We Know Who Wins The Fiesta Bowl

It’s difficult to write a game preview for a game as marquee as this one, considering everyone from ESPN to your uncle Ricky has previewed the games themselves. And chances are, uncle Ricky’s effort makes twice as much sense as ESPN’s. So we’re going to take a little different tack when looking at this game.

We’re going to do this from a completely arbitrary standpoint. Who cares whether Oklahoma has a DT suspended or a CB hurt. Those things have nothing to do with the outcome of the game. What really matters is that Oklahoma had a then-record run of 2,212 performances on Broadway. That’s tough to overcome.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Come Get Your Whoopin’ Louisville

While the Louisville defense has been rightly blamed for the teams lackluster performance thus far, they have actually improved over the last three games. However, that isn’t saying much when you are talking about this squad. So far this season the Louisville D has allowed 27 points, 257 passing yards, and 154 rushing yards a game. All of these stats are in the bottom of NCAA rankings.

We all know Patrick White does not throw the ball down field much but this may be the game we see CRR let White show off his left arm. Even if Louisville loads up the box we should be able to run at will on this swiss cheese of a defense. They do not have the necessary speed on the edge to contain either White or Slaton, which will cause them to keep their linebackers wide. That is when we bust Schmidt up the middle and he busts another face mask.

Last season, WVU racked up a surprising 540 yards against a very good Cardinal defense. We’ll see a little more than that for tonight’s game. White throws for over 200 yards and rushes for 100 more. Slaton again does not go off for the numbers we have come to expect, only rushing for 113 but also getting about 60 receiving yards. It will be another solid performance with a few big plays but mostly extended drives down the field.

When our defense takes the field, something is going to have to give. Louisville’s offense has been great, averaging 510 yards/game, ranking 6th in the country. The Mountaineer defense, however, is only allowing 262 yards/game, ranking 4th. Here’s why WVU is going to win: we score more points.

Silly thing to say? Hardly. Like we said, Louisville is 4th in total offense. But where they lack is scoring, only ranking 18th. It’s still a respectable ranking, but not quite the machine-like numbers of years past. Their defense is not putting them in good positions and their offense just isn’t good enough to overcome that, mostly because their rushing offense ranks in the bottom half of Div. I-A (149 yards/game).

Even with just that, WVU should be favored by two touchdowns. But then we get into the biggest mismatch of the night: CRR vs. The Krag. Kragthorpe has arguably been one of the worst coaches of the season. If there were an award for “worst coach,” it would be a dogfight between Mark Snyder and Steve Kragthorpe. Meanwhile, CRR has opened up our playbook and put the bite back in the Mountaineers’ offense.

In the end, we win this one going away.

WVU 52 – Louisville 17

[5th Year Senior contributed to this preview]

AddThis Feed Button

Keys To The Game


This going to be short and sweet. If we accomplish all of these, we’ll blow Maryland out. Accomplish more than we don’t and we should win. If you’re checking this list in the 4th quarter thinking these were unrealistic goals, we’re probably in trouble.

  • Stop, contain, bruise, and batter Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore. Maryland has a good rushing attack, but luckily, we are strongest against the run. Both Ball and Lattimore can make us pay if we allow them through the first line of defense and get one-on-one with our linebackers or safeties. In my mind, Reed Williams and Mortty Ivy need to be on their A games for this task. They’ve played very well to start the season, let’s hope that continues tonight.
  • Pressure QB Jordan Steffy. This, with any game the Mountaineers play, is a huge key. If we pressure the quarterback, our defense can be stifling. With all those athletic safeties, pressuring the quarterback forces him into bad or at least low percentage decisions. That is when our turnover rate goes WAY up. Steffy, in his career, has only faced Villanova and Florida International. If Dykes plays — and I hope to God that he does — we can give this kid a rude introduction to top 5, BCS-caliber football.
  • Get the offensive line to the next level. That is, get them off their initial blockers and have them creating space downfield. Our rushing attack is at its best when our offensive line is 5 yards downfield almost immediately. This wasn’t too much of a concern the past two years as we had anchors in Jeremy Sheffey and Dan Mozes. This year, however, it’s been a bit more difficult a task. If guys like Stancheck, Isdaner, and Rodemoyer can get us downhill and engage those Maryland linebackers, White, Slaton, Schmitt and Devine should all have huge days.

Keys To The Game


This going to be short and sweet. If we accomplish all of these, we’ll blow Maryland out. Accomplish more than we don’t and we should win. If you’re checking this list in the 4th quarter thinking these were unrealistic goals, we’re probably in trouble.

  • Stop, contain, bruise, and batter Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore. Maryland has a good rushing attack, but luckily, we are strongest against the run. Both Ball and Lattimore can make us pay if we allow them through the first line of defense and get one-on-one with our linebackers or safeties. In my mind, Reed Williams and Mortty Ivy need to be on their A games for this task. They’ve played very well to start the season, let’s hope that continues tonight.
  • Pressure QB Jordan Steffy. This, with any game the Mountaineers play, is a huge key. If we pressure the quarterback, our defense can be stifling. With all those athletic safeties, pressuring the quarterback forces him into bad or at least low percentage decisions. That is when our turnover rate goes WAY up. Steffy, in his career, has only faced Villanova and Florida International. If Dykes plays — and I hope to God that he does — we can give this kid a rude introduction to top 5, BCS-caliber football.
  • Get the offensive line to the next level. That is, get them off their initial blockers and have them creating space downfield. Our rushing attack is at its best when our offensive line is 5 yards downfield almost immediately. This wasn’t too much of a concern the past two years as we had anchors in Jeremy Sheffey and Dan Mozes. This year, however, it’s been a bit more difficult a task. If guys like Stancheck, Isdaner, and Rodemoyer can get us downhill and engage those Maryland linebackers, White, Slaton, Schmitt and Devine should all have huge days.