I just finished listening to a series of the most recent player interviews, and they are not lacking in confidence this season. These players believe in themselves, their back-ups, and most importantly they believe they can beat Alabama.
These guys are not cocky, but are very confident in the overall ability of the team as a whole.
Personally, I love their attitude. The first thing a team has to do to win at any sport, is to believe in themselves, and this team honestly believes they can beat Alabama. I also get the impression that they have identified areas they believe they can exploit.
This exploitation has nothing to do with coaching. This comes from observation and locating those things a player does in certain situations.
If a player knows or sees an opponent doing something consistently, he knows how to counter. These are not necessarily things you can coach, these are things learned from observation during the progression of the game.
What this does is allow the player to inform the QB between plays, or the coach when on the sideline. An offensive back may tell the QB this play is open, I know what to do.
Or a receiver may tell the QB, I’m open for a back-shoulder pass. It may be a lineman telling the QB he has determined what his opponent will do, and he knows how to counter.
You see this in sandlot football games. You see this in football at every level. This cannot be coached. This is players being aware and identifying tendencies of their opponent.
This will be critical with Alabama as they are starting many first time players, just as WVU will be. The Alabama players will certainly be doing the same thing.
Coaches, especially those upstairs calling the plays down to the field, are also looking for tendencies, especially those tendencies they feel they can exploit. These are the unknowns that are learned as the game progresses.
Practice helps a player learn how to identify and counter tendencies. The better a team can do this the better their chances are of winning.
GO EERS! BEAT BAMA!!!