If the Gamecocks are not ready to go, they immediately begin staring down the same problem they've had the past three seasons: not winning the East despite having defeated the eventual division champ.
This is why I have always felt the winner of each division should be the team with the best divisional record and the over-all conference record should be used as a tie breaker. Would this not quiet the whining from LSU and USCe?
The only thing more common than hot weather during the preseason? Over-analysis of a team's perceived areas of weakness or uncertainty. We're guilty of that, of course. What else explains our never-ending supply of articles about Alabama's quarterback situation?
So Andrew, you're gonna sit there and try to convince us AL.com wasn't just trolling for page views this whole time? Nearly three articles a day on JUST the QB battle, and that was all meant to point our our perceived weaknesses?
"It's going to be very exciting to see the smiles on my mom's face and on my dad's face for me to get some playing time this year," he said. Later, Ragland confessed that the weight of it all hit him pretty hard Sunday. It just sort of happened -- loudly.
"I got to thinking and got to jumping around in my room like, 'It's finally time, it's finally here,'" Ragland said. "A couple of friends downstairs in my apartment called me to see if I was all right and I told them 'I'm good.'"
"It's tough when everybody in your hometown is telling you you're going to do this and you're going to do that," Ragland said. "But the reality when you come here is that you might sit a couple of years behind great athletes like C.J. and Nico Johnson and Trey DePriest and you learn a lot from those guys."
Good for Reggie. With our depth, even the five stars (see Tony Brown, Henry and Marlon) have to sit a few years while patiently waiting their turn.
As part of the defensive rehabilitation, West Virginia brought back the 3-3-5 stack defense it previously ran under defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel (2003-11). The stack requires three down linemen, three true linebackers stacked behind them with five defensive backs (two cornerbacks, one free safety and two hybrid safeties/outside linebackers).
It’s a scheme Alabama players aren’t familiar with. "They play a pretty weird defense to me," wide receiver Amari Cooper said. "I’ve never went up against that type of defense. They play an odd defense with three down linemen and two guys have to come for a receiver to be hot. So it’s something we are going to work all this week and we will get use to it."
My worry for this game is that we are walking into another Colorado St. or Utah type defensive front that likes to shoot the gaps and disrupt the timing of our zone blocking. We always seem to struggle against smaller, quicker front sevens..
Going against West Virginia's offense will not just be if the combination of Collins, Perry, Sylve, and Jones can cover a duo of Mario Alford, Kevin White, Shelton Gibson, KJ Myers, Vernon Davis, or Devonte Mathis. The game will be won on whether Williams and Smith (or Trey DePriest/any other linebackers that play Alabama's "Star and Money" aka nickelback and dimeback positions) can cover any combination of Daikiel Shorts, Jordan Thompson, Cody Clay, Eli Wellman, Vernon Davis, Wendell Smallwood, Dustin Garrison, Logan Moore, or whatever other running back is motioned to the slot or runs a wheel route or screen from the backfield.
That is a long list of players that the Mountaineers can continue to spell out or move around the field. If Clint Trickett can find Alford or White deep or at least threaten Collins and Perry so that they don't cheat up to help the slot, West Virginia will have mismatches on the inside against players with limited experience and even less proven production on the first game of the year.
He makes a valid point. WVU's air raid offense will test our DB's and LB's and I expect they'll attack us over the top (as GOS mentioned in the comments yesterday), testing the coverage abilities of Geno and Collins. They probably won't run the ball much but if they can get mismatches on the outside and get their smaller players in space against our larger LB's, it could be a long night..
The depth chart for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game against Alabama has been released.
To answer my question above about the size of the WVU front seven..
DE Shaquille Riddick 6-6 242
NT Kyle Rose 6-4 294
DE Dontrill Hyman 6-4 288
Even their linebackers are in the 220-230 lb range..
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia’s head coach, announced Monday that Banks has been suspended for the Mountaineers’ three pre-conference games and will not be eligible to play until the Sept. 20 game against Oklahoma.
Banks started all 12 games last year.
"He was dealing with some academic issues that had to be sent to the NCAA," Holgorsen said on the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. "For the first three games he will be suspended ... and will be back for the remainder of our Big 12 schedule after that."
I have no idea how this will impact the WVU defense, but logic says this is not good news
Two former Alabama players who were prep stars in the state were released - guard/center Antoine Caldwell by the Jacksonville Jaguars and linebacker Jerrell Harris by the Denver Broncos.
-- Though Dillon Lee is listed as an outside linebacker, he worked again with the inside group Monday. The multiple looks, nickels and dimes make the depth chart somewhat misleading for the defense, so this isn't monumental
As Slice mentioned yesterday, I'm up for any defensive formation that includes moar Dillon Lee.