We Must Ignite This Couch Articles

Take that asswhuppin' to remember us by, little brother.

By Jude

By Dusty

You have got to like the aggression you see from Dana Holgorsen.

After dispatching alleged rival Marshall in expected fashion, 69-33, on Saturday, one would expect the second-year coach to be pleased with his offense's output. After all, the No. 11 Mountaineers have now combined to score 139 points in their last two games.

In fact, West Virginia scored on seven of its 9 possessions with the starters still in the game, but Holgorson made no bones about his the points that got away. Specifically, he was critical of himself after WVU was unable to convert a 1st-and-goal after four straight plays, as the coach chose to go for TD rather than the surer bet with kicker Tyler Bitancurt.

“I should have kicked the field goal there,” Holgorsen said in this article from wvmetronews.com. “That was stubborn and was a bad call on my part. … That was me being stupid and stubborn.

“We took three points away from that team.”

WVU's 69 points totals as the most ever scored in a season-opening game. That total was three points better than the previous record of 66, which was posted against Richmond in 1958.

The loss drops Huntington Community College to 0-12 against West Virginia, with the hapless Herd losing those games by average of 30 points.

West Virginia finished the game with 655 yards of offense, more than any total posted in a record-filled 2011. The offensive output was split nearly down the middle, with 331 yards on the ground and 324 passing, and WVU scored on nine of 10 touches and didn't commit a turnover.

“I guess that is about as balanced as you can be,” Holgorsen said in this article. “We spread the ball around to a lot of people.”

Not recommended for pregnant women, disabled persons, persons with with post-traumatic stress disorder, or persons who may explode from too much awesome.

The Mountaineers' sudden rushing prowess was all the more impressive when compared to the pitiful 42 yards rushing it managed against Marshall last year.

West Virginia ran 101 offensive plays and had six scoring drives of less than two minutes. Eight different players scored touchdowns for WVU.

Smith completed 32-of-36 passes for 323 yards with four touchdown passes, including two to former high school teammate and frequent target Stedman Bailey. The senior also ran the ball eight times for 65 yards, including a 28-yard TD run on a broken play.

The career records also continue to pile up for Geno, as he passed Marc Bulger with a new record of 650 career completions and 60 touchdowns. Smith needs just 374 more yards to best Bulger in career passing yards.

"Really pleased with how Geno played," Holgorsen said in this AP article from espn.com. "He's done a great job of taking care of the ball, a great job of leading the team."

For his part, Smith said the offense is becoming second-nature to him, which should just about scare opposing defensives silly at this point.

"We understand our offense a lot better and we're more comfortable," Smith said in the same article. "We trust in one another and we know if we do that we can score and put up points."

Bailey caught nine passes for 104 yards, posting his eighth 100-yard game - which is just one shy of David Saunders' WVU school record. J.D. Woods added a TD reception, while Tavon Austin had 10 catches and a touchdown, which he set up with his own 70-yard run. The senior finished with 173 all-purpose yards.

But all of the “Air Raid” offense was expected. What surprised the Gold and Blue faithful most was the emergence of that recently dormant ground game.

WVU put forth a meager 122.7 rushing yards on average last season, compared to a much more robust total of 331 on Saturday.

Newly minted starter Shawne Alston battered and bruised the Herd defense with his combo of speed, agility, and smash-mouth style. He ran for 123 and two touchdowns and announced himself as a force for future opponents to contend with.

"I think I'm the baddest dude on the field," Alston said in the previously-cited AP article. "It's just an attitude that you have to have. Any game that I go into, I just feel that they can't stop me.

“I know what I can do on the field and I don't think that anybody can stop me."

Action shot of Shawne Alston.

While the top rusher from last season, Dustin Garrison, seems certain to be heading for a medical redshirt, Alston's backup Andrew Buie showed some impressive flashes as well. The redshirt frosh added a TD run to go with 80 yards rushing and 31 receiving.

Buie helped break the game open with a 21-yard scoring run on a delayed draw that caught a pass-watching Herd defense completely by surprise.

Keeping defenses honest with the run will be key for the offense this season, Alston said.

"I think it's very important, especially for our passing game and Geno," he added in this WV Gazette article. "If people want to back up for passing, me, Buie and Ryan Clarke are ready to go."

WVU's defense gave up a boatload of offense to MU, but made up for its porous nature by forcing two turnovers that led directly to scores. Redshirt freshman Isaiah Bruce returned a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown, and Doug Rigg ran an interception 46 yards to the Marshall 3 to key another TD.

Bruce led all tacklers with 16, while Terence Garvin provided 12 stops.

Another first-year player, true freshman safety Karl Joseph, posted seven tackles - two for a loss - in his Mountaineer debut.

But first-year defensive coordinator Joe DeForest can't be pleased with how his newly installed defense allowed the Herd to gain 545 yards, including a 98-yard scoring drive in which MU converted three 3rd-down opportunities.

Rakeem Cato completed 38-of-54 passes for 413 yards and two touchdowns, while Travon Van added two rushing touchdowns. The output was even more off-putting for the 'Eers because Marshall was ranked 102nd in the country with an average of 333.4 ypg in total offense in 2011.

"They played hard,” Holgorsen said of his defense in this article from the WV Gazette. “They gave up some plays, but they also got two turnovers.

“As far as how many yards we gave up, I'm not going to worry about that.''

Austin and Alston both lost fumbles that could have been costly, but a Gold and Blue jersey managed to fall on it each time.

Alston impressed early, showing why his power and size earned him the starting nod. The senior bulled and shoved his way for extra yardage, taking three to four hits before the Herd could bring the big man down.

The methodical opening drive moved the Mountaineers down the field with efficiency, but it's most important task seemed to be getting Marshall to keep the box full. Stedman Bailey made them pay, getting behind the secondary for an over-the-shoulder 32-yard touchdown from his former high school teammate Smith.

Tyler Bitancurt missed the point after, leaving WVU up 6-0. Geno went 5-for-5 to key the opening possession which took the Mountaineers 94 yards in 9 plays.

Missed extra points- the very epitome of facepalm.

The offense continued to hum along as if in midseason form on the second drive. Geno picked the defense apart with four straight completions for 44 yards, while Alston slammed his way through for a first down.

Smith's first incompletion came when he overthrew an open Bailey on a play-action pass, but soon after Alston made up for it with a hard-nosed 3-yard TD run. After the PAT, which found its way through this time, WVU was up 13-0.

After humoring Marshall by letting them try some offense, WVU soon had the pigskin back and again looked unstoppable in driving into Marshall territory. This time, though, the Herd defense managed to dig in its heels and stop WVU.

Despite earning a first-and-goal, West Virginia came up empty on four straight plays to turn the ball over on downs.

The MU offense took its cue from the D, finally getting in gear and moving 98 yards in 14 plays to get on the scoreboard. Marshall converted a trio of 3rd down opportunities to keep their drive alive, and Van was the one to finally break through with a 3-yard touchdown run.

The series was in stark contrast to MU's first three touches, which went a paltry 28 yards combined.

After the PAT, WVU found its lead cut to 13-7.

The Mountaineers took the punch and fired right back with ease. Buie got in on the action, providing two runs for 42 yards, including a 24-yard scoring run on a delayed draw from Smith. The TD came after a five-play, 68-yard journey to make the count 20-7.

The Herd cut its deficit back to 10 with a field goal, but Austin quickly negated the points. The senior broke a 70-yard run on the next play from scrimmage to set up his own 6-yard TD reception two plays later.

The series lasted just 41 seconds, going 83 yards in three plays to move the count to 27-10 in favor of the homestanding 'Eers.

The rout continued with Smith finding new starter Woods for a 9-yard TD on the next drive, which took just 1:40 for the team to 74 yards in 9 plays.

The most telling first half statistic was that Marshall actually held the edge in time of possession, 16:09 to 13:51, but WVU led by 24 and outgained the Herd by 249 yards (403 yards to 254). WVU's balance on offense was impressive too, breaking down the output to 200 yards rushing and 203 yards through the air.

WVU had 21 first downs to 13 for Marshall.

The fireworks kept coming in the third quarter, with WVU driving with relative ease for another score. This time it was Alston, making up for the earlier denial in the red zone, slamming his way through defender after defender before breaking loose for a 22-yard score.

A rare WVU punt attempt was blocked by the Herd, setting up a Van TD run to make the score 41-17.

That served only to anger the Mountaineers, who answered right back with Smith's 28-yard breakaway score on a broken play. The senior QB showed how dangerous he can be on his feet, quickly aborting a botched handoff, spinning away from defenders, and taking it all the way to paydirt.

Garvin stripped Cato on the second play of the Herd's ensuing possession, and Bruce returned the loose ball for a score to make it 55-17.

MU mounted a respectable drive to follow, but missed out on two sure touchdowns due to penalty. The Herd instead opted for a field goal in lieu of going for it on 4th down, cutting the team's deficit down to a more manageable 35 points at 55-20.

No matter.

West Virginia kept the pedal to the metal, coming out immediately after with Geno still throwing deep. He found Ivan McCartney deep for a big gain before connecting again with a Bailey on a short fade to make it 62-20.

Then the wheels came off completely as Cato threw an interception, which Rigg nearly returned for a score. Instead, Paul Millard made his first appearance of the season at QB and promptly threw a TD to K.J. Myers for the wideout's first career score.

It was the first pass and reception for each player respectively, and the TD made it 69-20. If you're counting at home, that's back-to-back games for WVU with a combined 139 points against opponents.

West Virginia (1-0) has a bye week before the Sept. 15 trip to FedEx field in Landover, M.D. to take on James Madison.
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Poster Thread
Posted: 9/9/2012 1:10 pm  Updated: 9/9/2012 1:10 pm
Joined: 7/27/2006
From: Alkol, Lincoln County
Posts: 24872
 Re: Take that asswhuppin' to remember us by, little ...
the 'real' score to the marshall game should have been at least 73-13. marshall benefitted on a blocked punt, a turnover, and 2 trash time tds. yardage talk by marshall aside-which we all know is debunked, marshall sucked it. hard. our defense isn't horrible. they were just on the field for a long time, because our offense was on and off the field quick after scoring 10 tds.
Posted: 9/14/2012 5:49 am  Updated: 9/14/2012 5:49 am
Makin' it Rain
Joined: 8/4/2008
From: Parkersburg, WV
Posts: 4356
 Re: Take that asswhuppin' to remember us by, little ...
Wasn't the score 69-34???


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