The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 2, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU coaching staff in need of some tweaking

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A day has passed, which is more than Jarrett Brown was allowed to do in the first half against Florida State Friday.

Twenty-four hours, which is enough to begin reflecting on the situation the West Virginia football program finds itself in, reflecting without the emotion that comes from the Gator Bowl defeat and without any of the holiday spirit that may have lingered on after Friday’s New Year’s Day.

The official word will be that there are a lot of teams that would settle for nine wins and a trip to the Gator Bowl, with contending in the Big East. They will tell you they are not satisfied, are not pleased, but can live with the results.

If they can they should fired … and some of them should be, anyway.

Let us first of all look at trends. The Mountaineers were on the verge of a national championship when Rich Rodriguez left.

This past year they weren’t even on the verge of a Big East championship.

The offense scores less points that it did with Rodriguez, the defense gives up more.

Rodriguez’s last team scored 515 points, this year’s team scored 340.

Yes, Rodriguez’s offensive team had more talent in Patrick White, Steve Slaton and Darius Reynaud, no question, but this year’s team had Jarrett Brown, Noel Devine and Jock Sanders.

It was not chopped liver.

The defense on Rodriguez’s last team gave up 235 points, this year’s gave up 282, not nearly as severe a drop off, in fact one that could be explained simply by this year’s team’s inability to control the flow and tempo of games.

But this is about more than just points and yards.

It’s about philosophy. Bill Stewart has often said his best friend in coaching is Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe. When he wanted an offensive coordinator, he went to Grobe and took what he thought was a young, up-and-coming offensive coach in Jeff Mullen.

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Bob Herzel
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