QUOTABLE | I think we’re all wondering where QB Seth Doege is mentally and I think he’s in a good place, or at least I think he’s saying that he’s in a good place. I think he always said the right things last year and I think he’ll say the right things this year. I really am hopeful that Doege can turn things around in the next seven games.
I know that he wants to prove that he’s a better quarterback than what he has shown. I do know that no matter whatever physical limitations that Doege has, this will not be a situation where he’s going to not give it his all. I get that he is probably a very hard-working kid, a smart kid and generally a good human being.
He won’t stop trying and that’s something to be hopeful about. I’ll mention this below, but when he took that hit and was just leveled, I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to get up for at least a play. But he was up, with a half-smile on his face, ready to just keep going.
NOTES | These are notes from around the interwebs this morning:
* LAJ's Nick Kosmider profiles West Virginia's head coach Dana Holgorsen.
* LAJ's Don Williams and Nick Kosmider file a notebook and the headline is that there was an internetrumor that said that WR Bradley Marquez was leaving the team to go be with the Mets full time. Tuberville said that he didn't know anything about that. I looked at MetsBlog.com quickly and couldn't find it.
* DT's Michael DuPont II writes about the many offensive options of West Virginia.
* OA Online writes about CB Eugene Neboh's journey from walk-on to starter:
"I’ve just learned to be patient and that everyone has their time. Every dog has their day," Neboh said. "When you get your opportunity, you’ve got to make the most of it."
* The Metro News writes that Texas Tech is gunning for the Mountaineers.
* Per the official site, don't forget that Gabe Rivera will be honored on Saturday.
FINDING THEIR WAY | I think Cornelius Douglas and Eugene Neboh are going to find their way very quickly on Saturday night. There will not be a more tested position than cornerback and I’m incredibly interested to see how they’ll respond. And I do think they they are both pretty good corners and the one advantage is that they’ve seen some variation of the spread offense almost every day in practice. Still, they haven’t seen this. I actually think that Douglas and Neboh will be fine, although I am worried a bit about Tre’ Porter and how he does. I thought he did a pretty good job against Oklahoma, but not so much against Iowa St. He’s going to have a lot of pressure on him as well.
THE LIGHT BULB HAS GONE ON | I really want the lightbulb to go on for the offensive line. I am a little haunted by the one play where QB Seth Doege is absolutely leveled, he gets up with a half-smile on his face, and the guy that let Doege get leveled is supposed to be the best offensive lineman of the bunch, LT LaAdrian Waddle. This is not a situation where he lacks the physical ability to stay in front of defenders or that he lacks the experience to play the position. He should not just have a defender simply run past him and at this point, it’s unacceptable. It is about consistency for Waddle and I think it’s also a bit about desire. As much as we all see how Doege is still inconsistent, Waddle is the same way at times. He’s got it all to be pretty good, but he needs to put it all together.
ITEM COMPLETED | It’s time to take the test, the test to find out whether or not this team is the same team from last year or if this team is any better. Exact same situation, but at least with this year, I think the team has a better win on it’s ledger (I’d rather have a win against Iowa St. than Kansas) and a better loss (I’d rather be blown out by Oklahoma than Iowa St.). I am keenly interested to see how they take this next step because I think it’s incredibly important moving forward, how they react to a bad loss. Last year, it was followed up by some close, but ultimately losing games, a terrific win, and then a string of losses to end the season. The entire fanbase is watching.
KEY TO SUCCESS | I’ve somewhat gone around and around in my head on this. Is it more important for the defense to force a few punts from West Virginia or is it more important for the offense to keep pace? I think I’ve settled on the former and I’m not sure how likely that is. What we do know is that West Virginia is human. They can struggle against bad teams, like Maryland this year and Pittsburgh and South Florida last year, and even lose to teams that just doesn’t seem probable, like Syracuse. They have their off-days just like every other team. Tuberville talked about this
WE HAVE QUESTIONS | So the big question this week was whether or not the team or the coaches simply gave up against Oklahoma. This is obviously a subjective question, but I did dig into the weekly transcript and find this from head coach Tommy Tuberville:
So, as coaches, you discuss it. I discussed it with the seniors and the team, hey, we've got to play. No matter what happens, we can't get conservative. We've got to keep playing. We've got to have fun. Because once you start losing the fun attitude, it gets a lot more difficult.
So it sounds like, before we really even discussed it, he discussed his team continuing to have enthusiasm and have fun. And I guess this could also make you wonder that if the coaching staff was aware of the player’s body language, this might lead us to think that they didn’t want the team to fall into the same place that they fell into last year. The coaches are trying to nip this in the bud. Again, this makes me think that the coaches weren’t giving up at all and trying to keep the players from getting into the mindset of just giving in. I don’t know if this makes you feel any better about the situation, but it seems like he noticed his team getting a bit down and addressed it on Sunday.
GOOD JOB GOOD EFFORT | Things are usually not taking a turn for the better when your secondary leads the team in tackles and that was the case last Saturday as S D.J. Johnson, S Cody Davis and CB Cornelius Douglas were the top three tacklers on Saturday. I know that each of these guys didn’t play perfectly, but I really thought that Douglas had an outstanding game for the most part and although there was the one tackle that Davis didn’t make a tackle in open space, I didn’t think the secondary played all that bad. I will say that when DC Art Kaufman talks about how this is all supposed to work, that the secondary is supposed to "fit" and make the tackles and support the line and linebackers. Well, that also means that the line and the linebackers have to make plays as well and make it tougher on the opposing quarterback to his job.
TAKING AIM | Yesterday I mentioned SB Nation’s Bill Connelly article about how Maryland did a good job of continaing West Virginia and I really didn’t pick up on this until yesterday, but Tuberville also acknowledged that they are working on the issue of tackling in open space and those offensive players that make a sudden change in the field:
Q. Going back to overcoming adversity. What are you doing in practice to put the guys in situational things instead of changes in practice to help overcome the adversity issue? Tuberville: Yeah, we do a drill against each other where we have sudden change, and we work on our sudden change plays for offense, and our sudden change defense has to go out on the field and turn it over. So we go against each other quite a bit on that. Lot of times you'll run a big play from your offense and try to throw the ball down the field right after sudden change. Post route, something like that to take advantage of a team that's setting over there on defense. All of a sudden they have to get up there and go out there and they're usually not focused on, hey, I've got to get after it, and they go deep. So we usually work on sudden change transition. Our offense versus our defense, which is usually pretty good. We've been working quite a bit on red zone offenses and defenses and what we're going to do now and go against each other. We haven't done it against each other as much. So we'll put the ball to the 25 and move it against each other and compete against each other.
Fall Practice: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year; ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - out 4 to 6 weeks); DT Anthony Smith (rolled ankle from scooter mishap - out 2 weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot).
Week 1 vs. Northwestern St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 2 to 4 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 4 to 6 more weeks); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - out 2 weeks).
Week 2 vs. Texas St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 3 to 5 more weeks); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - out 1 week); WR Eric Ward (concussion - out 1 game).
Week 3 vs. New Mexico: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 2 more weeks); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 2 to 4 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be available); WR Marcus Kennard (groin - day to day); CB Cornelius Douglas (pulled abdominal muscle - 1 week).
Week 4 Bye: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - may be out 1 more week); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks).
Week 5 Iowa St.: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - practicing, but may be out 1 more week); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 1 to 3 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - may be out 1 more week).
Week 6 Oklahoma: OL Matt Wilson (torn ACL - out for the year); WR Aaron Fisher (broken leg - out for the year); CB Jeremy Reynolds (knee sprain - out for the year); ATH Shawn Corker (broken foot - should be practicing); RB Quinton White (broken foot - may be out 2 more weeks); OG Tony Morales (knee injury - should be practicing).