Tag Archives: Noel Devine

Auburn Recap

Now this is what I like to see....

Now this is what I like to see....

FINALLY. I believe that’s the word on everyone’s mind the day after. The Offense looked like it’s supposed to look, the Defense came to play and there was little-to-no bumbling by the coaching staff. Great night to be in Morgantown.

Now, we do have to face the fact that this Auburn team is by no means the cream of the SEC. BUT, they are a formidable opponent and their defense is as good as any that we’re going to see in conference play. I thought the offensive play calls were good, and the execution was even better. There was more diversity last night then we’ve seen all season. If we look at the ‘Eers four touchdowns, each of them is unique in it’s own way:

  • Alric Arnett’s second quarter touchdown grab came from 44 yards out. Most touchdown passes we score from 40+ yards away are short passes and long runs. Not this one. Good ole #5 just uncorked one, went up top and hit his man in stride. Great play.
  • Dorrell Jalloh’s third quarter score, from two yards out (that’s right, we’re passing it in from 6 feet away) was a well designed pass play that was executed to perfection. Jollah’s man got confused as he cut through traffic and he was left wide open for the score.
  • Jalloh’s second TD, coming in the fourth quarter, was the opposite. White hit him on a short route and he then used his athleticism to break the play wide open. Sure. you could argue poor tackling on Auburn’s part, but not a lot of guys are going to make that play.
  • Finally, to ice the game, our only rushing TD came from 30 yards out by Noel Devine. What I wanted to see, and got to see, was more second level blocking from the o-line. That, coupled with our ability to pass the ball successfully, gave Noel plenty of room to run and he took care of business to the tune of 200+ yards. Great day for the run game AND we didn’t have to run White into the ground.

All in all, it was a complete victory. The fact that we unleashed 31 unanswered points is lost on no one, but let’s make sure to give the D big props, as well. The win was helped along by the absolutley raucous Night Game in Morgantown atmosphere. It was a lot of fun, and I’ve got to say, for the first time since the ECU game, I don’t feel alone in thinking that this team can still have a successful season.

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Syracuse Recap

Only one play worth talking about.  This one.

Only one play worth talking about. This one.

Phew.

It was ugly.  Offense was ugly.  Defense was ugly.  Crowd got ugly.  This was not the good natured homecoming romp it was supposed to be.  I know few expect exact predictions from the 10 Things… posts, and I’m usually really really wrong, but no one saw yesterday’s game coming.  Lowest number of points put up by the ‘Eers since Syracuse in 2005.  That game, of course, was the first game of the Pat White/Adam Bednarik experiment that only lasted half of the season.  Either way, you can consider it the starting point of this era of Mountaineer football, and one we don’t want to return to.

The offense was sluggish, though Devine looked good even before his game-breaker.  He needs the ball more.  The short passing game netted nothing on the field and got booed mercilessly in the stands. I’m beginning to think that the Mountaineers don’t actually have any downfield pass plays in the playbook.  Not having White running the show was a blow, of course, but JB is a perfectly good quarterback who should be able to come in without missing a beat.  Rarely was he put in position to make a play, and when he was, he didn’t.

The D also took a step back for the first time this season.  The seemed to concede all the mid-range passing routes, one Syracuse QB Cam Dantley took full advantage of.  It was nice seeing Nate Sowers make a big pick in the secondary, but that was really the only defensive bright spot for me.  The unit seemed to simply be holding the status quo against an offense they should have out-muscled and out-matched.  The time of possession mismatch was primarily due to offensive ineptitude, but giving up over 300 yards of offense to the Orange rests entirely on the shoulders of our defense.

All in all, I’m still cautiously optimistic.  We can still win the Big East.  Pat White has all the time he needs to get ready for Auburn and with #5, anything is still possible.

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10 Things That Will Go Down Tomorrow: Syracuse

Welcome home.  This is a little bigger than Pony Lewis Field, isn't it?

Welcome home. This is a little bigger than Pony Lewis Field, isn't it?

It’s homecoming weekend in Morgantown, so you know what that means, right? Don’t go downtown this evening. There’s a parade and the traffic will be awful. Oh, right, and we play Syracuse tomorrow. I was wondering in that “if a tree falls in the woods” sort of way: who does Syracuse play for homecoming? Does Oneida have a team? Just wondering. I’ve looked into the Magic 8 Ball and I’ve decided that the following will go down at stadium tomorrow:

  1. Pat White finishes the game. Bold prediction, I know.
  2. Syracuse keeps it closer than we would like throughout the first half infuriating fans.
  3. Racist West Virginians take out their displeasure at The Express by hurling epithets at the opposing bench. Wait, I’m pretty sure that usually happens.
  4. Noel Devine slices and dices, and embarrasses a couple of members of Orange D.
  5. Morgantown native and Syracuse kicker Patrick Shadle is both cheered and jeered. The closer the game, the less the hometown crowd likes him.
  6. Morty Ivy spends quite awhile in the Orange’s backfield.
  7. Chris Gunnoe, of U92 Sports, does a kick-ass job sideline reporting for ESPN-U. Unfortunately no one in Morgantown gets ESPN-U, so we’ll have to take his word for it.
  8. Bill Stewart uses the word “dagummit” in his halftime remarks.
  9. Prior to kickoff, hilarity ensues in the light blue lot. I can’t tell you what, but my sources point to it involving cold beer, deep fried turkey legs and a viking helmet.
  10. The ‘Eers lay a beating on the Orange and give them a little more confidence for their big Oct. 23rd showdown with the Auburn Tigers. The Tigers fired their Offensive Coordinator this week. That game is looking more and more winnable. C’mon people, who’s with me?

WVU: 35 Syracuse: 10

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10 Things That Will Go Down Tomorrow: Rutgers

If we had to face these guys, THEN I'd be worried.

If we had to face these guys, THEN I'd be worried.

It’s the eve of another gameday in Morgantown and, for the first time all season, the Mountaineers enter with some form of momentum.  Let’s face it, despite sending thousands of their own here to go to school, Jersey hasn’t fared well at Mountaineer Field.  In fact, Rutgers has never won here.  They won’t tomorrow, either.  This team has collapsed quicker than a High St. drunk and, without Ray Rice, they just don’t have the legs to stand on.  The following ten things shall occur:

  1. Boat loads of Noel Devine.  After last week’s coming out party, it’s time for #7 show he can be consistent week in and week out.
  2. Pat White airs it out a little more against an awful Rutgers secondary.
  3. The D comes up big and forces Mike Teel to throw into some awful situations, which turn into really good situations for WVU.
  4. Reed Williams stays on the sidelines, and the will-he-or-won’t-he redshirt soap opera continues.
  5. More interesting looks for Jarrett Brown.  This time JB hauls in a pass, albeit not a long one.
  6. Mark Rodgers gets a few more touches, this time as a back-up instead of only in garbage time.
  7. Schiano throws a headset.
  8. Assholes from New Jersey permeate the student section. Wait a second….
  9. Morty Ivy and Mike Teel get really, really close.
  10. I get up before noon, for a change.

WVU: 35  Rutgers: 9

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Ribbon board and random thoughts

On the run.

On the run.

Just some random notes from the weekend:

  • What did folks think of the new “ribbon boards” which now hang on the lip of each upper deck? I thought they were a nice addition, though I’d like to see more stats and less advertisements. The lyrics during the Alma Mater and the Star Spangled Banner were nice, except for some curious punctuation during the national anthem. Seriously, how many question marks did you think were in that song? Apparently quite a few. Hands down the highlight of the new scoreboard is that when Devine makes a big play the first thing the fans are treated too is a fifty foot shot of his gold grillz. Nice touch U.
  • I didn’t have this forum last season, but the University slighted some seriously hardcore Mountaineer fans by doing away with the standing room section which was in the vicinity of the Touchdown Terrace and team shop. I think a decent standing room section is a must. It was such a treat to know exactly where you could find a good view of the game and a great place to meet friends. I’m even more pissed about it because during the first half of the game Saturday I was reminded that I’m too old to be up in the student section. The irony, of course, is that it wasn’t students who were the most foolish people around me this weekend, but folks a little older than me “re-living” their time in Morgantown. I’m a peaceful guy, but I was this close to throwing an elbow to bloody some chud’s nose.
  • Would anyone else love to see us run a two-qb system? I sure would. It definitely jeopardizes J.B.’s ability to be an effective back-up to #5, but it could be absolutely lethal. Imagine White, Brown and Devine breaking the huddle with an opposing defense with no clue who would take the snap, run the ball, or line-up at receiver. I think that fraction of a second would be all it would take to see us running roughshod over opponents again.
  • How great was it to see Owen Schmitt back at Mountaineer Field? I swear the rowdiest the student section got during the second half was when they showed him (still rockin’ the mohawk!) on the video board.
  • Another great day in the League for Steve. Our boy Slaton racked up 116 total yards on 10 carries and 8 receptions which included catching a 30-yard TD pass to find paydirt for the second consecutive week. Highlight’s are here. Downside, of course, is that his Texans are win-less at 0-3.
  • Finally, check out the Hurting Dolphins podcast. It’s hosted by my friends Pat and Mike, and it’s pretty damn funny. I can’t say their podcasts are about anything in particular, but it had me laughing all morning while I put off working on my Master’s Thesis. For doing such a good deed, they deserve a link.

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Marshall Recap

Slices and dices.

Slices and dices.

If you felt more wind than usual last night in Morgantown, that was the collective sigh of relief breathed all across the city. Some folks, but not this blog, convinced themselves it was possible to actually lose this one. Nope. Sorry. We won and won big. Now, Pat White went down, which is never good, but post-game Stew described him as “fine”. Jarrett Brown played well in relief and, with the exception of his one interception, and looked like we could count on him to come through when we need him.

The real story on offense was Devine, who finally looked like the runner we knew he could be. His dash at the end of the second quarter where he reversed field, was pursued all the way to the far sideline, and then just broke the defender’s ankles with a stop and spin move to gain ten more yards was a thing of beauty. I was pretty sure that only happened in video games. Stew didn’t even mismanage the clock at the end of the first half, he left that up to White, so I guess that’s something.

The real story was the defense, which looked suffocating. They were in the backfield all day and forced three big turnovers which was a nice surprise. It’s nice to see them flying around making things happen out there as opposed to just trying to hold the line. Having our full contingent of linebackers back was a big step forward too, as it’s our most experience unit on the D.

All in all, we’re back to where we were after the ‘Nova game. We have to ask ourselves how good we were, and how bad was our opponent? Despite the probable answer to both of those, I see the season slowly righting itself. Take care of business against Rutgers and Syracuse at home over the next two weeks, and we could be right where we want to be when Auburn comes to town. Primed to prove ourselves and make that next step. I can’t wait.

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10 Things That Will Go Down Tomorrow: Colorado

I wish all there players looked like this....

I wish all their players looked like this....

Welcome to the return of “10 Things….”. I’ve had a lot of time to think about my mistakes, and I’ve decided that these posts will continue to contain the rampant homer-ism that they featured prior to the ECU debacle. With that in mind, and the agonizing lay-off over, consider the following points.

  1. We will run the ball. Over. And Over. And Over. And, you get it….
  2. We will NOT play like the “little fellas” coach Stew suggests. We will play like big fellas, huge fellas and tough fellas.
  3. Jarrett Brown will see some snaps in the backfield where we desperately need his size and strength.
  4. Reed Williams finally takes the field.
  5. We distract the Colorado defense with the two things they have no power over: Yonder Mountain String Band CDs and high-grade marijuana.
  6. Noel Devine finally finds the end zone.
  7. John Denver and his affinity for both states is mentioned repeatedly. “Country Roads” and “Rocky Mountain High” are played. Thankfully “Sunshine on My Shoulders” is not.
  8. The defense holds Colorado to under 400 yards passing. Barely.
  9. McAffee goes looking for their chick kicker, but can’t find her. Weeps openly.
  10. The traveling contingent of Mountie fans show the Buffs what partying is really about.

WVU: 31 Colorado: 27

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