West Virginia took offensive ineptitude to world record levels here on Saturday. The coaches and the offense, with a little spice thrown in by the miserable special teams, turned what should have been a laugher into a stench filled game. .
Perhaps the athletic department should have issued refunds to all those present at Mountaineer Field to witness WVU's 15-13 loss to the University of Cincinnati.
Observations from a miserable trip to see a miserable performance:
I'm not one to usually get on Coach Rodriguez for his play calling or his decision making, but this quote sort of backs me up:
If there was an offensive strategy behind WVU's game plan, most of those who I spoke to on Saturday haves still failed to figure it out. What I saw was the most unimaginative set of offensive play calling in well over twenty years of watching Mountaineer football. For someone who is supposed to be an offensive genius, Coach Rodriguez looked more like the student than the teacher against Cincinnati. UC knew every play WVU was running, knew how to defend every single formation, knew every audible, knew how to react, and simply beat the WVU players into their own positions. The complete lack of adjustments at halftime did nothing to calm the nerves of the fans in attendance.
Something has to be done about the abysmal special teams. It is well past due for something to be looked at other than simple player changes on special teams. Nothing seems to work, and opponents are having career days returning kicks of all kinds against the Mountaineers every single week. The ridiculous rugby punt is a joke. The punt return unit is horrible. And the field goal kicking is an embarrassment.
The removal of the "halo rule" from college football this year has turned a bad situation for punt coverage into a horrid situation for punt return teams. Two straight games WVU punt returner Adam Jones has refused to call a fair catch under any circumstances, and WVU's complete inability to block the punt coverage unit of their opponent is going to get this young talent killed. Get someone back there who will call a fair catch, or just don't put someone back there.
The offensive line play was an embarrassment today, but not near as bad as the ball handling of the running backs and quarterbacks. The line was again hampered by another injury, when Garin Justice went down with a sprained back and was replaced by Jeremy Sheffey.
The defense, which has gotten absolutely no respect from the fans after the first two weeks played well enough to win three ballgames today. They did everything but run offensive plays. They certainly couldn't have done any worse.
I really can't stand to hear people booing the Mountaineers in Mountaineer Field. Have some class. Booing college kids is barely more classy than booing little league kids.
I am also sick of hearing some clueless fan call for Charles Hales every time Rasheed starts to struggle. Memo to the morons: Marshall doesn't call the plays; he runs what he is given. He doesn't do the blocking, he doesn't run the routes, and he can't do everything. And he isn't perfect. What you would see with Charles Hales in the game in the same situation, is the same drunken idiots calling for Adam Bednarik to play when he struggles just as much or even more.
While I am railing on the fans, I also continue to sit in amazement as our stellar fan base empties out of the stands with three minutes to go in the game when we are down two points. This isn't a new malady. Just a tired one. I know our players love to look up in the stands and see that their "supporters" are bailing out quicker than the French army.
Losing a game at home to a team like Cincinnati borders on the likes of the home loss to Navy in 1999. Add that with the complete meltdown shown by Wisconsin against UNLV on Saturday and WVU is looking at a long, and I mean long, year.
Nice weather forecast by Tony Manolfi for Saturday. You been hanging with Tom McGhee much?
Don Nehlen was enshrined in the WVU Athletic Hall of Fame. And I can tell you what he would do with a running back who fumbled three times in a ballgame. And if you sat with him on Saturday, I'm betting he might have whispered it to you. If you don't know, ask Jimmy Gary or Robert Walker.
Just to give the Mountaineers a break, I have a nice rant about UC. The UC football staff took posterior smooching to world class levels in Mountaineer Field on Saturday. If you didn't notice, UC sent a manager with water during every single time out of the ball game, to every single official on the field.
Think that didn't work? There were about seven obvious blocking in the back calls missed during UC's ten punts. Only one was called.
Better make some changes this week boys, or its going to be ugly in Maryland.