Friday, December 05, 2008

The Great Pitt Debacle

It's taken me a week to prepare statements about the recent WVU / Pitt matchup at Heinz Field. Well, and I'm still not quite prepared to discuss it I guess. With a Big East title possibly still in play, the Mountaineers folded and rolled over for the Panthers. A repeat of the 2007 matchup comes to mind. Identical plays and identical disappointment.

There is something wrong with the 2008 Mountaineer football team. It has been obvious since the first game of the season against Villanova. Losing to ECU and only scoring 3-points showed that there was something seriously wrong with the offense. In 2007, WVU scored over 35 points against 8 opponents. This year they've accomplished that feat once against Villanova. In a year where Bill Stewart promised an expansion of the playbook, we've watched the play calling contract faster than the economy. Pat White threw 5 touchdowns against Villanova but that hardly makes him a passing quarterback.

Anyway, back to the Pitt game. The 2 interceptions that White threw were killers. Both were very poor decisions. But I go back to the playcalling. Pat White had a 54-yard touchdown run and ran the ball 12 times but it felt like he was stifled by his unwillingness to tuck the ball towards the end of the game. Noel Devine was ineffective because he wouldn't run north/south but instead wanted to cut back across the field on every play. The defense played well but the offense was inept.

Bill Stewart has the greatest quarterback running threat in the nation in the backfield and has misused him all season long. This doesn't bode well for 2009 when Pat White is long gone. If we can't win with Patrick White, what can we do without him? Some things need to change, and in a hurry. 2008 has been a wasted year. The question now is how many more years must we watch the same?

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