Stephen Nesbitt's WVU football chat: 9.25.13

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Stephen J. Nesbitt: Welcome to the chat, friends. I'll be back at 1 p.m. sharp to answer questions. Let's get the thoughts rolling in early -- plenty of opinions ready to fly after that 37-0 shutout to Maryland, I'm sure.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Oh, we've got some folks heated already. Please, do feel free to spew, it's therapeutic.

greenie: how many more games until holgorsen is fired???

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well, of course we have to start off with the irrational comment. Thanks, greenie. Holgorsen isn't going anywhere. Give it some time, buddy.

teddyballgame14: I agree with Paul Zeise's assessment that Saturday's loss more closely resembled a 73-0 loss, as opposed to the actual 37-0 final score. I also see Holgorsen remarked that he watched the game tape 8 times, and eventually found things that resembled football. But, I worry that this can only get worse from here. Please talk me off the ledge ... Any idea what glimmers of hope are on the horizon? I'm fearful that even Kansas beats this WVU team.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Yep, the outlook on the season certainly took a down turn with that shutout. Said last week that this would be a barometer, for better or worse, for West Virginia. And, well, they'd better hope it was no measuring stick at all.

AnxiousEER97: Tell me something about the program/team that's not obvious after watching four games this season.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well, I'm a big fan of numbers, so I had a lot of fun looking at statistics after this loss. It was a pretty historically awful performance. The first thing I've got for you that isn't obvious is a really terrible stat: WVU has the second-most turnovers and fumbles in the country. And while the defense has forced eight takeaways, the offense has turned that into just seven points.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Guys, let that sink in.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: That's seven points, one touchdown on seven free drives. And that one came against Georgia State.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: I've got a story coming on this for Friday's paper, but look for teams to copy Maryland's defensive game plan, which was really quite brilliant. Here's the set-up: MD had its top two CBs out for the season, so they wanted to help the passing game. And that served two purposes ... 1) it would leave five men in the box and force WVU to run, which their OL can't support 2) it would put six men in coverage, which is hard for anyone to pass against. It worked like a charm. Not many blitzes, just a lot of good coverage downfield.

AnxiousEER97: Have you observed Trickett in practice? Who has the better arm betwee him and Ford? I realize that Ford may have the higher ceiling, but his passes give me pause for concern. He lobs everything.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: We haven't been allowed to see practice since fall camp. I'd say they're about equal, from what we saw. Trickett might be slightly stronger. You're right, his deep ball has lacked zip and has looked pretty lobbed. Can't really offer much insight there since Trickett's only had six snaps this season.

teddyballgame14: Individually, this team has a boatload of talented kids at WR. What adjustments can Holgorsen make to make it easier for our QB's to get them the ball in position to make plays?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Maryland's game plan was on point, as I just mentioned, but yes ... WVU's one catch by a wide receiver is just ridiculous. The other 10 completions went to running backs. From the look of Ford's deep ball, that might not be the best route. I think they've got to be looking more for the 5-yard slant, 8-yard out routes. I think they've got to develop the short game first and let the WRs prove themselves with yards after catch.

teddyballgame14: Did Ford Childress speak to the media this week? How is he handling this week of scrutiny, as opposed to last week's praise? What's his outlook for the Oklahoma State game? Does he have the personality to fight thru this? Or, is he likely to get crushed under the weight of it all?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Ford wasn't made available to the media after the game or after practice yesterday, when he typically is. So we don't have much of a way to size him up after that performance. Other players say he was calm and fine after the performance, though.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: He's a kid who's taken his licks before, so I think he'll be fine to bounce back. He just needs a little help from his offensive line.

teddyballgame14: Any insights from the OL coach on what they are striving to do to improve the OL play. Seems they are the key to bouncing back. A young QB desperately needs this line to protect him better. And these RB's are talented enough to run thru holes, if we can get the OL to open one up...

Stephen J. Nesbitt: OL coach Ron Crook said the OL isn't pushing the panic button. They believe in what they're doing, even if most others don't. Crook yesterday: "You stress why they started playing football when they were young--because it was fun," Crook said. "That doesn't mean every aspect of practice is fun; certainly going out there and working a drive block drill for 10 minutes isn't fun. But understand that's part of the process to have a successful game Saturday, which is fun."

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Crook seemed to think that picking the offensive tempo up would help the line since it would wear the defense down.

Guest: Why don't they give Trickett a chance?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: At this point, I think the offense just wants some stability, some consistency. Trickett must not have proven himself the obvious No. 1 at any point, because he's hardly gotten a snap this fall. Childress is the man going forward. He may well lose the job if the offense is as bad as it was against MD, but it's his for now.

Guest: Any injury update?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Just a couple hamstring injuries: Nick Kwiatkoski, Dustin Garrison. Both listed as day-to-day.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Quick moment to throw some links your way. Keep the questions coming.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: This morning's daily story: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/wvu/holgorsen-acknowledges-challenges-mountaineers-are-facing-704741/

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Favorite quote: "I've watched that film about eight times, and, believe it or not, there are some things on that tape that resemble football."

Stephen J. Nesbitt: West Virginia's turnover problem: http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/2013-06-20-18-53-28/all-eers/39223-a-note-on-turnovers

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Yesterday's press conference notes: http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/2013-06-20-18-53-28/all-eers/39229-holgorsen-presser-little-changes-things-that-resemble-football-and-a-case-of-butterfingers

Stephen J. Nesbitt: How WVU's offense and defense stack up in national offense and defense rankings: http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/2013-06-20-18-53-28/all-eers/39218-where-wvu-stacks-up

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Alright, back to it.

WVUeers: Does any of the blame go on the RBs?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well, there's plenty of blame to go around, so everyone can have a share. Ask Charles Sims? He says yes. He said the RBs need to do a better job blocking and they've got to find the holes in the offensive line better.

WVUeers: Thanks. Does Holgo seem nervous?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Nervous? Nah, not necessarily. He seems a bit fed up that his offense can't find answers. It was interesting, though, that he said he needs to change his mentality. Here's the quote: "I have to change my mentality, if they are going to change their mentality. I'm going to expect good things to happen, I'm going to be excited about going to practice. I'm going to go out and not be worried about calling the perfect play. If you sit there and worry about calling a different play, they you are going to call a bad one. That mentality needs to go away. We need to relax, and we need to expect good things to happen, because right now offensively that is not going to happen. We practice staying motivated, but we were not the most excited team to play Saturday. Were we prepared to play? Not as well as Maryland. All that stuff falls on me. I need to get us better prepared and more excited about playing. We went over to Maryland and played a team who was excited to play. They played with more excitement, and with more passion than our guys did. When that happens, that's on me."

teddyballgame14: Thought the defense played reasonably well on Saturday. What did you see? Did you see them play well? Or, did Maryland take their foot off the gas?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: They did, I'd agree. Was speaking with DC Keith Patterson last night, and he laughed at the notion that MD took its foot off the gas.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Patterson was really pleased with how the defense stood up, especially in the second half when the team could very easily have given up. In the end, they kept MD to a season-low rushing and passing yards by quite a bit.

AnxiousEER97: Some coaches have the ability to motivate or inspire their players to excel. Does Holgorsen demonstrate any of those qualities?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Again, we don't get to see him much around the players (in practice, etc.) but I think that's something he's trying to figure out, too. I think that's why he's making a point to change his mentality. He said in order to change their mentality, he needs to change his.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Running low on questions (well, ones I can post), so we'll probably wrap up a bit early today. Throw any thoughts you might have in the hopper.

AnxiousEER97: And the food bar. What's up with that?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Yeah, not sure if Holgorsen was joking or not.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: To recap: Holgorsen said he wouldn't be changing how the team practiced, but there would be some changes made:"I changed how I woke up and got dressed this morning. I changed what I had for lunch. We got rid of our lunch bar today, so we changed that."

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Didn't know if he was joking, and thought it rude to questions his bedside manners.

teddyballgame14: What options do they have on the Offensive Line? Is there a Kelvin Beachum equivalent that could rotate in, and potentially make an impact?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Wish I had more details for you, but there just isn't a whole lot of experience on the bench at offensive line. Nick Kindler is the most experienced backup, and he's already getting some snaps.

teddyballgame14: Pat Eger seemed to struggle at Center on Saturday. Whatever happened to the JC transfer they got to play there? Did he redshirt or something? Surely, he at least is familiar with the position...

Stephen J. Nesbitt: He did seem to struggle, you're right. We didn't get a look at how he graded out, but you saw Tyler Orlosky come in a bit, too. Eger was supposed to be steady Eddie at center, but we didn't see that much. He is still new at the position.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: The JC transfer you're mentioning is Stone Underwood, I believe, who is slated to redshirt.

AnxiousEER97: I'm just a casual fan - how the heck can you tell with the poor OL play is due to the players or the scheme? Any thoughts on that?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well, you're right, the offense does make it tough. So, in this case, it's probably easiest to just listen to coaches and players who both said it was on the players this last week, not the scheme.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: But you can pretty easily see missed assignments and missed reads if you take a close look at films.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Alright, got an empty hopper. One more minute for questions and then we'll wrap up.

Sammie: Long distance fan here, What is the overall feel in Morgantown on the QB situation?

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well, there was plenty of initial excitement when Ford "the long-term answer" took the job. But that's been tempered. I think there's a lot of confusion about the Clint Trickett situation. Folks assumed he transferred here to start, yet he's been the last option at QB.

AnxiousEER97: Will Holgorsen ever incorporate some play for a mobile QB in his offense? A little option with a mobile QB might go a long way ...

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Yep, that's been my thought too. I think if Holgorsen got his hands on a mobile QB he'd cater the offense to that style, but right now his offense is (supposed to) run around a smart QB that makes quick, proper reads. And that's not happening right now.

Stephen J. Nesbitt: Alright, that'll do it. Thanks for tuning in, folks. As always, follow along on Twitter at @stephenjnesbitt and @mountaineerspg. I'll be at the field on Saturday for WVU vs. No. 11 Ok. State. See you then.

wvusports


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