The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

March 6, 2008

COLUMN: What will WVU ‘balance’ really mean?

MORGANTOWN — The words had barely passed through Jeff Mullen’s lips and begun resonating through the dining area of the Milan Puskar Center that was housing a pre-spring football media luncheon.

So startling was this proclamation from West Virginia’s new offensive coordinator that you expected to hear an audible gasp, if not downright laughter from those who have chronicled WVU football.

“I believe in balance,” Mullen had said as he began outlining the offensive philosophy he brings with him from Wake Forest.

Balance? What’s balance?

In West Virginia, you balance a checkbook, not an offense.

Balance is for acrobats and tightrope walkers.

In football, you run the ball.

At least that’s how it was. In an ideal world, Mullen would actually throw the football.

“You see teams that are this high in running and this low in passing or this high in passing and this low in rushing statistically. They win a lot of football games, but it’s very hard to win a championship,” he explained.

Did he not hear that West Virginia rushed for 3,864 yards last year and passed for 2,067? That it rushed for as many as 517 yards in a game last year, but never passed for as many as 250 yards? That it ran the ball 628 times and threw it 265?

Balance?

Did he know that over the past two years, WVU had rushed for 7,803 yards and passed for 4,126 yards?

If they were off-balance, so, too, were the defenses because WVU scored 133 touchdowns and 1,020 points in two years.

When all this was brought up to Mullen, he made a bit of an admission about talking about balance on this team.

“That’s coach talk,” he finally said.

The truth is, every coach wants balance because it causes problems for opponents in preparation, but you do what you have to do to win, and at West Virginia, that has been run, run, run.

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads