Monday, November 24, 2008

Mountaineers Bounce Back...A Lot

The sad thing about this season is that West Virginia has had to bounce back a lot. The good thing is that they have bounced back. My best case scenario for this year was that West Virginia would have a dominating offense and a young defense that would cost them probably two games. Worst case, four. And as if the man needed to remind me one more time that I am not the great predictor, nothing could be further from the truth. At least how they have gotten to this point.

The defense isn't heavy with NFL talent, nor experience. They've just been one of those pleasant surprises that might speak more about why the offense has faltered at times and why the defense has shinned. Continuity. Having Jeff Casteel back as defensive coordinator seems to have made a world of difference. Sure they weren't all that great at the beginning of the year. But they came together for the Colorado game and have been strong since. Despite losing some key players, Casteel has plugged in the next guy on the depth chart and just gone with it.

The offense has confused me all year long. Every time I think we have no chance, we roll over someone like Auburn. So that leads me to think we have things figured out, and then Cincinnati comes to town. In all fairness, Cincinnati is a pretty good team. Apparently, really good teams go to Norman and get throttled. But after the last three years, it's hard to look at and believe what I'm seeing. I was probably looking to a fairytale ending for Pat White, and that's not what I got. Not exactly. But if you look over our last 10 years not counting this one, we've averaged a little less than nine wins a season. Which is skewed a bit by the last three years. But while this year feels like every minute of Rob Gordon's life, it's really something closer to the norm.

There's a feeling of disappointment, sure, but the reality isn't that bad. There's still a good chance to win 10 games, and an outside shot at a Big East title. God forbid, ya know?There were enough times this year that the team could have folded. Booing incidents come to mind. Two straight losses to East Carolina and Colorado sprinkled in there. But the team has remained a team and kept trying no matter what anyone says. There hasn't been any division of the team. They've just grown tighter and defended each other. That's one thing we should have expected from this team.

Hopefully some thoughts on the Pitt game later in the week.

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