have one player at the top of the heap. Karl Joseph's 18 total tackles tied him with three other players for the top spot in the nation.

STATE TIES

Towson offensive coordinator Jared Ambrose (2007) and outside linebackers coach Jon Schwartz (2011) are both graduates of Shepherd University, which has been a dominant force in West Virginia small college football. Additionally, wide receivers coach Mike Moyseenko was an assistant coach at the school for one year.

TRIVIA ANSWER

Geno Smith (10 times), Marc Bulger (3), Chad Johnston (2) and Mike Sherwood are the only four Mountaineers to top Trickett's 365 passing yards in a sing;e game.


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