First off, Western Michigan is a lot better team than what I gave them credit for. At least defensively. The final numbers don't show it, but I think they will be at least an 8 or 9 win team this year, and I expect them to challenge for the MAC title.
As for West Virginia......
I'd give this an A if not for a couple passes by Pat White that should have been touchdowns, but sailed over the receivers head. White finished the day 10-18 for 192 yards, two td's and no int's. He also ran the ball 9 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
Jarrett Brown came in and looked like the same guy that won the game against Rutgers last year. He was 3-4 for 34 yards through the air and rushed 5 times for 41 yards and a touchdown. So no problem at the backup quarterback position.
Running Back: A
Slaton ran the ball 16 times for 109 yards and three td's as well as two catches for 61 yards and a touch. Noel Devine and Jock Sanders both made their Mountaineer debut Saturday and when they were both in the backfield with Jarrett Brown, they looked like midgets. But we did get a little taste of what they can do...
Offensive line: A
In my mind, probably the biggest question mark was how the new guys would do. And I think the play above gives you an idea if you keep your eye on how they move together and how the timing of their block gives Devine an easy path to the endzone.
Defensive line and Linebackers : B
As far as stopping the run, 32 rushes for 32 yards. I'll take that against anyone. But no sacks = a big disappointment. There was some pressure, but not nearly enough to make me think this defense is going to pressure opposing quarterbacks into making stupid mistakes. Last year, I made excuses like they didn't want to give anything away scheme wise in the first game of the year, but not this year. We should be able to beat guys from the MAC in one-on-one situations, but it didn't happen yesterday.
Defensive Backs: C+
245 yards, two td's and two int's on 43 passes. Meh! This has to improve. Yes, WMU made some good plays and a couple of very exceptional catches, but we should have been able to shut this team down. And it didn't happen. A better passing team would have made this a much more interesting game.
It was a big margin of victory, 62-24, but the score doesn't indicate how close this game was. The Mountaineer offense will be fine, and was. But the defense still has a ways to go to be able to stop the likes of Rutgers and Louisville.
My Grade: B-
I think I went to heavy on the jello shots and beer bongs to be as effective a fan as I should have been. But I had a good time getting that way.