November 28, 2016

Bitterly Disappointed...

...but patient. I recognize the depth of rot Mike London allowed to perpetuate within the program. Gotta rebuild both lines from scratch; find some QBs and playmakers. Year one of a three to four year rebuild.

Where do we go from here?

1) Bronco's end of season presser needs to be detailed and encouraging. He needs to convince skeptics that he "gets it."

2) Anae's offense needs to be very critically examined and vetted. That'll happen behind closed doors and we won't hear anything about it, but it needs to happen.

3) Three more OL in the 2017 class. Becton, Hunt, Swoboda, hopefully.

4) At least one more DL in the 2017 class, preferably two or three.

5) Playmakers. Darius Wise is a must-get, imho.

6) Get a head start on 2018 and 2019 recruiting. No bowl game, so use that time wisely.

7) Build some actual toughness in spring ball. Find guys who want to kill Hokies. Major focus on getting Jordan Ellis ready for the bellcow role.

8) Work the transfer market for big uglies and a mobile QB, along with whatever WRs with actual speed you can find. Bring Tim Harris back as a medical redshirt.

9) Choose a QB early in training camp. I hope it's Cross or a mobile guy who transfers in.

10) Install read option stuff heavily in camp. Anae's offense has to be spread-to-run, that's his wheelhouse.

11) Work miracles to get an offensive line that can pass for below-average instead of comprehensively awful.

12) Find a way, hell or high water, to feature Olamide Zaccheaus in the offense.

13) Get another wave of youngsters ready to play on defense. Trucilla, Brooks, Simmons, Stalker, Sharp, namely.

14) Be ready to start the season and not shit the bed against an FCS team.

15) Find a fucking offensive identity early in the season.

16) Win some games. At least four. FOUR IS BARE MINIMUM.

17) Meanwhile, deliver the goods on a top-40 2018 recruiting class.

At that point, the arrow begins pointing up.

Gonna be a grueling offseason. Glad Bronco wanted a challenge.

Why'd it go so bad this season?

I fully expected, at worst, 6-6. My call was 7-5.

Our o-line as a whole was worse than I thought it'd be. Disappointed in Smith, Matteo, English, and McDonald, none of whom were as good as I thought they'd be.

The poor OL doomed the running game. Too often plays decayed into Mizzell generating his own yards, which were never enough, and never reliable. He was plenty shifty, but not big, strong, or fast enough to serve as a true bellcow. For his part, Reid ran tough, but there weren't enough holes, or carries.

We never found a consistent go-to weapon at WR. Oz showed the potential, but lacked consistency/reliability. Other guys flashed at times, but couldn't keep it going. Drops were a problem. Again. So was a general lack of speed.

Benkert's arm talent was exciting, but poor pocket presence (unwillingness to step up into the pocket to deliver throws) and terrible pass pro ended up shattering his confidence. He clearly has a fragile psyche; a microcosm for the entire team.

DL was meh. Wilkins ate blocks, rarely made plays. Brown was inconsistent. The other guys battled, but were green and/or typically outclassed.

Kiser was a beast all season. The OLBs were young and played like it too often, even though they made some great plays at times. I wasn't impressed with Bradshaw, wanted more Word.

Blanding was hurt the first 2/3rds of the season, struggled to make the big plays we needed out of him. Rainey sucked.

Our top two corners missed the season. I thought Thornhill and Hall progressed well, but their youth held them below a glass ceiling. Injuries killed us at cornerback; we never had enough bodies.

Kicker was obviously a friggin disaster.

Conte was great, he'll be missed.

Overall, I thought ST play was much improved (other than the kicking). Hamm was a revelation returning punts. I was impressed by how the staff built longsnappers from scratch.

I expected much more this season, I'll admit. Main culprits of disappointment: offensive line, injuries in the secondary, youth across the roster, kicking, lack of psychological toughness (especially at QB).

But mostly, I just don't really want to talk about it right now.


  1. How about grading the coaching, coaches, decision making, play calling, preparedness?

  2. Thornhill is a safety as well, so asking him to play CB was probably a tough transition. Hopefully the other CBs can get healthy in the offseason and he can go back to FS and they can slide Blanding (if he stays, but at this point he would be dumb not to) over to SS, where I think he fits better. We get Cook back at OLB, and you have to feel pretty good at the depth of OLB going into the spring. Although they played young, they got reps in games situations they can learn from.

    As far as QB, if we are looking to the future, I say throw Cross or Abramson in there and take your lumps and have a four year starter going into next season. Shit, at this point, why not? I don't see the staff being able to fix Benkert's pocket jitters. Hell of an arm, but that arm don't mean shit when you are just running out bounds for a five yard loss instead of throwing it away.

    Feel good about the depth at DE with Wright, Powers, Hanback and Moye. NT, we're fucked. I thought Wilkins would play a bit better than he did, but there is NO ONE behind him.

    Didn't realize we will only have two running backs returning (Ellis and Hamm). I guess they won't be allowed to tackle them during Spring ball and camp again.

    I think the defense takes a big leap next year, not great, but definitely able to hang with other teams. We are screwed on offense for the next few years. Unproven QB, OL that is below average, lack of ability to get playmakers the ball or in space.

  3. I'll add one:

    1. Check game film and count the number of times poor QB mechanics led to stalled drives. Work on QB mechanics, particularly in situations when the QB is not under pressure. It is ok to throw off the back foot when the situation requires it, but it is not cool to do it as a part of your "style".

  4. Any chance of a WVU preview before Sat? Nice win yesterday, gutty. If the Hoos can get win this weekend we're probably good until the Cal game. How gratifying was last night? Big come from behind win and the Evil Empire was dominated.