I was listening to the interviews of WVU players and coaches, and the dumb questions asked never fail to amaze me:
- Is this a revenge game?
- Maryland has turned the ball over 6 times in its first 2-games are you planning on taking advantage of this?
- What does WVU have to do differently on defense to stop the run?
I’m glad I’m not a coach or player! This is how I would respond:
- Question: Is this a revenge game?
- My answer: “No game is ever about revenge. I’m a Christian and believe in turning the other cheek. Life is not about revenge or getting even; life is about getting along with others.”
- Question: Maryland has turned the ball over 6-times in its first 2 games. Are you planning on taking advantage of this?
- My answer: “It’s too late, they already started the next play!”
- Question: What does WVU have to do differently on defense to stop the run?
- My answer: “Oh, I don’t know. Was 121 yards by Towson too many?”
Let’s get serious for a minute.
WVU must prove against Maryland that they can run between the tackles, for they have only done this once in the first 2-games, and that was in the 1st half against Alabama.
What this means is, WVU’s offensive line must get the Maryland defense back on its heels and keep them there. When WVU can often get 5 or more yards running between the tackles then the running game has arrived, and both fans and coaches will see better production in the red-zone.
What I want to see is WVU’s offense line start pancaking defenders. I want to see these guys hit the defender in front of them, get him back on the edge of his heels and drive him down field away from the run. In other words play hard, play fast, and play like a mad-man. I want to see opponents defenses so worn down in the 4th quarter that they can only think about getting off the field.
As I have said here before, football is 90% mental. You have to get inside the heads of your opponents. You cannot intimidate a player by pushing him. You punish him by laying the lumber to him. You want to hit a guy so hard, that the next time he sees you, he wants to fall down to keep from getting hit.
The Mountaineers are supposed to represent the legendary toughness of WV underground coal miners. For them to do that, they have to work hard and hit harder.
They need to elevate their reasoning skills. They have to play each game as though it is their last, because they never know which one will be.
Coach Holgorsen should take his guys to a coal mine and let them watch miners setting collars, building cribs, and laying and repairing track. After watching a while, they might let the players try their hand at these things. Even loading supplies to take inside would be an adventure for them.
Years ago, the company CONSOL invited the Pittsburgh Steelers to visit their coal mines to teach miners how to lift, for back injuries due to lifting were prevalant. Terry Bradshaw, Mean Joe Green and Rocky Bleier showed up at our mine.
I was working on the supply crew on that day with Lynn Carter. Lynn was a big boy and nearly twice my size. We had to load collars. A collar for us was a 16’ long, 8” wide and 6” thick solid piece of white oak.
Each collar weighed about 600 to 800 pounds. I’d help Lynn get one end of the collar on his shoulder then I’d get the backend on my mine and we would carry it over and drop it in a supply car.
The Steelers were amazed. When they tried to show us how to lift, two of them picked up a crib block together. A crib block was the same as the collar but it was less than 4′ long! That is under 1/4th the weight of a collar.
Then we had to fill 55 and 35 gallon drums with oil and load them. The Steelers couldn’t believe that there were only two of us, and that we were doing these things by our selves.
Joe Green was amazed at the work Lynn and I were doing. He commented that we needed more miners for there was no way was he and any of the Steelers there that day were going to attempt what we were doing with just 2 of them.
I’ve often wondered if Green, Bleier and Bradshaw remember coming to our mine and doing this.
The DL and the OL need to try this experience, just to test their toughness and agility. Where we worked, the ground was slick with oil and water. Sometimes your feet would get suctioned to the ground by the oily mud.
Some of you may think this was not all that hard, because we had low flat supply cars. Yes, we did, but we also had 20-ton bank cars to load in preparation for holding coal.
A sad note to this story is that my co-worker Lynn and his family were killed while going on vacation that summer. A large Caterpillar bulldozer came off of a flat-bed truck and landed on their car. Lynn always reminded me of the actor Dan Blocker in the TV show Ponderosa as ‘Hoss’ Cartwright.
What I’m saying is if WVU wants respect, then be willing to make the sacrifices during the game to win it. Don’t give-up and don’t quit! Make Maryland regret being on the field against you this day!
If they need a reason to play this hard and win, then do it for my ole friend, “Lynn Carter”.