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The Coastal Carolina win: Some thoughts on the matter

Written by Colin Dunlap on .


(Photo credit: Associated Press)

Some quick-hitter thoughts in the aftermath of West Virginia's 31-0 victory against Coastal Carolina.

* The offense had 400 yards. Really? It didn't feel like it.

* If the offense does anything throughout the season, because of how fast the defense is, this team has a real chance to be special --- well, at least special enough to win the Big East Conference.

* Tavon Austin, other than fumbling that ball out of the end zone for a touchback, played incredibly well.

* Geno Smith wasn't asked to do anything too difficult. Thus, it is almost impossible to rate his play. Seems almost every throw was an underneath or dink-and-dunk route and we never got to see what his arm is truly all about.

* Did Cole Bowers block anyone?

* When West Virginia needed to pick up short first downs -- and on Ryan Clarke's touchdown -- did you notice where they ran the football? Yep, that's right Mountaineers faithful, the calls went to the left when they needed to pick up yardage. That should tell everyone that there still is not total trust in the right side.

* While Robert Sands played a very good game --- and often is noticed because he knocks the stuffing out of people --- the play Brandon Hogan made on the interception was one of the best defensive plays you will see all season. More than that, it came at a time when Coastal still had a chance to get back into the game and, when Hogan made the interception in the back of the end zone, he ended their chances.

* Noel Devine had a ho-hum day. I'd say he was going about three-quarter speed, at least it looked that way.

* There will never be a better weather day for an opener. Ever.

* Something should scare you if you are a WVU fan. Has offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen truly cultivated a backup tailback yet? If you look at what happened, Trey Johnson got a few carries in mop up time, but where was zero carries for either Shawne Alston or Daquan Hargrett.

* Maybe I got that all wrong. Perhaps Mullen will just go "big" when Devine needs a blow and stick to guys like Ryan Clarke and Matt Lindamood and make it a rugby scrum.

* Looks like Jeremy Johnson is your third string quarterback. Stuck behind a sophomore. And a freshman. You want odds he isn't in Morgantown next year at this time?

* Guess Branko Busick really isn't ready, huh? The lengths that the defensive staff went to, with Pat Lazear out, to stick with experience and not start Busick was something to surely notice. Anthony Leonard was shifted positionally and Najee Goode bumped up in the depth chart. 

* Did Brad Starks do anything? Well, I mean, anything besides block that Coastal Carolina kid in the back and cut that big gain in half. Starks must improve if he doesn't want the younger receivers to pass him by.

* I said Corey Smith would win the punting job. Gosh do I look like a fool. Gregg Pugnetti averaged 49.2 yards a punt.

* Let us clear some things up about the attire of coach Bill Stewart. He did not have his shirt untucked. He had on a golf shirt, a white one. Then, overtop, he had on a white dry-fit material sweater vest. With both being white, it just looked like he had on one shirt and it was untucked -- not the case. The old ball coach from New Martinsville was double-layered, with the golf shirt tucked in and the sweater vest (as it should be) untucked.

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