Expectations, Third Downs And A Pregame Mistake For WVU

Expectations, Third Downs And A Pregame Mistake For WVU


The other day defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, whose defense has underperformed all season, was asked how many players on his defense were playing up to his standard.

His answer was brief.

“Three,” he said, naming redshirt senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton, redshirt sophomore linebacker David Long and senior safety Kyzir White.

No Dravon Askew-Henry, who coming back from surgery this year was supposed to be the key player in the defense at the free safety position, but who has not lived up to those expectations and last week in the 50-39 loss to Oklahoma State was moved into the free safety spot due to injuries.

“Some things I liked, some I didn’t,” Gibson said. “He’s a kid who should be able to play spur, free or bandit and we never miss a beat, but, again, I hold him to different standard than any of these guys. The kid has started more games than anyone in this building.”

Henry has started all 34 of the games he’s played in his career at WVU.

Gibson admits to pushing him hard.

“I am probably harder on him than anyone else on our defense … No. 1, because of the relationship I have with him. I recruited him. I know what he can do and right now, it’s no secret he’s not playing well.

“He’s been told that. I challenged him this week in front of the whole defense.”

Askew-Henry is the type of player Gibson would expect to respond to such a challenge.

“He gets it. He’s tough. He’s tough to the core. He has to get some confidence. He has to trust his abilities. The kid is different in makeup, because he wants to be so good so badly. I think that slows him down a lot.”

* * * * * *

Gibson was presented with a hidden stat, noting that WVU in eight games this season had given up 13 touchdowns on third down.

It seemed to be a high number of TDs on third down, especially since WVU’s performance overall on third down just about matches what it was last season.

“If you look at third down we’re better now than we were a year ago,” Gibson noted.

So what happens is that so many TDs are scored there.

“If you look, some of those TDs were third and inches,” he said.

But that’s not at the heart of the matter.

“That’s missing a lot of tackles. Catching a ball over the top of somebody, that’s going to happen. That’s football. But the ones I don’t like are those third and seven and we have three guys there and can’t make a tackle..

“That’s what frustrates me. I can count at least seven or eight of those this year.”

Asked how it could get better, Gibson gave the obvious answer.

“It can get a lot better if we just tackle people. You go back to the TCU game. It happened two times in that game. The other day it happened two times. That’s four in two games. And in the Virginia Tech game it happened,” he said.

* * * * * *

Last week WVU was messed up right from the coin toss.

Honest.

To begin with, when the captains met at midfield, WVU’s defensive captain Al-Rasheed Benton was going through his pregame ritual and couldn’t get out there, so offensive captain fullback Elijah Wellman went out alone.

WVU won the flip, which gives the choice to either kick or receive or defer the choice to the second half.

Wellman, however, was confused and said WVU would kick off rather than defer, which usually leads to the other team taking the ball. Fortunately, there was a brief discussion and the official explained to him that would mean they kicked off at both halves.

He then deferred.

Home forums Expectations, Third Downs And A Pregame Mistake For WVU

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Butlereer Butlereer .

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  • #34216

    Expectations, Third Downs And A Pregame Mistake For WVU The other day defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, whose defense has underperformed all season,
    [See the full post at: Expectations, Third Downs And A Pregame Mistake For WVU]

    #34220

    Giving up 13 TD’s on 3rd down in 8 games is a horrible stat. Yes, a few were pushing it in from the 1. But the rest are just blown assignments. CB and S need to step up.

    #34235

    Getting pretty bad when can’t even get the coin toss right, good the officials explained the situation. I never played football but I know you either take the ball or defer.

    #34260

    The reason they explained to Wellman was Dana had already told the officials, before coin toss, what he wanted to do. He does that every game. Explained that on last nights call in show.

    #34265

    Dana needs to explain this to the players. It’s not that hard.

    #34303

    How do you know that they don’t understand how things work?

    #34309

    People get excited in the heat of the moment.

    #34321

    If they understood, they would never say we would kick. That isn’t one of the choices you would make in any situation.

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Home forums Expectations, Third Downs And A Pregame Mistake For WVU