Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Pat Eger points out blocking assignments during West Virginia’s 37-0 loss at Maryland on Saturday.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As badly as West Virginia’s offensive line appeared to struggle in realtime Saturday, the ensuing day’s click-and-rewind film study proved equally brutal.

“Yeah, it was bad,” said right tackle Curtis Feigt.

During a 37-0 loss that served as WVU’s first shutout since 2001, the offensive line accomplished virtually nothing against Maryland’s first-team defense. Seven of West Virginia’s 25 rushing attempts netted no gain or lost yardage, and the wilting pass protection left Ford Childress without a pocket. Though Childress’ interceptions were undeniably poor decisions by the redshirt freshman, each was thrown under heavy pressure.

After a preseason in which coaches promoted offensive line depth as a strength, should WVU forego its seven-man rotation and stick with the starting five? Line coach Ron Crook says no.

“We’re staying the course. We’re not going to hit the panic button,” he said Tuesday night. “We’re not going to change who we are or what we do.

“We believe in the people we’ve been putting on the field.”

Those people don’t project to be NFL-caliber—and to this juncture, it’s doubtful WVU’s line could crack the top half of the Big 12. Then again, it doesn’t require a collection of Outland Award candidates to function at a higher level than we saw Saturday, when Maryland’s defensive front created all kinds of disruption despite frequently being out-numbered.

During previous stints as an assistant at Stanford and Harvard, Crook recalled occasional games where the line play was inadequate. The bounce-back weeks, he emphasized, weren’t achieved by knee-jerk overreactions. (“You stay with what you believe in,” Crook said.)

Yet head coach Dana Holgorsen included the offensive line in his assertion earlier Tuesday that players need to be more relaxed and less fearful of committing mistakes. Playing relaxed can be a difficult philosophy to reconcile for an offensive line coach, whose players are smashing and wrestling at max-intensity each time the ball is snapped. Yet Crook imparted some useful elements from his boss’ message.

“You stress why they started playing football when they were young—because it was fun,” Crook said. “That doesn’t mean every aspect of practice is fun; certainly going out there and working a drive block drill for 10 minutes isn’t fun. But understand that’s part of the process to have a successful game Saturday, which is fun.”

These spread offense concepts, which to some degree were designed to assist mediocre offensive lines, could be better leveraged as West Virginia returns to its uptempo pace. Maybe Childress, after huddling up during his first two college starts, is more prepared to move into go-fast mode.

Said Crook: “It helps (offensive linemen) because it wears the defense down—makes them run more, makes them tired so they can’t rush the passer as hard.”

Of course, it’s impossible to establish rhythm and pace when the offense fails to pick up a first down, as was the case on eight of 12 West Virginia drives against Maryland.

“We did some good things, but mostly bad things, and we came in here Sunday and learned from it,” said center/guard Pat Eger. “We just need to get better at everything.”

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  • David J.

    “We’re not going to change who we are or what we do."

    I am reminded that those who do not change are left behind. Here is hoping Crook and his ego are left behind next year.

  • cutty77

    The problem on the O-Line is Pat Enger. He has played every place he could on the line,not very good at any of them. You can't hide him. Whats funny everybody last year wanted to know what was wrong with Geno Smith,he's no good and this and That. Now he is a starting QB in The NFL with a 2-1 record. Better than 2 Super Bowl QB's Eli Manning,and Big Ben of the Steelers. Its a Team Game. Plus we have some THE DUMBEST FANS IN THE COUNTRY TOO.

    • William

      @Cutty - You like guys with POOR CHARACTER? What a mess WVU football is!
      Tell me some good things about HOLGERSON? I'll be waiting to see how long the list is.

      • Uncle Unctuous

        They used to say "Might makes right."

        I guess these days it's caps lock and the inability to spell surnames that makes right.

      • Big Larry


        Holgorsen is an offensive guru & genius...

        Oh one more thing...

        "Love your work"

    • hailey

      As you single out Pat... you have JUST confirmed we have some of THE DUMBEST FANS IN THE COUNTRY

      • cutty77

        @ hailey,
        The Smeller's the Feller. lol

    • Bobby M

      Some OF the dumbest???!! HELLO! YES WE DO! And guess what? One of them JUST make a comparison of Geno Smith to Eli Manning AND Ben Rosthelsburgers!


  • big tom

    if all of our mistakes, which were many, are correctable than why did they make them in the first place,,,i place this squarely on the staff for not having them ready to play.
    if all it takes to correct those mistakes is a few practices, then the coaches are God Like.
    I seriously think we were beaten physically, and I don't think we can overcome that. Coaching was terrible,, I think of t he cignetti era and throw up at how inept our offense is.
    say what you want, but wishing and hoping isn't going to make us better,,, talent helps a lot,, and we're short on it, ,, how many JC's did we bring in ,,, 9?,,, that shouldtell all eer fans where we're at ,,, we don't reload like the big boys, we rebuild, this has been going on for 50 yrs. since we left the southern conf.
    get use to it,, reality strikes again

  • Gunga Din

    Good luck with your fancy foosball, Holgs.

  • Jack

    Being so negative doesn't help anyone. Be supportive of the young men wearing the blue and gold. They are young and inexperienced right now, but they will gain experience. We need to support them 100%. We all have to get behind the administration, coaching staff, and the players. How would it make you feel to constantly read all this negative crap. If you can't say anything good, it's best to say nothing at all.

  • Gunga Din

    I can't describe my disappointment with WVU football. Even in previous "down" years or "down" periods I couldn't wait to watch or listen to the Mounties. Now I've lost desire to even follow the team -- I feel like pedagogical gestalt has set in.

    • mauldawg

      Gunga Din You have never been a WVU fan and you never will be.

    • Steve

      Seems like your a "band wagon" fan to me. If your a Mountaineer then be a Mountaineer. Fans like you guys is what kills us. If your not for us your against us. Suck it up, keep the faith, And be a MOUNTAINEER. We have enough people on TV and the media against us.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    To me the loss last week was nothing next to the way fans and other Big 12 fans talk.
    If I were playing for the Mountaineers I would be so down that I would never be able to get back up. All I hear is how bad our team is and how bad they will always be. According to most people we should be in the MAC and Louisville should be in the Big 12. I for one will always love being a Mountaineer. We will overcome!!!
    Take a look at the SEC. I never hear them putting down one of their teams. Never have I hearD them say they should have gotten rid of Kentucy long ago and picked up Louisville. What is wrong with so called fans that they want to tear down a team and a conference with their mouths. I only hope that our team never reads this c r a p.

    • Janem

      @ Mountaineer I agree with you.... Something else they post on here thet wont criticize the players..that's good , but they criticize the school and if I was a young recruit and heard all this negative negative negative toward the school maybe I would question myself whether I wanted to go to that school that's why I defend the school.... They are trying to destroy West Virginia University that's it I guess....

  • Wes Whited

    Real Mountaineers don't trash 20 year old kids, period! Take your hate and insecurities back to Huntington.

  • Big Larry

    As you all know, optimism is not one of my strong points...

    Anyone who has read my posts, knows that I have never been critical of individual players...never. I want them all to succeed and do well.

    These WVU players are just kids who were sold a bill of goods by coaches who told them how great the WVU football team was going to be.

    So leave them alone...they cannot help the situation they are in.

    My beef is with the WVU Administration for hiring Oliver Luck who hired Dana Holgorsen who hired Joe DeForest.... there is your problem...not the student athletes.

    • mauldawg

      Big Larry Once again your hate for WVU comes out. Why do you even bother to post anything about WVU. Everyone knows that MU is your first and only love. You are a waste of good air.

    • hailey

      Big Larry your last paragraph was spot on, this in the coaches not the player. The coaches consistantly looked overmatched

  • Thatguyoverthere

    Ford Childress is the future face of our football team. I am glad that Dana is sticking with him...he is going to grow and over the next 3 seasons and he is going to become an potential NFL quarterback. Watch and see what happens.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Really? Personal attacks on a 20 year old college student? Really?

    • xploradman

      Pea brains like that are not worth comment.

  • Doug Hammond

    I am intrigued by your seemingly personal comments about Childress. In particular the use of the word "spoiled". Are u referring to his private school background? So in a world where we are reminded daily that it is wrong to treat those who are less fortunate with any degree of discrimination it is ok to imply that a kid who perceivably comes from an upper income family is "spoiled" and doomed to fail to the degree that he lacks "the mental tools to adapt". Really? There are lots of intelligent explanations for the challenges being faced by our Mountaineer Football program this year, unfortunately yours doesn't quite "adapt and overcome" your ignorance.

    • tw eagle

      aaahhh, at last a retort with some intelligence and reality attached to it ...

      thank you, thank you, thank you

  • wvajoker

    It is amazing the many forms ignorance has. "childs dress". Do you really think this shows any intelligence? Do you really think anyone else here gives a crap about you feeble attempt at witticism? Do you really think that you have an ounce of coaching knowledge? I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong. Why don;t you just type you posts on a word sheet and read it yourself because that is all that it is worth.

    • Larry

      I agree, this is as bad as the name that has been given to the former Marshall player now with the New England Patriots, Aaron Dropsem.

  • Janem

    I was watching the pros play one night this weekend the quarterback all the Chicago Bears he could get the ball throw the ball and 1.7 seconds I was at au how quick how fast the quarterback can work ... Awesome.... I understand most coaches will teach the lineman three seconds is all it takes to block a defender... Sure don't sound very long but another little work there but..

  • tw eagle

    yes , whip the O line ... WVU has a hall of fame QB who just needs a little more time to be able to throw for 400+ yards a game - not .
    I can see it's easy to defense the WVU team with the hall of fame QB on the field ... he's no threat to throw downfield, unless he's given a lot of time ... mmmhh, I don't see any more Ga St's on the menu who will wilt in the 4th quarter ... this offense reminds me of the Rashad Marshall years, except our hall of fame QB can barely walk let alone run ...
    clog tackle to tackle to kill the run and force our hall of fame QB to beat them down field . . .Marshall could run if his bubble screen or 7yd out pass wasn't open ... these are plays that don't need 4 seconds of "free time " for our hall of fame QB to accomplish. I think our hall of fame QB has been spoiled so much for so long that he doesn't have the mental "tools" to be able to "adapt and overcome " when faced with competitive challenges that used to be "taken care of" for him ... if the staff keeps blowing smoke and making excuses Ford in a childs dress won't mature or improve his skills ...

    • MountainMover

      What an ignorant comment. The O Line sucks right now. And while Crook says stay the course, not sure what else he can say. WVU's talent up front is highly questionable. To say they "don't project to be NFL caliber" is a diplomatic way of saying we don't have much there. I believe in the Air Raid offense as much as I believe in the Read Option. But if you can't block you don't have any offense. So either coach these guys up real quick or go get somebody who can block.

    • J the C

      You're a clueless fool! You hate Childress because....waiting....waiting.

      • J the C

        Sorry, that was directed at eagle.

    • Steve

      Great recruiter for WVU. Every senior quarterback in the country is ready to jump on your back and play for WVU. I'm sure every parent is ready to put their kid through your observastion. I wish you would have to coach these young kids in a game. It would be hilarious. Most folks that respond like you have no clue on coaching, playing ,or football in general. Keep up the good work with your recruiting.

    • xploradman


    • Bobby M

      Hey Friend! Few things!

      1-Rasheed Marshall WAS a pretty DARN good QB!

      2-Maybe Ford WILL be a Hall of Famer someday or maybe he wont! I dont know! BUT I think you should wait at least 2 YEARS before you call ANY freshmen Hall of Famers! Its WAY to early for THAT!

    • Kevin

      Say that to his face. Better yet, say it to his daddy's face. Bet you wouldn't if you could. Internet tough guy........

    • WVAtty

      You're a hall of fame ass. He's a freshman. No wonder we can't get great recruits who have options to come here. What kid in his right mind would want to come and endure the obnoxious, belittling and downright ignorant comments from idiot armchair quarterbacks like you and others? You don't think recruits use the internet and read these posts?? Just shut up. If this were your kid, I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate it all.

      • mauldawg

        You think the posters here are bad go to the blue gold site. There must be 100s of stupid people posting like they know something about football. I would bet 98% of them couldn't tell a football from a golf ball. Most of them are so damn stupid its a wonder how they get up in the morning. Most of the posters on the site have no clue as to what they are talking about.

      • tw eagle

        Oohhh, I am so crushed ... this hall of famer has shown no indications of ever reaching a functional winning level of play ... when placing these type of players they used to choose institutions where the opponents could be "manipulated " (down grade the schedule) to make them appear to be brilliant ... in this case, WVU is playing in a conference where the schedule can't be dumbed down to fit the hall of candidates limited capabilities ...OOOhhh, he was rated a zillion stars when in high school ... these ratings forums are step children to the boxing ratings , splash enough money around and my dog becomes the 7th rated prospect in the north east ... if holgerson gets replaced, it'll be because he failed to turn this "mule" of a hall of famer into a thoroughbred , not for all the losses WVU incurs while trying to accomplish what I consider a "mission impossible "

      • NWFLEER

        Spot On! Also interesting that since WVRC lost the bid how its reporters do nothing but run down these young kids. I feel for their own kids.

      • Janem

        @ WVAtty...great work