OT: WVU QB Clint Trickett to Retire from Football After 5 Concussions

OT: WVU QB Clint Trickett to Retire from Football After 5 Concussions

Submitted by Sports on December 26th, 2014 at 3:31 PM

WVU QB Clint Trickett has announced that he will be retiring from football due to five concussions suffered in the last 14 months. Trickett stated that he concealed two of these concussions from West Virginia's training staff, due to a desire to remain on the field. He will now pursue a career in coaching. 

Link: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/12/26/7451401/clint-trickett-retirement-concussions-west-virginia

OT: West Virginia's offensive woes

OT: West Virginia's offensive woes

Submitted by dnak438 on November 20th, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Football Study Hall has an article up on West Virginia's offensive woes. I thought it relevant to MGoBlog because the question the author asks is quite similar to the questions being asked about Michigan and Borges: what is the problem with the offense? Who is to blame?

His conclusions, based on his analysis of the Kansas game, will sound awfully familiar to us:

The lack of inside running or downfield passing meant that, apart from the first and last two drives of the game, the Mountaineers had no effective base plays off of which they could build big-play constraints. Holgorsen and Dawson attempted to reassert the ground game in the second half, but poor line play and the inability of the offense to punish cheating defenders rendered this strategy almost dead on arrival. Short gains on first down led to repeated second-and-long and third-and-long situations.

His conclusion is that Holgorsen shouldn't be fired, that the schemes are sound but that 

An accumulation of lackluster recruiting, graduated players, and injuries have depleted West Virginia’s roster. The current mishmash of players lacks consistency more than anything else, making Holgorsen’s job a difficult one. That said, he must work on the run game for the rest of the season and the off season in order to overcome his depth issues.

Again, this sounds familiar, albeit with some small tweaks. But certainly the lack of consistency has been one of the chief symptoms of Michigan's current offensive ills.

For me, what's interesting is that Holgo is the architect of a very trendy offense -- the Air Raid -- that comes Smart Football-approved, but ultimately he has the same problems that a more traditionally-oriented Al Borges offense does: can't run inside, can't pass downfield.

This isn't an exoneration of Borges, of course, because one could always argue that Holgo is working with much less than Borges is (WV's recruiting rankings have been in the low 20s and low 40s over the past four years). On the other hand, it does tend to illustrate that bad offenses can share the same problems even when they're diametrically opposed in terms of their philosophies.


Validity of BCS Gripes

Validity of BCS Gripes

Submitted by Vasav on December 5th, 2011 at 5:30 AM

I'm sure you're all as excited as I am about the Sugar Bowl. But I'm sure you've all been pestered by friend/family/co-workers about how M is only there because it's all about the money. Or they have various other gripes. I've decided to classify these gripes, and share my unsolicited opinion with you on the internet. I'll approach this as a conversation with each of the various butthurt partisans.

(Since we are the lowest ranked BCS team in, I'll compare everyone's resume to ours)


Sparty - I'd almost feel bad for you if you were passed over for a BCS game by us. But you weren't - you were outside of the top 14 and therefore ineligible. Why were you outside the top 14, when we both had the same number of losses and you won the head-to-head? And won the division over us? No, not the polls - we were ranked within a spot of each other in all of them. It was the computers. Why? You see, while you beat us by 14, you lost to Nebraska by 21, who lost to us by 28. Triangle of doom. Shall we look at the other loss? Ours was an ugly one in the division to Iowa - by 8 points. Which gave you the edge in the B1G West. Yours was an even uglier thumping at the hands of Notre Dame. Yes, yes, you beat Wiscy on a Hail Mary at home. And then lost to them by 3 at a neutral site. Want to count it as a tie against a top ten team? Doesn't change the fact that If you had shown up at all in that ND game, you may have had a legitimate gripe. You didn't, so you don't. Enjoy Florida. I hear it's nice this time of year.

Oklahoma - Yes, your TT loss doesn't look that much worse than our Iowa loss. And your Baylor loss looks better than our Sparty loss. But the way you got absolutely stomped in the biggest game of your season is way uglier than anything that happened to us. Also, you're 9-3 after that one. You don't deserve anything more than the Copper Bowl.

South Carolina and Arkansas - Nobody wants to hear it. No, the limit on only two teams from a conference isn't holding you back - it keeps you from playing each other. Look, even in your good years nobody wants to see two teams from the same conference play in a bowl game against each other. And the SEC didn't have a good year - Arkansas, your best win is against the Cocks, and your escape against A&M is not as pretty as our escape against Notre Dame. And you got throttled in your two losses - you got beat worse by Bama than Penn State did. Gamecocks, your best win was against Clemson - and your losses against Arkansas and Auburn are comparable to our losses against Sparty and Iowa. But we pretty much thumped everyone else on our schedule except our rivals. Your wins were...uninspiring. The system isn't holding you back at all - your own failures on the field are keeping you out of the party. And no SEC partisans are ever allowed to complain about the BCS again, unless it's talking about how biased pollsters are towards their own.

Boise State - I usually defend you guys, but I'm not going to this time. Yes, you've got only 1 loss, and it was a close one to TCU - better looking than either of our losses alone, and certainly prettier than both put together. And your win over Georgia is comparable to our win over Nebraska. But here's the thing - your next best win was either Tulsa, Wyoming, or SDSU. SDSU was at the bottom of our resume for wins. In fact, it's so far down there we don't even think about where it is. Your second best win is our 7th or 8th best? I've got to go with our resume on this, even with the uglier losses.

Southern Miss - When both of your losses are to teams without winning records, then you have not proven you belong in the BCS. That interview gave me a good laugh though.


TCU - I love how you guys do what you do, and you had an amazing season. Beating Boise on the blue turf and winning the Mountain West is nothing to smirk at. And while your win @Boise may be better than ours against Nebraska, and your losses are comparable to ours, I've got to go with the same argument I had against Boise - the meat of your schedule is the dregs of ours. What's that you say? Why is West Virginia ahead of you? That's a good point, but you guys know how it is in the Mountain West. That's why you're leaving next year. Good luck in the B12.

Baylor - I've had a lot of fun watching you guys, and I'm rooting for RG3 for the Heisman. And your resume isn't bad - beating three ranked teams is far better than us, and getting blown out by OK St is not so bad. Losing to K St by one isn't bad at all either. Getting blown out by A&M is way worse than anything that happened to us though. So yea, your resume is close to ours. But there's a couple of other guys in your conference who belong more, so I don't feel so bad that we're in over you.


Kansas State - You guys should be in a BCS game. Yes, your blowout at home by OU is bad, but your second loss was by seven @the #2 team in the country. You totally have an argument that "it's all about the money." But hey now, don't look at US like that - we weren't the last ones in. That would be the Hokies you have beef with - and truth be told, I think you'd probably travel to NOLA better than them anyway.

But really, getting a chance to play an overrated #6 SEC team in the Cotton Bowl - a game that was "major" back in the Bowl Coalition days - that's a major opportunity for respect, and pretty much a BCS game anyway. I mean, without the massive payout. But that would've gone to Texas as blood money anyway, right?


Oklahoma State - What can anybody say, guys. You got hosed by Alabama. They have two wins over the top 25, you have four. They lost to the #1 team at home, and you lost to an unranked team on the road - your loss is a little worse, your wins are better. No, just cause they blew out a weak schedule doesn't mean anything - you should have gotten the nod from resume alone.

What makes it ridiculous and insufferable is the obvious - this is a rematch, they didn't win their division, they're playing a team from their conference. I know you've been over it a hundred times over in your own heads. I hope you guys beat Stanford and win the Grantland Rice and the Macarthur trophies. I hope Alabama gets crushed.

But really, your gripe is way more legitimate than K-State's. It's probably the most legitimate gripe I've ever heard with regards to the BCS - yes, more legit than Oregon, Auburn, and USC have had in the past. While I've never loved the BCS, I never thought it was so broken as to screw you over for a less deserving team because they came in second in a conference that was good the last couple of years. The system is broken and you've been royally screwed by it, and will watch them play a regional scrimmage.

I'm way more excited for your matchup against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl than I am for the event that precedes LSU's deserved coronation. Good luck, and prove to the nation that you deserve a shot.

Catching up with Rich Rod

Catching up with Rich Rod

Submitted by The Barwis Effect on July 27th, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Didn't see this posted anywhere else...


Rodriguez available to caddie


Former West Virginia coach on bag for friend at Greenbrier Classic Monday

By Jim Workman 
Assistant Managing Editor

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — He may be out of work until his television career as a football analyst with CBS Sports begins this fall.

But former West Virginia University and University of Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez knows how to spend his idle time.

He’s in town for The Greenbrier Classic.

Monday, he actually caddied for his friend Dave Alvarez in a Pro-Am golf event on The Old White TPC.

“Some of my good buddies knew that I needed work,” he said with a grin. “I work pretty cheap right now.

“I don’t know how I’ll do (as a caddie),” he said just before the round began. “I’m sweating already. I’ll probably get fired after about six holes.

“I had a chance to come down here for a couple of days. I’m getting ready to go to Oklahoma to do a TV shoot with (Sooners head football coach) Bob Stoops. I wanted to be around another day and see the facility and hang out with my friends.

“It's going to be fun.”

Click here to read the rest of the article: http://www.register-herald.com/todayssportsfront/x1443105012/Rodriguez-…

OT: West Virginia to sell beer at home games

OT: West Virginia to sell beer at home games

Submitted by RedGreene on June 5th, 2011 at 6:30 PM

The WVU Board of Governors approved the sell of beer at Mountaineer sporting events by a 10-5 vote.

So what does AD Oliver Luck think?

Luck said he was "pleased" with the approval, which he believes will adress "coarseness" in the stands and "increase civility." The policy change will go into effect as WVU prohibits smoking in public areas of the stadium and ends its practice of allowing re-entry at Mountaineer Field during games. 

"I believe we have taken a step forward toward our goal of a safer, friendlier and more civil game day experience," Luck said in a prepared statement ... 


RichRod's defenses by the numbers

RichRod's defenses by the numbers

Submitted by VictorValiant on October 20th, 2010 at 6:46 PM

There have been discussions about the defense and RichRod's "managment style" of delegation to the DC for execution.  Can a head coach delegate so much and still have a successful defense?  Here is a summary of RichRod's defenses over the past 10 years.


Team Total D (yd/game) Total D (rank) Scoring D (pts/game) Scoring D (rank)
2001 West Virginia 350 40 24.4 51
2002 West Virginia 335 33 23.2 40
2003 West Virginia 391 74 22.8 44
2004 West Virginia 339 37 20.5 28
2005 West Virginia 311 15 17.7 13
2006 West Virginia 337 62 21.7 49
2007 West Virginia 302 7 18.1 8
2008 Michigan 367 67 28.9 84
2009 Michigan 393 82 27.5 77
2010 Michigan* 441 82 28.4 105

*through 7 games


Averaged by Team:

Year Team Total D (yd/game) Total D (rank) Scoring D (pts/game) Scoring D (rank)
2001-2007 West Virginia 338 38 21.2 33
2008-2010 Michigan 400 77 28.3 89


RichRod has finally able to install his high-yardage offense from West Virginia to Michigan.  Defensively, the numbers above show that RichRod had a top-40 defense most years at West Virginia, which obviously has not transpired at Michigan. 

Assuming that RichRod delegated to the DC at West Virginia like he has done at Michigan, then my conclusion is that his "management style" has worked in the past.  RichRod's defenses have been better than average almost every year at West Virginia.  So then why are the number so horrible at Michigan?

Offense run by Threet/Sheridan couldn't keep the Michigan defense off the field

Offense run by freshman QBs couldn't keep the Michigan defense off the field

Michigan defense couldn't keep the Michigan defense off the field (attrition, injury)


Related to this discussion http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/sigh-wvu-dc-jeff-casteel-jeffs-defenses-kept-us-games, stability with the defensive side of the team, players and coaches, is what has been lacking.  RichRod had talent on the defensive side of the ball when he arrived.  So in hindsight, it was a mistake to hire Shafer who lasted only a year.  Again in hindsight, should RichRod have kept Ron English?  Would there have been more stability or were the faulty offenses of 2008 and 2009 too much to overcome?  We will never know.

West Virginia in 2007 was one victory over Pitt away from playing for the national championship.  Notice in that year, WV had a top 10 defense which adds to the conventional wisdom that defense wins championships (or in that year, almost playing for the NC).  The numbers show that RichRod has put together elite defenses before.   Will it arrive or wil the fanbase lose patience?  That, will we definitely know either way.

Regarding Snarky Comments about RR's WV Origins

Regarding Snarky Comments about RR's WV Origins

Submitted by schmakj on October 14th, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Define irony.

It could, perhaps, be defined as a bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to Sweet Home Alabama, a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash…

Irony could also be defined as follows:

A man swears under his breath and loudly and obnoxiously ridicules his team’s head coach while using demeaning rhetoric towards the state of West Virginia and towards the program for making the mistake to hire someone from such an inferior geographical region and inferior group of people.

Now, imagine this event occurring on a bench in the southwest corner of Michigan Stadium, and the man has cheered avidly all day for his maize and blue team, all while making multiple comments throughout the day about the beautiful venue steeped in history and tradition.

If you do not understand the irony, please read further.

We thankfully do not hear the belittling West Virginia rhetoric too often on the boards of mgoblog, but I am confident that we have all heard someone, somewhere, subversively or matter-of-factly, make snide, rude comments regarding the fact that our current head coach originates from the state of West Virginia.

I hear it often, and I laugh and shake my head at fans of our other rival schools who think it’s a funny joke that Rich Rodriguez was born, raised, played football and coached football in the state of West Virginia.

I do not laugh, however, when our own Michigan fans make the same snide remarks. I become frustrated and saddened, as our program’s proud history is intimately intertwined with that Wild and Wonderful state…

Fielding H. Yost, our man, our legend, the original epitome of a "Michigan Man" - who made our football tradition legendary, who oversaw 6 national championships, who designed and built our athletic campus including our beloved football stadium and hockey arena, and who gave our Athletic Department its strong identity which it maintains today - was born in West Virginia and played at WVU.

Every time a Michigan fan makes a sarcastic comment about Rich Rodriguez's West Virginian background, it is ironically ignorant - unless of course, they intended to throw Fielding Yost and the history of our program under the figurative bus too.

Now, do these things mean the current coach will be as wildly influential? I have no idea. Two data points do not equal correlation. This diary is not about his success or failure.

This diary is about our school’s history and our fans’ recognition of it, especially since we are always the first to flaunt our great history and tradition - a history and tradition footed in solid marble by Fielding H. Yost!

My plea to you is to please help educate our fan base to stop making silly remarks regarding West Virginia as some second tier state producing second tier people when the rich and beloved history of our program is based off, yes indeed, a man from West Virginia.

If you hear a Michigan fan make this mistake, simply kindly inform them of the facts about our history, as one can attempt to debate scheme, offense, recruiting, or leadership all day, but the history of the University of Michigan and its strong influences are not subject to debate.

Thanks for listening and thanks for your help!

Relevant aside: Lloyd Carr was hired from West Virginia prior to the 1980 season. Coach Carr was hired to serve under Don Nehlen when Nehlen was hired at WVU, but Carr did not stay long, as Bo Schembechler sought out his assistance only a few months later. Carr was only a coach at WVU during the offseason prior to the 1980 season.

Know Your Enemy: A UConn Preview

Know Your Enemy: A UConn Preview

Submitted by The Mathlete on September 1st, 2010 at 5:30 PM

A look at Michigan’s opening opponent through the eyes of PAN*.

When Michigan Rushes

Let’s kick the season off with a nice chart, Michigan Rush Offense PAN vs. UConn 


Last year the gap between the two was worth nearly two points a game and this year it is projecting to narrow slightly. This projection is probably on the pessimistic side for Michigan as UConn has four consecutive years of decline on rush defense and nothing would indicate that Michigan would see a drop versus last season’s performance on the ground.

Since Rodriguez had experience against UConn while at West Virginia, those matchups provide another, better data point of comparison. In four games from 2004-2007 West Virginia averaged 6 PAN/game offensively and UConn averaged 0 PAN/game defensively. In other words, West Virginia’s ground game average 6 points per game more than the average team that played UConn and the Huskies defended the Mountaineers about on par with the average team.

Based on both West Virginia and Michigan experience, the numbers indicate that Michigan should have an opportunity to do some damage on the ground on Saturday.

When Michigan Passes


Michigan was pretty average passing the ball last year but UConn wasn’t great at covering the pass. The historical numbers are a bit all over the map, the Huskies had a 10 point negative swing from 2008 to 2009.

UConn returns a lot of their defense from last year but the one position group that will be replacing players is the secondary. In 2009 the team had to deal with the midseason murder of starting cornerback Jasper Howard, putting a little perspective on the mostly on-field issues Michigan’s secondary has faced. Of the top 11 UConn players in points taken last year, the only three not returning this year are cornerback Robert McClain, 25 PT, 2nd on team and first among DBs, DE Lindsey Witten, 20 PT, 4th on team and first among DL and S Robert Vaughn, 15 PT and 2nd among DBs.

With the year to year variance these two teams have shown in passing and defending the pass, it is difficult to tell who will pick up the advantage when Michigan puts the ball in the air.

When UConn Runs


Michigan saw their first dip into negative PAN against the run last year, while UConn is coming off back to back strong seasons on the ground.

The UConn running back situation is one where PAN sheds an interesting light that is hidden by tradition stats. Last year UConn split the carries almost evenly between Jordan Todman and Andre Dixon (235 vs 239). Todman ran for 1188 yards and 14 TDs while Dixon had 1093 yards and 14 TDs as well. Despite those very similar stat lines, Todman’s performance was worth 16 points and Dixon’s nearly offset the gains with –15 points.

Unfortunately for Michigan Todman is back and Dixon is gone. The historical trend indicates that Michigan should have the advantage, but with a quality back in Todman returning, Michigan will need a much improved defense performance to limit the UConn rushing attack.

When UConn Passes


After a dreadful stretch through the air in 2005-2008, UConn bounced back last year with their best showing in five years.

UConn has two QB’s with starting experience coming back. Cody Endres who took over in mid-season after an injury, was a modest 1.1 PAN whereas this year’s starter Zach Frazer was a worse –1.5 PAN in action at the beginning and end of the season. Frazer posted a similar –1.6 in 4 games in 2008.

Despite the higher value, Frazer beat out Endres again for the job this season and Endres went on to get suspended for the opener, leaving UConn with the sole experienced QB for Michigan. Unfortunately, Michigan’s secondary will make this matchup interesting, but at least the Huskies are able to trot out a world beater at QB even if he does have 2 years of experience.

History in Openers

When factoring in quality of opponent, Michigan best two games of the Rodriguez era have been the openers. 2008 felt very disappointing at the time, but taking an eventually undefeated and Alabama crushing Utah team to the wire, was the best performance of the season. 2009 saw a much much weaker opponent in Western Michigan, but the utter dismantling Michigan displayed made the 2009 the highest rated game Rodriguez had at Michigan to date. Success in openers had been the norm for Rodriguez at West Virginia. 3 of his last 4 were double digit PAN and two were over 20.

UConn’s sample size is much smaller. 3 of the last 7 years they have opened with 1AA opponents and the four years have seen performance within 5 points or so of average.


Head to Head

In the last four meetings Rodriguez and West Virginia owned UConn. West Virginia average a PAN of 13 while UConn came in at –5 PAN. Even after giving the Huskies a break for how good West Virginia was for several years, they still did worse than average against them.


The 2007 game is a bit of anomaly on this chart. It looks like UConn outplayed West Virginia but the Mountaineers completely dominated the Huskies in the game. The PAN is off because two first half fumbles by UConn meant the offense didn’t have to do much heavy lifting to build a 17 point lead after the first drive of the second half. A 17 point lead means that the plays stop counting towards the PAN, but WVU just kept going. To the tune of nearly 400 yards, 29 PAN all after they already had a 17 point lead. So in other words, 2007 looks like a good performance by UConn, but in reality a couple fluke plays got them in a hole and once they were there, West Virginia buried them.

The All In Look



The history is on Michigan’s side, the two year trend is on Michigan’s side, the strength in openers is on Michigan’s side, the head to head coaching matchup is on Michigan’s side and with homefield, I have Michigan pegged at about a touchdown favorite with about a 75% chance of starting the year off in the win column.


*PAN is calculated by assigning every play a value based on how much the play helped or hurt the offense’s chances of scoring. Every down, distance and line of scrimmage combination is assigned an expected value, the average points scored across college football in that same situation. If a play increases the expected value, the respective teams and players are credited with the amount of increase.

All plays are then adjusted based on strength of opponent. Plays against weak opponents are penalized and downgraded while plays against strong opponents are bumped to reflect the degree of difficulty.

Only games against FBS (D1A) opponents, games against FCS (1AA) opponents are non-existent in any numbers used in this work.

Qualifying Plays (QP) are all plays in the first half and plays in the second half when the game is within two touchdowns. End of half run out the clock drives are also excluded.