Please Sign on the Line


Now that the dust has settled on NSD, we can all collectively breathe a sigh of relief. The letters have been signed; the fax machines have reverted back to sleep mode, and blood pressure levels have returned to normal ranges. I want to thank WV Law Geek for doing an excellent summery of Wednesday’s results. His article includes commentary from Coach Holgorsen about the players and why WVU recruited them. Very nicely done. With that being said, I know some of you have expressed disappointment with this class. Maybe WVU didn’t sign the class that you had hoped for, and I can understand that. For most of us, WVU isn’t just about sports, it’s about passion. We bleed Gold and Blue. It is fundamental to who we are. So when things don’t go as expected, we get nervous. My goal is to help you make sense of all this. I am the guy who chews’ his fingernails if our 3rd down conversion rate is less than 50%. I am the guy who performs gymnastics in my living room if WVU doesn’t win the turnover margin. I am also the guy who cares way too much about penalties per game. All these areas speak volumes about what kind of team you have.

Most of you aren’t happy about some of the “big nasties” that signed with WVU. Maybe you had hoped for a little more flare. In some ways I do too. However, this is a very solid group and we have reason to be excited as Mountaineer Nation. With the signing of five defensive linemen, and four offensive linemen, WVU addressed some very foundational needs. I’m not going to project where this group will be on the depth chart in 2012, but with losses on both sides of the line, they will definitely help. In WVUs’ three losses this season, the Mountaineers’ only recorded three sacks while giving up eight. For instance, against Syracuse, Smith was sacked 4 times, while Nassib wasn’t sacked at all. Coincidently, Nassib threw for 194 yards, blistering the Mountaineer defense. In four games this year West Virginia did not record a sack. Two of those games resulted in losses, and it was too close for comfort at Maryland. A football team’s ability to protect their QB and apply pressure to the opposing QB is significant to the outcome of the game. Still not convinced we have a problem? In 11 games this season, WVU failed to pressure the opposing QB, even though they may have recorded a sack. When I say pressure, I’m talking about hitting the QB after the throw, or forcing him to move the pocket. This is an area we will have to improve on next season when we face more potent offenses in the Big 12. If you’re still not persuaded, think back to the Pitt game. WVUs ability to get in the back field was the difference in the game. The Mountaineers recorded 10 sacks for a loss of 51 yards. Four of those sacks came on Pitt’s final drive where the Panthers eventually ran out of time. WVU won that game by one point.

Allow me to leave you with these final thoughts. Luck and Holgorsen are winners. These men are highly motivated, and not only want to win, but they want to win it all! They hate mediocrity just as much as we do. It’s kind of like what I always tell myself as I board a plane. The pilot wants to live just as much as I do, so relax. Folks, we are in good hands, and we have to trust the Coaching staff. Our job is to be supportive and stand by the emblem that we love. The future is very bright for WVU and Wednesday was a great day to be a Mountaineer, even in Atlanta. Now all together, with one voice…..LETS GOOOOOOOO…….