The View From 217 - B. C. Edition

Batten down the hatches - it's full bore from 217 as Bill Gleason takes on the crowd at the B. C. game.

  • It would be a simple reaction to look at the scoreboard and see 36 points and blame the Mountaineer defense for the loss. And it would be a huge mistake. The Mountaineer defense completely shut down the B.C. offense for the entire second half on Saturday, and except for two drives in the first half, for most of the first half although not as dominant as in the second.

    Boston College scored 12 points in the second half. Three points came on a drive of negative eight yards. Three points came on a drive of 18 yards. And six points came on BC's second punt return for a TD and Ryan Ohliger missed the extra point. Outside of that, BC got nothing in the second half. It could be argued that BC was playing close to the vest because they were leading. But I don't think that is the case, especially when WVU went on their 10 point run to cut the lead to 27-17 with nine minutes remaining in the game.

  • Play calling at crucial times continues to kill the Mountaineers. Time and again in short yardage situations the Mountaineers go away from their bread and butter, and try to get cute.

    When you need less than a yard on third down, you don't run sweeps or counters. At least, you don't run them against a defense that is known for stopping the run and is loaded with defensive line talent.

    West Virginia was unable to pick up a first down on third and less than a yard in BC territory while trailing 7-0 in the first quarter. West Virginia tried their fake reverse with a delayed handoff to Kay Jay Harris. Power running was called for in that situation. Pernell Williams is the running back that has proven that he will sell out for a yard or two. In fact, he had done so on the previous play, gaining a yard on second down and two.Rasheed Marshall could run a QB sneak, especially considering the open spaces over the two guards on the play. I think that sometimes the West Virginia coaches out think themselves.

  • It is particularly disturbing to hear the boos that rained down on the Mountaineers this Saturday. The next time you choose to vent your spleen by booing the football team, take a pause and consider what you are doing. You might think that your financial contribution and ticket purchase gives you the right to voice your displeasure over a team that has won eight games and is still tied for the conference lead, even though they played very poorly. But please explain to me how the coaching staff is supposed to convince their top five uncommitted recruits to sign with the Mountaineers when the renowned raucous crowd at Mountaineer Field is booing the tenth-ranked team in the country. It doesn't look good on TV, it doesn't look good to recruits, and the kids don't deserve it. But it is a free country.

  • Now it is time to take the students of West Virginia University to task for their pathetic support of the football team, not only Saturday, but for the entire season. It was embarrassing to look across the field at kickoff and see a so many empty rows and seats. Even after all the late-arriving L.A. Dodger fans finally showed up, there were still several rows of students who apparently came dressed as metal bleachers.

    The student section used to rock. The student section used to roll. The student section used to have the entire crowd whipped into a frenzy by the time the team left the field after warm-ups. Now it appears that the student body is more concerned with getting that last gulp in before game time at the Pit.

    For all the hand-wringing and kindergarten whining we heard at the beginning of the season about students not being able to get tickets, and not being able to get guest tickets, not one time was the entire allotment of student tickets validated at Mountaineer Field. Not once.

  • I think the administration needs to take a large portion of the blame for the lack of excitement coming out of the student section. The student ticketing policy is horrendous. The whole idea was to make students accountable and try to get a handle on the boorish behavior and quell the drinking. So what have they done? They've given the students no reason to come to the game early. And they've given the students a place to drink and party right up until game time (and obviously for quite a few of them, past kickoff).

    One only need look at the Coliseum and the student basketball seating for proof. Students are rushing into the Coliseum as soon as the gates open to get the best seats available. And they are loud and boisterous from the time the first player hits the floor until the end of the game.

    It is time for the football ticketing policy to change. I don't have a problem with the students having to get a ticket before the game. I don't know of one single university that doesn't require a ticket to be validated pre-entry. However, I do know that some of those same universities still have festival seating. First come, first served. You'll have students lined up at the gates and ready to sprint as soon as you open the stadium.

    And if you want to make yourself feel better about student drinking, consider how much alcohol a student could actually sneak past security. It can still be done, but you won't see a truck full of kegs backing up to the stadium like you do in the pit. Let them in early, keep them in, and less alcohol will be consumed. MO< I can tell you that some of the most fun times I ever had at Mountaineer Field were in the student section, and it was because of the party in the student section. I can also tell you that some of the greatest crowds WVU has ever had were stoked by the student section that was cranked up an hour before the game. You couldn't avoid it. If you got to your seat at 12:15 for the 1:00 game, you could hear the students chanting "Lets Goooooooooo, Mountaineeeeeeeeeeeers" all the way to your seats. You couldn't help but get fired up listening to them. By the time the whole crowd filtered in, it had spread like a virus.

    People say that last year's Virginia Tech game was the loudest game they'd ever been to. I'd maintain that the 1993 Miami game made that game seem like an evening at the library. You couldn't even hear yourself talk to the person next to you. What I remember most about it was coming into the game before the band came out, and seeing the wild mob of students going absolutely stark raving mad with enthusiasm.

    We didn't have anything like that on Saturday, because the student section was dead. It was dead because half of them didn't even come in to see the band, and half of those didn't even make it for kickoff.

    Make the student section general admission. Keep your security tight. Otherwise you've provided the students with something that your ticket policy was designed to avoid.

    When you are expecting thousands of 30-50 year old fans to provide the excitement a the football stadium at a college game, you've missed your demographic. Those might be the people giving you the money to help run the program, but they left their energy for six hours of screaming back in their 20s.

  • I'll close with another fan rant. All I have heard from my father for 15 years is how bad Mountaineer fans are. They leave early, they don't come to lesser games, they boo their own team, they get out of hand, etc. And I've always just let it go in one ear and out the other. I've seen Marc Bulger and Chad Johnston getting booed. I heard them rain down on Darren Studstill when he entered the Maryland game in 1992 before he led the Mountaineers on the biggest fourth quarter comeback in school history. I witnessed fans leaving when Miami took the lead in 1998 and we had the ball with over a minute to play. Through it all, I didn't want to admit it.

    The capper has come this week, however. I have to sit through the boo fest on Saturday, when we are playing like garbage and getting whipped by a team that is good, but not that good. Then I have to listen to someone exult when Rasheed Marshall was hurt in the fourth quarter.

    On top of that, I come home to hear from friends and family that WVU doesn't even deserve a bowl bid. I see posts on the message board calling for the firing of Coach Rodriguez. I see posts calling for the firing of half the coaching staff. I see posts calling for the removal of the QB, again.

    I have two words for you yokels: Bobby Bowden.

    So go ahead, move the Ryder truck in front of Rich and Rita's house. Hang him in effigy. I'll be glad to drive the truck and haul him out of town, so long as I can go with him. Hopefully he'll end up in a place where he is appreciated, and I'll go with him. I'll be the first memeber of the new Rich Rodriguez fan club. And when he ends up leading his school to the Promised Land and raking in millions and millions of dollars for his university, much like Coach Bowden has at Florida State, you people will be busy firing your seventh coach in 15 seasons and wondering why we got beat by Rutgers 75-20.

  • Pitt week has officially begun. And in some bizarre gift from above, we actually get 12 days of Pitt week this year. The Backyard Brawl, Thanksgiving night, ESPN and 70,000 packed into the Big Ketchup bottle at the mouth of the three rivers. If you just didn't have to drive into Pennsylvania to see it, the day would be perfect. By the way, don't speed, or your tailgate money will go to fund your ticket.

    Feel free to hate on Pitt for the next 12 days. Of course, feel free to hate on Pitt 365 days a year.

  • BlueGoldNews Top Stories