The View From 217 - Maryland Edition

Wow. I don't know what else needs to be said about the debacle that took place in Morgantown on Saturday. I have a few thoughts. But very few involve the game.

Before I get started, let it be known that I am a big supporter of Rich Rodriguez and what he is trying to accomplish. And I am still convinced that Rasheed Marshall is going to be a tremendous quarterback.

* Rushing three, and dropping eight, and playing a zone defense, is usually referred to as the prevent defense. Normally you see teams run it when they are up by a margin too large for the opposing team to overcome in the time remaining.

In Morgantown we seem to refer to it as our base defense. Make the comments you want about Scott McBrien (see my next comment), but there aren't many high school quarterbacks in Morgantown who couldn't complete passes to wide open receivers against this defense. No pressure, no coverage, quick death.

* It really disgusted me to hear the comments about how Scott McBrien should be our starting quarterback and not Maryland's. These same people just three days before were ready to rip McBrien's head off. McBrien still displays all the weaknesses that kept him from beating out Marshall while he was here.

He still falls down at the first sign of contact; he still makes poor decisions under pressure. He has a very good arm. He is usually accurate when he has time to throw, and he runs well. And if he had played a decent team on Saturday, he would have paid for his two fumbles, one which the ACC refs mysteriously ruled an incomplete pass.

* Note to the defensive coaches: There is this little area between the hashes; it is called the middle of the field. Defending it would be a novel idea.

* Note to the offensive coaches: There is this little known area between the hashes; it is called the middle of the field. If you want to pick on the perimeter, you must attack the middle. I have never coached a game in my life. But my junior high coach taught me that when I was 13 years old.

* Why does Danny Embick not get to play when the game is ridiculously out of reach in the fourth quarter? I am not asking to yank Rasheed. Just why not play your backup in a blowout? History proves he will be needed at some point.

* Our offensive tendencies were just exploited by a good coach with a decent team. A good team with a better coach will destroy us.

* A quarterback doesn't have time to read the defense if he is looking for his coach to change the play, instead of looking over the defense. Just a thought.

* Play like that against Rutgers, and we will suffer a humiliating loss to a team that lost to Buffalo by 20.

* The football game did not hinder the parties in the Blue Lot on Saturday. Although there was considerable gnashing of teeth, and a lot of idiotic commentary, including plenty from myself, most fans had a good time outside the stadium for some time during and after the game.

* I was as shocked to see Pitt rip Syracuse in the dome as I was to see Maryland do Sherman's March on the Mountaineers.

* It was particularly irritating to me to hear some of the comments in the stands on Saturday. One person who sits near us routinely bashed Rodriguez last year and evoked the memory of Coach Don Nehlen during every tirade as the greatest coach since Bear Bryant. During Saturday's game, this person actually called Rodriguez "Nehlen" as an insult for running on third down in the first quarter.

It amazes me as to how a coach will never live up to the man he replaced, but when something is going wrong, he is compared to him in an insulting manner when things go wrong.

* I was told by a Mountaineer fan, who is a marine and has been stationed overseas, that the coaches were more than gracious to give him some of their time last week while he was here. They gave him the run of the place. Then, I am told, none other than Don Nehlen himself gave the man some time for a chat. None of them had to do that. And nobody would probably ever heard of it, if the marine and myself hadn't spent several hours standing next to each other this weekend.

* When the marine, who many on the message boards know as DevilDogEer and who evaluates leaders for a living, says that he thinks Rich Rodriguez will be a great leader for this team, I listen. If I don't he might break my leg with his pinkie.

* It puzzles me as to why Gale Catlett gets a going away party, after leaving the program in shame and shambles, and not saying goodbye on his way out the door, while Coach Nehlen, who gets nothing but a street name.

* I think it is time the defensive coaches decide whether we are going to be passive or aggressive and stick with it.

* Here's a novel idea. How about punting the ball out of bounds?

*Before the game, people at our tailgate were discussing the possibility that the Mountaineers could be 6-1 when Miami comes to town in October. Some people were already practicing their best snow dance for what could have been a 7 p.m. ESPN game.

It wasn't that unrealistic. Maryland hasn't been that impressive. Rutgers is bad, and Syracuse is looking terrible. The old magic at Mountaineer Field, and a night game late in October against the top team in the land? Wow. We were already planning our tailgate.

* After the game many of those same people were calling for the heads of some coaches, not necessarily attached to their bodies. The crowd estimates for the Syracuse game had already shrunk by 15,000 people by the end of the third quarter.

* If anyone thinks Rutgers is going to be a pushover, they had better think again. See two comments down.

* After reading a couple of columns in the paper, I was left scratching my head. How a team, coming off a 3-8 disaster of a football season, who lost to their upcoming opponent by 12 the previous year, could have the mindset that this game would be a pushover is beyond me.

* If you think preparation for Rutgers is going to be easy, think again. WVU pummeled Rutgers last season. Rutgers lost at home to Buffalo. WVU just got their canisters handed to them at home in what should have been an emotional game.

WVU has a huge game on the schedule with Syracuse the next week. There are all the excuses. Now lets hope we don't have to hear them next week.

* Maryland has now beaten WVU five out of the last nine times. Maybe we will hear them start calling for the end of the series like some WVU fans a couple of years ago.

*Flying on a prop plane from Toledo in a rainstorm is not my idea of a good time. It took me six hours to get the nauseated feeling out of my stomach. It took me less than one quarter of football on Saturday to feel much worse.

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