The Airing Of Grievances

Cincinnati West Virginia Football

Just when we thought the offensive coaching had turned the corner, Mullen calls a game where even I, being half-drunk, could recognize any play coming. There was simply nothing original about the game plan, unless the plan was supposed to look completely inept.  Then again, it’s not that original when you’ve been doing it all season.

The stats tell most of the story: four of twenty on third down and 98 total rushing yards.  98.  That is the first time in seven years — SEVEN YEARS — that we failed to reach the 100 yard mark. Mullen deserves a pat on the back for that. Good job, buddy.

These talented players are often seen walking off the field, shaking their heads in disbelief.  You just know that they are questioning Mullen’s calls.  I mean, how could you not?  Sometimes, we want to spread them out, go into motion, and then throw three yards behind the line. Other times, we just spread them out and run the ball between the tackles, not taking advantage of the space. Then, we get into short yardage and Mullen’s headset must catch on fire, because those play calls couldn’t possibly be coming from a top program’s OC.

The offensive play calling is so all-over-the-map, it’s hard to pick the one thing that frustrates me the most. The entire offensive scheme, if there even is a scheme, looks like it was designed by dropping crayons from a table top and then picking routes by connecting the dots.

When you only have four plays inside the 10, it’s best not to let the other team know which play you’re calling based on motion and formation.  it’s just obvious what we’re doing (or not doing). Here is our goal to go offense. Play 1: Bubble screen. Play 2: Run to the short side. Play 3: Run up the middle. Play 4: Clusterfuck. Sure, the plays have worked in the past but now teams know what is coming because, and get this, they watch film.  With our offense, those tactics should be illegal just to level the playing field.

The clusterfuck play this game, which points out the incoherent randomness of this offense, came from the I-formation. We ran the power option from the I formation for the first time since the 1980′s. Are we a power running attack? No. So why does Mullen insist on attempting to overpower anyone? Your answer: he is not a very good OC.

You can also blame Mullen for killing WVU’s momentum on several occasions. The biggest instance was after a Cincinnati reciever fumbled/dropped a pass and WVU recovered.  On that close of a play, you immediately run the team out and snap the ball quick so the play can’t be reviewed.  Unfortunately, the team lined up for 15 seconds and waited for a playcall/audible.  That gave the booth ample time to buzz the officials so the booth could review the call.  End of momentum.

All the drunk people at the bar, even before seeing the replay, were screaming, “Let’s go, let’s go.”  But nope, Mullen wanted to make sure he had the perfect play called that would go for no gain.  Mullen lost this game and has failed to show any improvement.  For that, he should be fired.  Now.

While I do not blame HCBS for the loss, I really hope he says something different in the locker room.  His quotes to the media, while once charming, simply frustrate the shit out of me.  

“I am proud to be their head football coach because of their character in the second half. We got it back to 0-0. That’s all I can ask.”

I have no problem with the first two sentences because I am proud of the effort these players put forth on Saturday night.  But are you fucking serious about only wanting a tie game? This isn’t the 70′s and we aren’t in France.  Ties don’t really do much for us these days.  And I love character in players as much as the next guys, but can we find some guys with character that actually win football games?  They’re out there, right?

25 Responses

  1. Now that Stewart and Mullens have clearly destroyed Pat White’s senior season and, most likely, put a 5 year halt on our sustained sucesses, let’s look back in time….

    This post:

    http://wbgv.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/mulling-on-mullen-a-manifesto/

    So many things that were worries in April are now realities. A certain quote from myself, to prove my vastly superior smarts:

    “In regards to MulIen, I guess I feel like some of us are as deluded as some Michigan fans are right now. I’ve read UM folks predict 8 and 9 win seasons and I’ve seen WVU folks predict PW, Mullen and HCBS leading us to the BCS promised land. Unfortunately, I fear both schools are going to be mighty unhappy come December…”

  2. If HCBS has such tepid, folksy responses to losses, what makes you think he’s got the stones to make a really tough decision to axe a subordinate? Ultimately, it starts and ends at the top…ask Tommy Bowden. I agree with the drought we’ll suffer on any sustained success.

  3. I’d like to request a regular feature that visits old predictions- good and bad. It was interesting to read the comments following Double U’s profound insight.

  4. I am trying to stay positive … but … DAMN … it is getting extremely difficult.

    Cinncy has a veteran defense … but … there is NO WAY they should shut us down like that.

    The comment about the 70′s and France scares the HELL out of me.

    We can not accept mediocrity … FUCK … FUCK … FUCK.

    And, for the FANS??? that left the game … remember how you feel right now about yourself … and NEVER let that happen AGAIN!!!!

  5. Where do we go from here? I really feel like we must collectively form a powerful fire STEW and Mullen voice. If we don’t show immense dissatisfaction now and continually, then this guy will be coaching us into Carquest bowls for 2-3 more years if we’re lucky.

    Fans that can support Stew and this staff really have no true love for the program. The Slaton, Schmitt excuse is retarded. Devine is as good if not better than Slaton. And we rarely used schmitty as a lead blocker. It’s not like we used the i-form but a hand full of times in 07.

    If we lose some of those big name recruits than those give Stew a chance fans will see the defection results in 09.

    Mark my words: NEXT YEAR WILL BE WAY WORSE THAN THIS YEAR. PREDICTION 5-7 WITH STEW STILL AS HEAD COACH.

  6. I can’t believe i drove 8 hours to watch that debacle. I’m just kinda speechless, sitting here shakin my head in disbelief…. Cincy? really?

  7. Nati, I support Stew and have nothing but love for this football program.

    Also, what exactly is “mediocrity?” Do we have to win a national championship every season? Shit, I can’t even win every year on X-Box 360.

  8. We don’t have to win a national championship every year BUT that’s what we should strive for every year. Otherwise, what the hell is the point! I think we are all so frustrated at the level of talent we have on the field yet we’re not seeing it because of the coaches who are in the driver’s seat(s)! Mediocrity is of a moderate or low quality, value, ability or performance. There is mediocrity in this program but it’s not from the players. Only time will tell if we’ll get more from our mediocre coaches, but the problem with this is our players will become mediocre as well. This is especially true the longer this coaching staff is in place. WVU lost a lot with the “changing of the guard” last year and my feeling today is the same as it was the day after the Fiesta Bowl.
    I will forever support the Mountaineers and whoever is their coach, just as I will always support the United States of America and our president. But just like with politics, we have the right as fans to be disappointed when things fall apart before our eyes.

  9. So mediocrity is not living up to your standard of performance?

    If we end the season 9-4 with a BCS bowl win, would that be mediocre in your book? That isn’t mediocre to me.

  10. The season isnt’ over 5th year.

  11. and..no it’s not mediocre to me especially under a new coach. BTW what’s so wrong with setting a standard for performance?

  12. Is it going to be a new standard every year?

    Do the new coaches only get one year to live up that standard?

  13. “Do the new coaches only get one year to live up that standard?”

    Didn’t you just write a post entitled “FIRE JEFF MULLENS”?

  14. I may talk to myself a lot but I was not doing that in the comment. I was asking D.

  15. While the play calling is unacceptable, it’s the coaching/drilling that has (not) occurred March through the present that is the problem. Just because a play doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it is a bad play call. An inability to execute stems from inadequate preparation, practice, and repetition of techniques and assignments.

    9-4 is mediocre. Top 25 teams are good. Bottom 30 teams are bad. Everyone else is mediocre. If you don’t play a bowl in the New Year, you are mediocre. WVU has beaten 1 FBS team with a winning record. They have shown incompetence on offense all season. WVU returned most of a dominant offense that should have eaten this year’s Big East for breakfast. The Mountaineers have done nothing to show that they are anything but medicore. It sucks, but it’s a fact.

  16. Somehow I see this summary coming in a future review of Division 1-A football programs:

    WVU was mired in mediocrity in the 1970s Cignetti era, until Don Nehlen arrived from Bowling Green in 1980. The Nehlen era was marked by improved play from the Mountaineers, who was invited but lost in many bowl games, having once vied for the national championship.

    In 2001 under Rich Rodriguez, the Mountaineers started slowly but found success under the spread offense and great finds like Slaton, Schmitt, and White. In 2007, Rodriguez took the head coach position at Michigan and WVU hired Bill Stewart immediately after an emotional Fiesta Bowl victory.

    The Bill Stewart era was marked by a reversal of WVU’s recruiting fortunes, forever landing midway in the Big East standings during a time when the Big East became known more as a basketball conference than a football conference. National rankings were a thing of the past. The WVU athletic department refused to admit the futility of their decision, and by the time Stewart and AD Pastilong resigned under intense criticism, the program was a damaged shell of its former self.

  17. 1.) Trashed Pat Whites senior season
    2.) Trashed the most exciting offense in the country
    3.) Trashed the opportunity to win the BigEast outright
    4.) Trashed recruiting hopefuls

    This is what pathetic coaching can do..Lou Holtz once said when it comes to digging yourself in a hole, ” rule number 1, when in a hole, stop digging” HCBS and Mullen went out and bought new shovels instead.

  18. Prediction: I don’t know what it is…just a gut feeling I guess…I think Stewart will step down at the end of the season, knowing the expectation level at WVU and its standing in the BEAST conference and comparing those levels to his own personal capabilities.

  19. “4.) Trashed recruiting hopefuls”

    That’s completely unfounded and untrue. Heastie said he’s solid as ever and doubts he even visits UNC now, even following the loss, and Eugene Smith will commit in the very near future.

  20. “4.) Trashed recruiting hopefuls”

    That’s completely unfounded and untrue. Heastie said he’s solid as ever and doubts he even visits UNC now, even following the loss, and Eugene Smith will commit in the very near future.

    I think he’s talking about the Tajh Boyd incident.

  21. If you are going to trash Mullen for the I formation, you should definitely trash Stew for it as well. He has been on record as saying as far back as spring ball that he wanted to bring the I formation back to WVU. I believe he even said he did it in the Fiesta Bowl. While I am no fan of Mullens, the I formation crap is pretty much on Stew.

  22. The I formation isn’t a bad thing at all but using it in short yardage situations when we are not a “power team” is a negative.

  23. but gee golly gosh, Cincinnati is such a quality opponent I can’t be mad about us losing to them

  24. I really don’t think many of you exactly know how the workings of college football work. Although the OC often calls the plays, EVERYTHING in the typical college football program is ‘ok’d” by the HC (see any successful head coach that isn’t fringing on Altzheimer’s) regardless if he is a defensive or offensive mind. Too much blame is directed to the worthless OC and not enough to Stewart.

  25. first of all, let me say, “DAMN DAMN DAMN”. boy our offense looked lousy.

    Not to absolve HCBS or Mullen, but I have a question about the O-line, which REALLY looked disjointed in this last game. We’re now two years removed from Trickett, and I’m concerned that both this year’s O-line coaching and maybe even last year’s weren’t what they should have been. Can bad o-line coaching negate all the experience on the front line that everyone’s talking about?

    I am losing faith that this year’s edition of the Mountaineers will get any better. they will likely finnish 1-2 through the rest of this year and play UTEP or someone of similiar caliber in a small bowl, and totally kick their ass. If they go 3-0 (I wouldn’t put them beating Pitt, and South Florida will out-coach us again), then I think we’ll pull a Notre Dame and get crushed in a BCS bowl. To Virginia Tech or some ACC flunky.

    There, I’m done, thanks for listening!

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