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?