Matt took time during a busy week to answer a few pressing questions about football, basketball, and tailgating with us before tomorrow’s game. Let’s dive in.
Frogs O’ War: Other than the slip up in Ames, WVU has been - along with Oklahoma - the most consistent team in the conference. What is it about this team, this year, that has enabled them to have so much success?
Matt Kirchner: The offense, when clicking, is so multi-faceted that it’s just so hard to stop. All three primary receivers are such well balanced route runners that it’s hard to sell out to consistently stop them. Since Iowa State, they’ve been much more successful running the ball and have started playing to their strengths instead of ramming backs into the middle of our line.
FOW: Will Grier is a dad (DRINK!) and David Sills was a QB that was offered by Lane Kiffin when he was an embryo (DRINK). These things we know. They also happen to be one of the most prolific pass-catch duos in the country. How do you expect them to perform against a TCU defense that is one injury away from pulling people out of the stands to play safety this weekend?
MK: Um, pretty well.
I hadn’t seen the true extent of TCU’s injury bug until this week and wow. I expect WVU to attack early and often and try to throw their haymaker early.
FOW: WVU is scoring at an impressive clip - nearly 40 points per game, good for 13th best in the country. What is their weakness, if they have one, and what did Iowa State do to slow them down?
MK: Iowa State was a perfect storm of nothing going right. They consistently dropped eight so that no one was open but threw a really late blitzer that we couldn’t stop. It ended with Grier on the ground more often than not.
FOW: The Mountaineers have had some really good defensive players over the years, and have a better than functional defense in 2018 - but no one seems to be talking about them. Who are the names to know on the defensive side of the ball and what do they do well?
MK: The defense has been extremely good at penetration and pushing drives backwards, and ever since we’ve unveiled a turnover prop they’ve become opportunistic there too.
DL Kenny Bigelow, USC Transfer (drink), has been great and is the leader on the line. David Long is as strong and steady as he’s been for the last three years.
FOW: What would the Frogs have to do right to pull out a win in Morgantown?
MK: Get to Grier and force a couple of turnovers. He can get a little force-y with the ball after a pick and it can snowball.
FOW: What does WVU have to do to hold serve at home?
MK: Honestly, just don’t look ahead to the OSU/OU end. TCU is in tatters, and Grier should take full advantage.
FOW: What’s your prediction for the game?
MK: West Virginia, 49-17
FOW: There was a lot of controversy last week when it came to Will Grier high-stepping and doing the “Horns Down”. So, completely unrelated question, which fans do you think are the worst in the Big 12?
MK: Kansas BBall and it’s not particularly close.
FOW BONUS: I had the pleasure of experiencing Morgantown two years ago, and it’s an incredible scene. What makes the Eers tailgating scene so special?
MK: Lots and lots of questionably obtained grain alcohol.
FOW DOUBLE BONUS: What are your expectations for Huggy Bear and the Eers in hoops this year? Who wins the Big 12/where does WVU finish?
MK: I think they’re right in the back behind Kansas with TCU and KSU.
Figuring out the guard rotation will be the early season priority and there’s gonna be bumps along the way.