Stephen J. Nesbitt: Holgorsen hasn't named a starter, nope. In fact, the job which was Paul Millard's a week ago is not a three-horse race. Ford Childress hadn't gotten reps in three weeks, but now even he is in contention.
No word on who will start, but you have to think it will be Clint Trickett. What is there to lose? In a game like Ga. State, why not trot him out and see what he can do?
grant: didn't catch the new depth chart yet. anything noteworthy new?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: All QBs listed as "or" ... WR starters are all new: Kevin White, Mario Alford, Ronald Carswell ... Pat Eger over Tyler Orlosky at C. Slight changes in defense, biggest being Kyle Rose in at DE and Eric Kinsey shifted to BUCK LB.
Grant: Any update on Buie?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Ha. I think we'll get this question every week, won't we? No update on Andrew Buie.
WVU91: Since he's healthy now does Kevin White become the go-to receiver?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Absolutely. He and Alford were both out for three weeks in camp. White was expected to go into Week 1 as the No. 1 guy, but the injury kept him out. He debuted last weekend and had 7 catches for 80 yards vs. Oklahoma. Yes, there was a very costly fumble, too, but as Holgorsen said yesterday, White has "that twitch," something the other guys don't have. K.J. Myers, Ivan McCartney have had their opportunities and haven't shown anything special so far.
Guest: Is this defense for real? I mean, allowed 50 to Oklahoma last year and 16 this time?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: If you ask the defense, yes. The points-allowed average has dipped from 38 ppg last year to 16.5 through two games this year. Yes, tiny sample size, so don't read much into that. But do look at the turnovers -- five so far, compared to 20 all of last year. That's huge. Sadly, in a role reversal from last year, the defense might not be able to make up for the offense this year.
Spencer: Laughed when I saw Dana say the offense can be better this year than last year? Is he fooling himself? Come on now man.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: That comment came from Holgorsen's presser yesterday, when he was talking about how much "potential" WVU's offense had. He laughed at the word "potential" and said he hated it. That's because there's a lot of it here, and you can't do much with it. Holgorsen and players (White, Myers, etc.) have been saying that all fall already, that they can be better than they were last year. My thought?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Stop it. Your offense scored 39 ppg game last year. It was ridiculous. Your offense was spectacular, almost without exception. The issue was that there was no run game, but the larger issue was that the defense was very weak. Now, if they said the "team" could be better this year than last, that's easier to believe. But not the offense, not when you have no proven WR and QB.
Sam ONeal: Why the hell did WVU just stop running the ball? THAT was embarrassing, Dana, not your lack of passes in the first week.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Welp, WVU ran 44 times in the opener and 24 times vs. Oklahoma. That's, whoa, a big change in offensive game plans. I asked Holgorsen yesterday if there was a happy medium he'd like to find and he said it's all determined by what defense you're facing. He said it would be crazy to try to run 40 times on the OK defense that stacks the box. Dreamius Smith's 75-yard TD run was "spectacular," Dana said, but he also had to break four tackles.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: So, what he's basically saying is that a passing attack *should have* worked, but they didn't pull it off at QB or WR.
Beetfarmer: Do you think the lack of quality mullets is hurting the team?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Of course it is. Boomstache, however, is keeping morale high.
Wayward Eer: This will be a tough game to judge QB play off of don't you think? By all accounts Ga. State is one of the worst teams in FBS and has been shredded by to FCS teams. WVU should be able to hand the ball off 70 times and score 49 points.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: That's the issue with this one, yes. Georgia State is 0-2, with losses to Samford and Chattanooga. They're new to FBS and will likely be steamrolled by WVU. That will make it tough to take a good QB performance seriously. That, too, is why I think Trickett will get a serious look Saturday. If Millard started and played well against a weak team, it won't help the evaluation for him at all. They just need to get Childress and Trickett more game reps now. If they step up, they could get real minutes in "real" games after this.
Toc: You think there is any chance holgs will get dragged into this OK State situation?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Good question. Know that WVU is doing absolutely everything it can to stay out of this. WVU launched an internal investigation last week (I imagine just to make sure Joe DeForest didn't bring any of his alleged practices here to WVU) and until the investigation is finished no one will speak on it.
Now, you wonder whether Holgorsen knew of any of these alleged improprieties, but I think that's nearly impossible to prove, so I don't think he'll get dragged into it, no.
Spencer: What happened to your joining The Dude's radio show last night?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Was all set to, but a last-minute satellite feed issue knocked out the show. Aired a re-run instead. I'll be on there in the near future, I'm sure.
long time first time: how are yinz liking the new beat.....how does it compare to michigan?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The first "yinz" drop on the chat. For that, we thank you.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: A couple bullets on the differences:
??? Fewer media folk cover WVU, so it's a little more of an intimate setting.
??? Media access is much nicer. You can request players at WVU and even potentially get 1-on-1 time with them. Everything at Michigan was in pressers, which made it tough.
Other than that it's similar enough.
Guest: Doug Rigg alright?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Rigg is listed as "questionable." We got to speak with him last night, and he said he's still got some slight headaches but that he's alright. What a scary hit. He got belted on friendly fire by Karl Joseph and had to be taken off the field on a cart.
Wayward Eer: Was D. Smith just not asked to block at JC? He seems to have no clue and DH seems to make the point that if he wants on the field he needs to at least try to block.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Woof. Yeah, he got absolutely blasted by Holgorsen on the bench in the first half when he missed a block that led to the Millard sack/fumble. Yesterday, Holgorsen said blocking is part of what kept Smith off the field. Then OC Shannon Dawson said that wasn't what kept him off the field. Then Smith said he wasn't sure why he was kept off the field.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: All we really know is Dreamius Smith had three carries, including a 75-yard TD, and needs to block better.
Wayward Eer: Last year WVU took the most JC transfers I can ever remember, now it looks like they are taking a look at a similar, if slightly smaller group but still more than normal. What is the driver? Lack of numbers in the JR. & SR. classes or just that the roster needs some physical size that may not be present out of some of the past recruiting classes?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Wayward Eer is on fire today.
Wayward Eer: On a conference call that is killing me!
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I'm not in coaches meetings, so I can only speculate, but JUCO transfers have begun to become a hit around FBS. Think about it, you can bring in a guy as a JR or SR that can provide immediate impact on your team. Sure, it's a hit-or-miss thing, because sometimes he's just not at all at FBS level (or he didn't learn how to block), but isn't he less of a risk than, say, a 3-star recruit out of high school?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: They're at full physical size, they have some untapped potential yet also some proven results in college.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I think you're right that the low JR and SR numbers are helping, but I also think that JUCOs are simply becoming a more popular and reliable place for FBS coaches to look nowadays. I truly think that's a way the game will be and is changing, and WVU is on the front edge of the curve.
Guest: JUCO transfers aren't a new thing, though.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: No, you're right. But I think the point still stands. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but there's been a definite uptick in JUCO players coming D-1.
Spencer: Poll looks like most think Trickett will start. Is Millard or Childress the #2?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I think it's pretty early to be giving Trickett the No. 1 spot, of course, but if we're going to play that game ...
I simply don't think we've seen enough of Ford Childress to make a clear call. He has potential, sure. (There's that word again!) But it seemed this summer like he didn't advance as quickly as the coaches would have liked, which knocked him out of the Millard/Trickett race. Millard is a fine system QB, I think, or at least will turn into one, so he's a fine backup if you want to plug him in there from time to time.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: But Childress also already used his redshirt, so just sitting him down on the bench again doesn't really help him. So it's good he's in the mix and getting reps again, even if only for a moment.
WVU91: Does WVU keep DeForest? Better not.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I suppose that's the big question. DeForest's allegations have to be quite the distraction right now, and he's a $500K/year distraction until his contract comes to an end Jan. 30, 2015. But these allegations haven't been proven. WVU needs to complete its investigation before it jumps to any rash conclusions.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I'm neither defending nor supporting DeForest, I'm saying it wouldn't be wise for WVU to fire someone only because they were accused of something. WVU needs to find evidence and answers itself first, then make a determination.
WVUFfanatic: Which WR or WRs will step up in this offense? Who has the best shot to be a star our of the group?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The best shot to be a star? I'll give you Kevin White and Daikiel Shorts. White is a man. He's got the body of a pure-breed WR threat. He's big, he's physical, he's quick. He showed that vs. Oklahoma. Shorts is still young, very young, but he's swift as can be and could fill an integral slot at inside receiver that WVU typically loves.
WVU91: Will Sims be a bigger piece of the offense Saturday?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Charles Sims had just 11 carries last weekend (WVU as a whole had just 24.) And I guess we're not really sure what to expect against Georgia State. Sims doesn't need to prove much, the QBs do, so I'd expect a pass-heavy attack unless, somehow, it's a close game.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I think WVU will be using Saturday to figure some things out. The RBs aren't a question -- the rest of the offense is.
WVUfanatic: After 2 games, whats your prediction for our final record? Bowl game?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I told someone this yesterday: I refuse to make a prediction until WVU finds its QB.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Like Dawson said yesterday, QB questions being answered will probably help answer some WR questions and some general offense questions.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Feel free to fire in your predictions, but I'm holding my cards back for now.
WVU91: Going to Baltimore next weekend?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Yep. I'll be heading out there for the Maryland game at M&T Bank Stadium. Wasn't in Norman last weekend -- we had a freelancer cover WVU/OKLA -- was actually back "home" in Ann Arbor, Mich. watching a dual screen of WVU/OKLA and UM/ND, so that was a good time. One good game, one terribly sloppy one.
WVUfanatic: In your opinion, what are Dana's strengths and weaknesses as a Head Coach?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well, remember, I'm new around here, but I'll make a note or two here ...
??? Strengths: I don't think he's getting enough credit for the pieces he brought in this off-season, especially on offense, but JUCOs and recruits. He's got an eye for raw talent. I think his offense is one that, with the right pieces, can be successful against almost anyone. The pieces just aren't necessarily there right now.
??? Weakness: In-game decision-making might not be his strong suit. His communication with Millard seemed to be pretty brutal during the game -- together they took all of WVU's timeouts (and then one!). It just seemed to be poorly managed at times.
Big E: On the DeForest/SI issue I would urge people to remember to not believe something just because it has been "reported". YOu really can't believe anything you read or hear anymore as there are a thousand reasons something is reported. I'm not defending him becasue these accusations my be true but, then again, they may be 100% lies too.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: There are certainly questions and concerns with the report: If true, whoa, that's a huge hit on DeForest and OSU. But search "Thayer Evans" and you'll find plenty of criticism over him and his reporting. And the sourcing is a mix of strong and questionable. Some players have backed off their comments, some have denied, some have confirmed. Many seemed to have a grudge -- does that make them good or bad sources, if they transferred or were dismissed? It'd make them more willing to bad-mouth, yes, but it'd also mean they don't have to answer to anyone at OSU.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: We'll see what, if anything, the NCAA and WVU discover. I'd hold onto your hat until then.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Ten more minutes max here. Throw me a bone with a few final questions?
CountryRoads: How's recruiting looking for the class of 2014?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Not much of a recruiting guru yet here in WV, but Rivals has WVU's class as No. 43 in the country -- of 13 total commits, 11 are 3-stars, one is a 4-star.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Scout has WVU 50th with 10 3-stars, one 4-star.
Jaded: Given the cesspool that college football has become, why should I or anyone else care about it other than mild amusement on a Saturday afternoon? It cannot be taken seriously on any level.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well hello there, did you get referred here by downer dot com?
Jaded: I think anyone that packs stadiums to watch 19-year-olds are kind of a joke.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Really, though, you're right in that there's plenty of corruption in college athletics and that gets the headlines more days than not.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: If you can manage to see Sport for only the event, good for you. It's part of my job title to see football for the bigger picture, but, yes, if you can just do the Saturday thing, good for you. I envy you, in a way.
Big E: So what pristine, white linen sport would you prefer to discuss? Wrestling?
Scott: Am I the only one who doeesn't care if players got money? I just assumed they got money everywhere.
Scott: Maybe not in MEEEEEECHIGAN
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Bravo, Scott.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: As someone who was just in school six months ago, I'm still torn on this issue. It absolutely makes sense that players would get paid -- I had some nice scholarships myself and I was able to get paid (a little) for jobs and for writing at the student paper. Players don't have time for those jobs.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: But there's just no way for it to work perfectly.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: If you pay players, do you only pay players in revenue sports? So, football and basketball (and hockey if you're from the north)?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: And if you're paying players in revenue sports, all that will lead to is less profit for the athletic departments so that they have to axe small sports like rowing (yes, it's a sport) and gymnastics and wrestling, etc.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: So while it's absolutely exploiting players and their lives and their bodies, the system was built on it. And it can't just be dismantled without tons and tons of non-revenue-generating student-athletes paying for it.
Scott: Well if you arent making money then you get no money. Have a bakesale like everyone else.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Good luck paying for your Big 12 travel expenses, tennis team.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Reminder: Big 12 has a team in Iowa, two in Kansas, two in Oklahoma, four in Texas and ... uh ... one in West Virginia. No bake sale will pay for that travel.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Bake sales are making me hungry. On that note, it's lunch time for this guy. Any last thoughts before we shut this thing down?
Scott: Magic brownies, Stephen. Dare to dream.
CountryRoads: Is another conference realignment coming in college football?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Some day, some way. No time to break that down now. But, yes.
CountryRoads: Thanks. Lets Go Mountaineers!
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Alright, signing off, folks. Thanks for tuning in.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: As always, remember to follow @MountaineersPG on Twitter and 'like' it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MountaineersPG