Stephen J. Nesbitt: West Virginia is coming off a 41-7 spanking of Georgia State in Morgantown. Next up? Matchup with Maryland in Baltimore -- at the Ravens stadium.
Guest: So, is Ford Childress The Answer?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Well, he certainly looked alright in his debut. Childress was 25-41 passing for 359 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday. That's good for most passing yards ever by a WVU frosh and 19th-most ever by a WVU quarterback.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Oh, but wait ...
Stephen J. Nesbitt: That was against Georgia State, so let's hold off on speaking too highly of the rook.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Childress looked good in his debut, but things are going to get way more difficult this weekend with Maryland (3-0) and beyond. Let's hold off.
Sam: Has to help to have a QB named starter finally though?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Exactly. Receivers et al. were asked again and again this fall whether they preferred one QB over the rest. Obviously, you're never going to get an answer on that one. "No, our job stays the same no matter who's at QB." Cool. Got it. Obviously. Thanks. But ...
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I asked a few receivers last night: "Does it help to at least have landed on one QB, regardless of who it is, to be able to develop some chemistry and continuity from week to week?" That one finally landed.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Kevin White said "absolutely." Daikiel Shorts looked like he was worried he'd offend someone by answering but he reluctantly agreed.
Jimmy B: How do you think playing at Raven's Stadium will effect the young bucks out there on the field this week? Think any of them will be be intimidated by the atmosphere?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: That's M&T Bank Stadium to you, mister.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Good question, though. The good thing was that none of the coaches or players this week said, "Nah, doesn't matter, it's the same environment as anywhere else, we're just going to focus on our game." Yuck. Coachspeak.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The players are thrilled, as are the coaches, to go into a pro stadium. A few of them said yesterday that they loved Ray Lewis and were excited to trot onto the same field as he used to. Now, can it overwhelm them? Sure it can. I think they'll be prepared, because they'd better be with Maryland's offense coming out there.
Scott: Stephen, Regarding the OSU investigation and DeForest: The president talked last week about American exceptionalism. Vladimir Putin responded saying that its dangerous for Americans to see themselves as superior. Do you agree with the President that American exceptionalism extends beyond Ann Arbor city limits? If so, does that make Joe DeForest the Vladimir Putin in this situation?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Scott, I'm going to leave this one alone, but I felt it deserved to be shared with the masses. For this, we thank you.
Guest: How good is this WR for MD?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Stefon Diggs? He's good. Really good. Here are his numbers ...
Stephen J. Nesbitt: From my P-G story today: In high school, Diggs was courted by West Virginia (2-1) and 32 other schools before committing to the hometown Terrapins (3-0). He blew past the Mountaineers for 113 yards and two touchdowns on three catches in West Virginia's 31-21 victory against Maryland last September in Morgantown.
Diggs finished his freshman season with 54 catches for 848 yards and six touchdowns and is on pace to eclipse those totals easily this fall. Through three games, Diggs has 387 receiving yards (sixth most in the country) and three touchdowns on 16 receptions -- 24.2 yards per catch.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/wvu/west-virginia-must-prepare-for-maryland-wr-diggs-703761/#ixzz2fGW6EBZZ
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Yikes, he's good.
Scott: Have you had a real pepperoni roll yet? Which bakery do you like best? I have to go with D'Annunzios.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I have not. I must slap myself on the wrist for that. I'll check out D'Annunzios next time I'm in MTown.
greenie: so whos even starting at wr anymore??
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Offically? Ronald Carswell, Mario Alford and Kevin White. But the three who were "benched" (read: second string, not starters technically anymore) all had good games last week. Ivan McCartney had a long TD catch, KJ Myers had the most catches, and Daikiel Shorts had the most yards and two TD catches.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Talking to those three yesterday, they said, honestly, it doesn't matter in this offense who's named starter at WR. It's more of a personal challenge from the coaches if you're stripped of starter status. Everyone's going to play.
Fritz C: Stephen, what do you think the Mountaineers have to do to stop Stefon Diggs out there? Do they have a chance or are they going to be Out of Luck when he gets the ball in his hands?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Fritz, know that the WVU secondary is fired up for the challenge. They're a humble bunch, but they think they can contain him on Saturday if they can just minimize his touches. But, as you know, the strength of the wolve is the pack, so it's going to take a safety coming over to help and even LBs shading his way to minimize his effectiveness.
ron in east virginia: Why do you use a middle initial, Stephen J.?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: My dad is also Stephen Nesbitt, middle initial M, so when I started writing I liked to distinguish. And I think it adds a certain sophistication.
PantherFan: With WVU playing Georgia State last week and Maryland this week, why are they playing so many ACC teams but they won't play Pitt?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: That's a frustrating question, isn't it? Maryland is a regional, border-state rivalry that Holgorsen said isn't going away. That's a good sign. They've played only Pitt and Penn State more in their history, I believe. But somehow they can't figure out a way to get Pitt in there. I think part of it is, honestly, that Pitt would be another challenge on their schedule, whereas a game like Georgia State is a cakewalk. And remember, Georgia State is a Sun Belt team, not ACC.
Wayward Eer: Is this Oline capable of opening holes/protecting enough to allow the offense some consistency? It sounds Adam Pankey is going to get some playing time as soon as he is ready.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Pankey's getting closer, yep.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I think it is capable, but we're still waiting for it to be proven. I think cementing Pat Eger as starting center was a step in the right direction. Sure, having Tyler Orlosky in there would/will probably pay off two or three years down the line, but for this year I think experience will help, especially with that stable of backs ready to run behind the line.
Spork: Where does Randy Edsall fall on the Jerk Meter for bailing on UConn immediately after the Fiesta Bowl?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I don't know, man. I've never met Edsall, I'm sure he's a fine gentleman, but I remember some pretty scathing remarks from UCONN fans after that fiasco. In my mind, I don't blame him. Maryland, though in the dumps when he joined, is a program with a much, much higher ceiling than UCONN -- and especially with their imminent move to the Big 10. Go where the program has more room to grow.
WVUFLYER: Will Sims see the ball in his hands more Saturday?
Scott: Randy Edsall is worse than Justin Beiber.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Yes. Dana Holgorsen said this week that Sims is a terrific receiver and they're going to start using him more for that. We know he's a strong runner, and he's showing that this fall, but he's got a good pair of hands and only now do they have a passing attack that can exploit that.
BigEastForLife: How did Greg Shiano manage to go from doing a bad job at a Big East school to the NFL while Randy Edsall only managed to parlay doing a bad job at a Big East school into a bad ACC job? How many failed seasons at Maryland will Edsall need before the NFL comes calling?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The coaching carousel, what a thing of beauty.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I have no answer, friend. Sorry.
WVUFLYER: Can WVU stop Diggs; he is their home run threat and I worry we will continue to bite on play action because their QB can run.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: WVU players yesterday were comparing Maryland QB CJ Brown to Oklahoma (now second-string) QB Trevor Knight. Now, the thing is, Brown can pass, and Knight hasn't figured that part out. So, you're right, Diggs is a threat and that's only magnified by Brown's abilities.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: So, the key to stopping Diggs is to stop Brown, and that means getting pressure to the QB. That's the first and biggest key.
MattInPA: After this weekend, will Joe Flacco still be the worst QB to have played at M&T Bank Stadium this year?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Zing!
Gerald F: Steve, how do you see the WVU DL v MD OL battle playing out this week? Do you think WVU can get some pressure on the QB without sending a blitz which would open up too much room for Diggs in the secondary? MD seems like they have a pretty young line that's going to have to be quite Brave to stand up to the pressure
Stephen J. Nesbitt: With a QB like CJ Brown in, oftentimes the biggest question is whether he'll be able to elude the pressure. Even if WVU gets through the line, he might already be out of the pocket. That's why the 3-4 scheme is key here. If Kyle Rose, Shaq Rowell and Will Clarke can get ample push with their three-man front, the four linebackers can spy Brown, keeping him in check on the perimeter.
WVUFLYER: UMD is missing their top 2 cornerbacks; if you are UMD do you limit your blitzes to offer help to their inexperienced CB's or do you bring pressure and hope to force quick throws?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Dana Holgorsen seemed pretty convinced that, given the lack of success WVU has had against zero blitzes, Maryland is going to blitz the daylights out of the WVU line and its rookie QB. I'd expect a lot of pressure throughout the day and Maryland stacking the box. And why wouldn't they? If you can stack the box and limit the run, WVU hasn't proven it has the QB or WRs to pass against a legitimate defense.
MattInPA: If I was in charge of a stadium, I'd never let a visiting team's band play on the field, either. As a WVU fan, I have enjoyed seeing our band play at away games, but never understood why they let us do that. How common is it for away team's bands to play on the field, anyway?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: If you don't get that question, read this: http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/2013-06-20-18-53-28/on-the-mountain/39152-pride-of-west-virginia-will-not-march-in-baltimore
Scott: If I'm being honest, the pride of WV is boring and never plays anything new. There, I said it.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: WVU's band isn't being allowed to play on Saturday, except blowing cheer tunes from the stands. It's sad. I love a good parching band.
WVUFLYER: scott is a moron
MattInPA: Scott, thems fightin words.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The way it's set up for Maryland, until they're in the Big Ten they have the right to allow or dis-allow any band from performing. The Big Ten regulates that you must give them the opportunity to play.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The major issues here:
Stephen J. Nesbitt: 1. It's a regional rivalry, a border-state connection, so you'd expect the band to travel. It's a big game for the schools and it's nearby.
Revelli: How does The Team feel about this? Any idea of how it will affect morale? Will they still Fight Like Hell out there?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: 2. It's the last road game the Pride of WV can even travel to. The four last road games are in Kansas (2) and Texas (2), and WVU doesn't have the money to send the band across the universe for Big 12 games. So, unless there's a bowl game there are no road trips for the Pride of WV, and as a former bando, that's a sad, sad thing.
Chad: Maryland has put up tons of yardage against its first three opponents. Will WVU maintain the firepower they seemed to have last weak vs. GA State? I'm thinking they may have to outscore Maryland, and I'm hoping they can.
Chad: Plus it's the only away game the band will be able to travel to this year other than a bowl game.
Scott: I think the UVA band is better than the WVU band
WVUFLYER: You have been made Scott...tell the other 5 Pitt fans we said hi
MattInPA: Does UVA even have a band anymore?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: It's just hard to read, Chad. For starters, how much stock can you put into the offense's performance against Georgia State, an FBS doormat? And, secondly, the defense looks terrific, is one of the top 30 in the country ... but they haven't played any offense that's halfway normal.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Even Oklahoma was a skeleton of its normal offense, and since facing them Okla. has switched things up and has gone back to Blake "Belldozer" Bell. So how much stock can you put into the defense's performance?
MattInPA: I think that the WVU Defense holds Maryland's offense to only field goals.... that Oklahoma offense was impressive, and WVU's D did a heckuva job against them.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: All that said ... this is a big game, a big barometer for West Virginia. It's non-conference, they've got a seven-game winning streaking spanning the last decade vs. Maryland. If they pull this one off and limit Diggs and the offense, the forecast is much better. A flat performance and Big 12 season will be very, very, very long.
Scott: It says on wikipedia that John Denver wrote Country Roads when he was visiting family in Maryland. Do you think that adds any fire to the WVU players, knowing that their theme song was written about the opponents' state?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: That's a wonderful fact. Wikipedia is a special place.
WVUFLYER: Oklahoma has a much more physical style of offense then UMD + it has a better OL but Oklahoma is one dimensional. Saturday we find out what kind of team we have.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Agreed, Flyer.
WVUFLYER: If WVU loses this game how much more difficult is it for them to get bowl eligible?
MattInPA: The only good part of Maryland is the part near Preston County, and they barely use that part. The rest of the state is crowded and full of jerks.
Scott: Southern Maryland is nice in a Mississippi sort of way
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Okay, let's look at the schedule:
Stephen J. Nesbitt: With two wins under their belt, WVU is where we expected, right?
WVUFLYER: MattInPA..scott is clearly in this chat just to take shots at WVU...ignore him
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Maryland, OkState, Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State, TCU, Texas, Kansas, Iowa State ... that's the rest of the schedule.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: WVU need four wins out of there. If they DON'T win against Maryland, the likeliest games are, obviously, Kansas, Iowa State, TCU and ... Texas?
MattInPA: WVU will win the Kansas cup with a sweep of that state... texas is in a panic....Iowa State is bad....
Stephen J. Nesbitt: So, with a loss here it's definitely do-able. But it'll mean taking care of business against the low-end and potentially one mid-level Big 12 teams.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: With a victory over Maryland, though, I think WVU will be bowl bound for sure.'
Stephen J. Nesbitt: There's plenty of great back-and-forth name-calling between you beauties, but I'm going to let that sit. 15 more minutes, great questions, keep 'em coming.
WVUFLYER: I say Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State and Baylor..KSU is a toss up and Baylor and TCU will beat us on the road. Oklahoma State is good but its at home so we will challenge them.
WVUFLYER: meant to say Kansas
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I think the TCU game also hinges on whether Casey Pachall is fully healthy after surgery.
Chad: I think the bowl picture depends on Childress. This weekend will tell alot about his progression within Holgorsen's offense.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I'll hop on that band wagon and agree. If Childress can make the offense multi-dimensional like he did against Georgia State, WVU isn't a half-bad offense. Shoot, it could actually be considered good, what with the three-heading running attack and speedy receivers.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: But he's got to prove it in a "real" game before I'm ready to drink the Ford kool-aid.
ScottfromSummersville: Scott McBrien doesn't have any more eligibility, does he? We don't need him to come back for one last hurrah.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Let me check with NCAA on that one ...
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Apparently he's running the Scott McBrien Passing Academy these days.
WVUFLYER: I see Ford making plays Saturday; UMD secondary is beat up and if they blitz Alford and Carswell will hurt them.
Chad: Any more news about Jenkins?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: No sir. Reached out to Brodrick but he hasn't responded. Holgorsen wouldn't elaborate on the news that Jenkins had left the team. "It's internal."
Scott: In your time around Coach Holgs, how many Red Bulls does he drink per hour, on average?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I've never actually seen him drink a red bull. Coffee a few times, though. Maybe had a shot or two of red bull in the coffee.
Chad: What's your favorite thing about Milan Puskar stadium so far?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The beer bottles strewn about when I walk through the bleachers at the end of the game.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Nah, it's a fine stadium. I've been to all but two of the current Big 10 stadiums, though, and I honestly was not that impressed by Milan Puskar, but it's grown on me a bit. The beer was a shock, though, because I haven't seen that much around the country. West By God Virginia, though, shouldn't have been surprised.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: WVU is making improvements, and I think the facilities are on the rise and will continue to be.
WVUFLYER: Are coaches satisfied with OL protection; we still seem to lack push up front.
MattInPA: Better to have bottles laying around than people... thats what you get with the end of the Pass Outs.... more beer bottles falling down in the stadium, and fewer people falling down in the stadium.... Luck's master plan is working perfectly...
Stephen J. Nesbitt: They're not satisfied with OL. Holgorsen joked that he never should have complimented them a week ago because he thought they were bad vs. GSU.
Scott: What is your opinion of the 3-3-5? I'm glad its gone but our defense still stinks.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: The only time I've seen it up close was at Michigan when Greg Robinson installed it. And Michigan's defense was just awful those years. I think, just looking at it schematically, I'd rather bulk up my interior, the box, more than bulking up my secondary. More secondary likely means more plays reaching the secondary, which means your leading tackler is a safety because everything is going for 8 yards. Boo.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: And now Greg Robinson is at Texas. Good luck, man.
Jordan K: Do you think that Jenkins leaving the team could ultimately be good for team morale and Pride? Have to get rid of the dead weight rather than letting them drag you down, right? What's the ultimate effect on the team?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I never got any indication that Brodrick was any sort of cancer to the team or in the locker room. Again, the coaching staff is tight-lipped about this one, so really have no clue what happened.
Scott: Greg Robinson is only slightly more likeable than Randy Edsall
MattInPA: I've been to the Big House in Michigan and was honestly surprised at how small it was. I guess the people up there are skinny or something and they just have smaller allotted seat space because that place doesnt look like it would hold that many people.
SouthernMarylandEER: Do you think the upside-down craft beer cups will be an improvement over the beer bottles in the stands? They have magnetic bottoms and everything!
Stephen J. Nesbitt: SMEER, uh, wow, that sounds cutting edge! I haven't tried 'em, but I love the sound of 'em.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Matt, yep, the Big House really doesn't look that big. I can tell you, though, that press box is a luxury box compared to WVU's!
MattInPA: Drunken frat boys just pop the magnets out and spill your beer... have to keep your hand covering the bottom of the cup.
Chad: Has the DeForest situation been at all a distraction to the players? It seems to have calmed a bit.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Again, hard to tell. They aren't taking any questions on it, so we don't know what they're thinking. I imagine nothing will come of this for WVU and DeForest will keep his job as long as nothing has gone on at WVU.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I really don't think it's much of a distraction. If it were a head coach, though, that's different.
MattInPA: I wish DeForest would bring some of that strategy to his job here... because he needs all the help he can get.
BuckNut: Would you consider Michigan to be the program most threatened by Maryland's move to the Big Ten?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Uh, no.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I don't think anyone's threatened by Maryland's move to the Big Ten.
MattInPA: Does Holgorsen have the best hair in college football? The Skullet is a thing of beauty...
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Geesh, it can get wild, can't it? Just like the state. Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Any last questions as we wrap up?
Fritz R: How closely do players identify with WV and their mascot, the mountaineers? Furthermore, what sort of impact do you see the mascot having on this team as they take on the terrapins?
SouthernMarylandEER: He cut his hair. He doesn't have a skullet. That's why he couldn't beat Oklahoma.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I like a good mascot. You face the big question of ... human mascot or furry mascot? The Mountaineer is a great look, but, my word, a Terp's a Terp! Gotta hand it to Maryland, I love their mascot.
Scott: You know who had nice hair? Bill Stewart.
MattInPA: Thanks, its been an informative chat. That Scott guy was a jerk, though.
MattInPA: Whats your prediction for the game?
WVUFLYER: 27-23 WVU...see you in Baltimore fellow fans making the trip
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I think WVU takes this one by a score. Haven't settled on a prediction, though.
Chad: Will Michigan win this weekend?
Scott: 1-0 Maryland. The ghost of Scott McBrien cancells the game.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: They'd better, man. Akron was embarrassing. UCONN or bust.
ron in east virginia: also, stephen j, why do you think there's not an east virginia? that would be a great state
Stephen J. Nesbitt: I like to think it'd have the opposite personality of West Virginia and they'd have epic clashes.
Scott: So, classy?
Stephen J. Nesbitt: *clink* Cheers to that. We're out of here, friends. Thanks for joining. We'll be back next week.
Stephen J. Nesbitt: Follow along on Twitter: @stephenjnesbitt and @MountaineersPG. I'll be in Baltimore for this one. We'll have a good time.