Thursday, March 23, 2023

WVU-Kansas State Pregame Analysis

(Photo Courtesy of The Mountaineers return home after a disappointing trip to West Texas last week.  They’ll look to turn the page on the loss to the Red Raiders, welcoming nationally ranked Kansas State to Morgantown.  The Mountaineers currently hold a 4 game win streak against the Wildcats including a 24-20 win in Manhattan last season.  That game marked the first start for Jarret Doege as a West Virginia Mountaineer and saw him engineer a 10 point 4th quarter run after trailing 17-14.   Kansas State will be entering this game off a 55-14 win against Kansas.  The Wildcats returned two punts for touchdowns and almost had a third in the blowout.  Kansas obviously won’t be the best barometer on which to judge the Wildcats team.  It was an early loss against Arkansas State in a week that saw three Big 12 teams downed by Sun Belt opponents and has kept Kansas State from a perfect record.  Aside from that defeat, the Wildcats pulled out victories at Oklahoma and TCU and at home against Texas Tech and Kansas.   While still ranked #16, Kansas State enters Milan Puskar Stadium a bit of a different team than we are used to seeing. The offense is the same short yardage pound game, but the defense doesn’t seem to be as tough as years past.  The Wildcats are giving up 428 yards a game, ranked 68th nationally, putting them in the bottom half in total defense.  Uncharacteristically, this unit is giving up 159 yards a game on the ground.  Still this team knows how to win close games with 3 of their last 4 games being decided by 10 points or less; something this year’s WVU team is still struggling with.   Kansas State sits atop the Big 12 standings tied with Oklahoma State as the only two unbeaten teams in league play.  This hasn’t been easy with senior quarterback Skylar Thompson going down in the Texas Tech game.  The passing game has taken a slight step back with freshman Will Howard taking over the reins but the offense still looks much the same.  Winning on Saturday will go a long way in the Wildcats’ quest for a Big 12 championship.  Looking at the history of the matchup between these teams will suggest a close game.  5 of the last 6 matchups have been decided by 7 points or less and of the teams’ 10 meetings, they have split wins 5 and 5.   This year has a similar feeling of last year’s game with a ranked Kansas State already knocking off Oklahoma and a WVU team struggling to find their footing.  The two teams traded early blows with the Mountaineers ending the first quarter up 14-10 on Doege’s second touchdown pass to George Campbell.  Both defenses would settle in for the next 30 minutes with Kansas State able to add a touchdown and field goal each to take a 17-14 lead into the 4th quarter.  TWVU's offense then found a spark early in the 4th quarter with a 51 yard field goal by Casey Legg and Doege hitting Bryce Ford-Wheaton on a 50 yard touchdown pass to seal a 24-20 win in Manhattan.     Kansas State Offense Will Howard now has two starts under his belt, both wins, against Texas Tech and Kansas.  Howard brings more dynamic to the running attack than Thompson did with 116 yards on 25 carries.  WVU has often had trouble with mobile quarterbacks in the past.  There isn’t much drop off in the pass game with Howard versus Thompson but there is an obvious difference in accuracy with Howard completing only 58% of his passes.  This offense has never been a deep threat type of offense, using a ton of 11 personnel, establishing the run early and often.  They will never light up the scoreboard but will find enough creative ways to keep up with opponents. Tossing it over to the run game, Deuce Vaughn is the Wildcats’ largest offensive threat.  The freshman leads the team in rushing (319) and receiving (360) yards.  Vaughn and Howard both average 4 yards a carry and the tandem will be a test for this WVU defense on early downs.  The entire Kansas State offense hinges on the success of these two kids in the backfield.  The only other Wildcat with double digit carries is Harry Trotter gaining only 2.9 yards a carry.  Kansas State will use a lot of read option and jet motion to window dress simple run plays.  Howard's elusiveness will be key in keeping the ball rolling. Since Vaughn leads the team in receiving yardage you can probably guess how big of a threat this pass game is.  Kansas State has one wide receiver with double digit catches.  Of the top 6 players in receiving yardage on the team, only 2 are wide receivers.  Howard and company like to use the run to setup the pass, if they pass at all.  When they do throw the ball, it is normally seam pop shots to tight ends.  Briley Moore leads the team in receptions with 17 from the tight end spot. The inaccuracy of Howard coupled with the lack of receiving threats will allow this WVU defense to collapse down and help in the run game.  A small disguise in coverage could force the freshman into a few mistakes and easy turnovers for the Mountaineers to capitalize on.  No matter what, Kansas State will always come to fight, and you should expect this offense to do enough to keep this game close.  They are a grind it out, ugly offense.   Kansas State Defense Defensively Kansas State plays a traditional style.  Keyed on stopping the run and playing smash mouth football has be the MO of this program for decades.  Evolving with the Big 12 offenses, the 4 man front has tuned into more of a 4-2-5 look for the spread types of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and WVU.  The front 4 play a one gap style with the backers responsible for their own gaps, making this a game of one on one matchups. This...

WVU Football Student Section Deserves More Credit

As a new football season approaches, the Mountaineer Maniacs and students are getting ready to cheer on the Mountaineers in Milan Puskar Stadium. However, despite the Maniacs being the largest student organization on campus, many still refuse to give them much credit. That is because many times the student section isn’t full, and when it does fill up, it doesn’t stay full for long. This has happened on many occasions in recent years, and many fans have expressed their displeasure. Mainly, on social media. West Virginia fans have been said to be some of the most loyal and passionate fans in the country, so why can’t the student section stay full for games? The truth is it has nothing to do with the passionate Mountaineer Maniacs. The Mountaineer Maniacs and their representatives go above & beyond for the athletic events. Rather, it has to do with those who go to the game solely for a social get-together. The ones that leave games early are those who simply have no interest in whether WVU wins the game or not. Or, they have something that holds higher priority over a football game which is obviously okay.  Ones that show up late can show up late for a variety of reasons. The biggest one? The gates. Students are all trying to get into the gates, and it creates bottlenecks. Hence why at kickoff it looks empty, but halfway through the first quarter, it is full. The WVU students deserve so much more credit than they are given, despite the fact there is a significant number that do not stay. Whenever WVU plays a huge game, the students are always there in full force and they are there the entire game. It’s usually the less anticipated matchups where you might see a lack of student attendance. Should it be full always? In my opinion, yes, especially for conference games. In some cases, it can be embarrassing. In fact, I’d almost go as far to say that it is a problem, especially when you are considered some of the most passionate fans in the country. Nonetheless, WVU students do deserve more respect for their encouraging acts towards the athletic programs. However, if we do see a dip in student attendance this season, the benefit of the doubt could alter.

Geno Smith Inks New Deal

Geno Smith, the former West Virginia Mountaineer quarterback, has signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.  Smith was on the Seahawks' roster last season, but he did not appear in any regular season games.  Before signing with the Seahawks, Smith played for the Jets, Giants and Chargers. Smith passed for 11,662 yards and 98 touchdowns during his four years with the Mountaineers.  He will now serve as the backup to Seattle's star quarterback Russell Wilson.

Neal Brown Very Positive in Postgame Conference

Morgantown, West Virginia - West Virginia head coach Neal Brown spoke with the media immediately following the Mountaineers' 43-40 upset win over the Baylor Bears. Here's what Coach Brown had to say: "I said the game would come down to 3 things: 1.) Turnover margin, which we won. 2.) Who could establish the run game, which we did. 3.) Scoring touchdowns in the redzone, which we did well enough. Brown continued: "I'm  proud of our group, proud of our team. We overcame adversity and our guys showed a lot of grit. It was a big win for us tonight." Brown also added that he feels the Mountaineers can still make noise for the remainder of the season. "I think the demise (of our team) is getting ahead of itself," Brown said. "I mean, we've won 3 of 4. The conference is going to be wide open. Winning close games really helps our confidence. I hope this leads to us going on a run now. We have Texas Tech next week and we need to go out there and win that one too."

Marshall Adds Former Texas Tech Quarterback

Morgantown, West Virginia - Moments ago, former Texas Tech Red Raiders starting quarterback Henry Colombi, announced that he has committed to play for the Marshall Thundering Herd. Colombi, a senior from Hollywood, Florida, passed for 1,291 yards, 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions this season.

Source: Very Interesting 24-48 Hours Ahead at West Virginia

Morgantown, West Virginia - There is a very good chance that we have seen the last of Neal Brown on the sidelines at West Virginia University. According to people that I've spoken to, it's very unlikely that Neal Brown will be the head coach when West Virginia hosts the Oklahoma Sooners next Saturday. Obviously this is a very fluid situation and anything can happen, but yesterday's embarrassing loss at previously winless in the Big 12 Conference Iowa State appears to be the straw that broke the camel's back for Neal Brown. There has been zero progress on the field since the start of the season and there were supposed to be major improvements in Brown's 4th season with the team. Instead, the team now sits at 3-6 overall and 1-5 in conference play, and Neal Brown is now reportedly going to finally be held accountable for the team's poor performance. But Neal Brown may not be the only person whose job is in danger this morning. Director of Athletics Shane Lyons could also be on the chopping block. The West Virginia football and basketball programs - the two major money-makers for the university - are in the worst shape in years and Lyons' extension of Neal Brown following the 2020 season will go down as one of the most incompetent decisions in the university's history. The extension and raise after Neal Brown was 11-11 will inevitably end up costing West Virginia University millions and millions of dollars, and it's unlikely that Lyons will ever be able to recover from that. Lyons may have had a chance to save his job if he fired Brown several weeks ago, but he unfortunately decided to stick with the head coach that he hired. Lyons likely did this because firing Brown would have been an admission of guilt on his part in the decline of the football program. Lyons hoped for the season to be turned around and for Brown to succeed, but that clearly hasn't happened and now he will have to be held accountable as well. Again, this situation could go several different ways, but Neal Brown and quite possibly Shane Lyons could be fired in the next 24-48 hours.

Speculation that West Virginia Negotiating a Buyout with Vic Koenning

Morgantown, West Virginia - Dave Weekley, host of Hotline on the MetroNews network in West Virginia, recently brought up a very reasonable, possible scenario surrounding the investigation into Vic Koenning by West Virginia University.  The investigation, which presumably started last month, is of course in regards to sophomore cornerback Kerry Martin's accusations about the defensive coordinator. On his nightly show, Weekley stated that perhaps the reason the investigation is taking so long is that Koenning is negotiating a buyout with the university. Weekley was clear to say that this was "only a guess on his part", but it's really the only logical reason that this "investigation" is taking as long as it is. The fact is that the damage is already done.  Koenning returning to coach player(s) that have accused him of mistreatment is simply not realistic.  West Virginia University would be wise to move forward quickly and get this situation behind them as swiftly as possible.  The indecision and doubt is not good for anyone...not recruiting, not the football program, not the university. With this said, a buyout appears to be the most fair, reasonable way to end this fiasco. If in fact the university is in negotiations to end his time as the defensive coordinator, Koenning should not accept anything less than the full amount he's owed on his current contract. Koenning currently makes $675,000 a year and is signed to a three year contract. On March 1, 2021, he is scheduled to receive a pay raise of $25,000, which would push his salary to $700,000.  In total, the university owes Koenning $1,375,000. If the investigation reveals that Koenning's offenses were not extreme, he should be paid in full.  From the accusations revealed on social media by Kerry Martin, Jr., Koenning's actions don't necessarily warrant him to be fired, but him remaining employed will only hurt the football program moving forward.  With this known, Koenning should absolutely demand to not take a penny less than the $1,375,000 that he's owed on his contract. West Virginia University, pay Vic Koenning what he's owed, move on and let's put this disastrous situation behind us.

West Virginia Adds One of the Top Players in Ohio

Morgantown, West Virginia - Moments ago, Cameron Calhoun, a 6’2 cornerback from Cincinnati, Ohio, committed to play for the West Virginia Mountaineers! Calhoun, one of the top-ranked players in the state of Ohio, chose the Mountaineers over Kentucky, Boston College, Pittsburgh, among many other offers, but most experts predicted that he would end up at Kentucky. Calhoun will immediately provide depth at a real position of need for West Virginia. WELCOME HOME!

Top West Virginia Super Bowl performances

The NFL holds its the 54th edition of the Super Bowl on Sunday in Miami. Here is a look at the Mountain State's top performance's on football's biggest stage. 4. Randy Moss (Super Bowl XLII, New England Patriots; Marshall) The Voice of West Virginia is WVU-centric, but a Marshall player gets this spot on our list. The 2007 Patriots had the best regular season in NFL history and Moss had one of the best season's ever by a wide receiver. Moss set an NFL record with 23 touchdown catches in 2007. Moss had by far the best season of his career in 2007, tallying career highs with 98 catches for 1,493 yards. But like his team, the Rand native did not have his best performance in Glendale, Ariz., on Super Bowl Sunday. The N.Y. Giants turned the 18-0 Patriots into the 18-1 Patriots by shocking New England, 17-14. Moss finished with five catches for 62 yards. He did catch a touchdown in the loss. 3. Fulton Walker (Super Bowl XVI, Miami Dolphins; WVU) Walker was a defensive back but he's best remembered for his Super Bowl highlights on special teams for the Dolphins. Walker returned a second-quarter kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in the Dolphins 27-17 loss to the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVI. Walker's return was the first kick return touchdown in Super Bowl history. The Martinsburg native had 190 yards on four kickoff returns in his pair of Super Bowl appearances for the Dolphins (both defeats). Walker is the only former WVU player to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl. 2. Jeff Hostetler (Super Bowl XXV, N.Y. Giants; WVU) When the 1990 season started, the idea that Hostetler would be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as the winning Super Bowl starting quarterback would've seemed preposterous. Hostetler started the 1990 season the same way he had started his previous six NFL seasons - backing up Giants starter Phil Simms. Even after replacing an injured Simms midway through the 1990 season and starting throughout the playoffs, Hostelter becoming the only WVU starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl was a long shot. Hostetler and the Giants were significant underdogs to the high-powered Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. Hostetler turned in an efficient effort, going 20-for-32 for 222 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions. The former Mountaineer's mistake-free output, added with a strong ground attack led by Giants running back Otis Anderson (102 yards), a brilliant defensive game plan designed by Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick and a potential game-winning field goal attempt that went just wide right of the upright by Bills kicker Scott Norwood resulted in a second Super Bowl ring for Hostetler and his first as a starter. Chuck Howley (Super Bowl V, Dallas Cowboys; WVU) Howley played 16 seasons in the NFL, but he's best known for his performance in a game he lost. The former WVU linebacker is the only player in Super Bowl history to earn Most Valuable Player honors as a member of the losing team. Howley took the award despite the Cowboys losing to the Baltimore Colts, 16-13, in Super Bowl V. Howley also was the first non-quarterback tabbed as Super Bowl MVP. Howley accounted for three takeaways in the game, intercepting a pair of passes and recovering a fumble. Unfortunately for the Wheeling native and his Cowboys, that effort ended in futility when the Colts Jim O'Brien kicked a 32-yard field goal, breaking a 13-all tie to give the Colts their first Super Bowl title.  

How Oklahoma Proved Players Are Better Off on Campus During Pandemic

According to Brett McMurphy of Stadium, the Oklahoma Sooners Football team has 9 new positive tests for COVID-19 after the team was given a week off from practice. This comes after the team had a period of two weeks without a single new case. While much of the fear mongering media will take this opportunity to cast doom and gloom on the upcoming season, Outkick’s Clay Travis has a better, and much smarter, outlook on the situation. As Travis points out, only 25% of players left campus, with all 9 positive tests coming from players who were in this group. What this shows is that student athletes — football players in particular — are as Travis puts it, “much safer” on campus than off. Will any other media member look at the situation like this? Highly unlikely. However, the odds are overwhelmingly in the favor of all 9 players recovering quickly, if they even show symptoms at all. Had Oklahoma not taken the week off of practice, these players would have likely not contracted the virus. Instead, they now have the virus and are in quarantine. College Football will happen this fall, but it will only be the smart who survive without throwing in the coward towel and punting on the season.

Forgive Rich Rodriguez and Honor His Accomplishments

This may not be a popular opinion, but there just aren’t many people out there more deserving of a spot in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame than former Head Coach Rich Rodriguez.  His 60-26 record during his 7 seasons in Morgantown were sensational and the final three years (2005-2007) the Mountaineers were one of the most successful football programs in the entire country. According to the official WVU Sports Hall of Fame website, “the Athletic Hall of Fame was instituted in 1991 to recognize those athletes and coaches that have helped pioneer WVU athletics into one of the most respected programs in the nation.”  While Rodriguez left under less than desirable conditions, he certainly helped pioneer the Mountaineers into what they are today. To deny Rodriguez admission into the Hall of Fame would simply be spiteful and West Virginians are better than that.  There is no other reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame other than to punish him for leaving the university and taking a better opportunity with better pay at Michigan.  I did the very same thing when I left Mountaineer Sports to start "The Voice of West Virginia."  Better pay, better opportunity, total no-brainer. Back in March of this year, I did a candid interview with Rich Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was open, honest and still had very raw emotions about his time at West Virginia University.  It’s still difficult for him to talk about or think about his final game in Morgantown, a 13-9 loss to Pitt in 2007.  This, of course, was one of the worst losses in WVU football’s long history and Rich Rodriguez still, so many years later, feels the pain and sting associated with it. Rich Rodriguez:  A Prelude to the Interview: The Rich Rodriguez Interview: There is a large portion of West Virginia fans that will never forgive Rich Rodriguez.  In their minds, he is a snake, a coward, someone that sold out the whole state of West Virginia for greed, for money and power and a better chance at a National Championship.  This group of people are loaded with ridiculous conspiracy theories about him somehow throwing the Pitt game, the most important game in his career, so that he could move on to Michigan.  Regardless of how absurd that is, it is ingrained in the collective mindset of some Mountaineer fans, so firmly fixed in their brains as an absolute truth.  This article isn’t for you. Tony Caridi, host of the Three Guys Before the Game podcast, interviewed Rodriguez and it reminded me what a really great guy Rich Rodriguez is and what an outstanding experience I had when I spoke with him.  He’s a West Virginian, through and through.  If he’s acting like he still cares about West Virginia and how he still feels the pain of the way he left Morgantown, he deserves an Oscar.  Unless he’s the best actor in the world, he’s about as genuine a person as they come in this business. Again, there is a large portion of West Virginia fans that won’t ever forgive him, but if you’re on the fence please listen to the Mountaineer Sports interview from March and Tony Caridi’s recent podcast, and give him a real shot.  Listen to the pain in his voice when the Pitt loss comes up.  Listen to him sincerely express real remorse about how his time at WVU ended.  He acknowledges his mistakes and he truly wishes he could do it all over. It’s been 12 years since he left and it’s time to forgive and forget.  Rich Rodriguez, now 56 years old, has made mistakes and has grown from them.   The mistakes he’s made just so happened to be on a very grand scale in front of an entire state of people that live and die with the football program that he led.  He did so much for our state, for the old Gold and Blue, and it’s time to remember that, to appreciate that, and to move on from any hard feelings about the way he left home. Recently released from his position as the Offensive Coordinator at Ole Miss, Rodriguez is now searching for his next opportunity and every West Virginian should support him in whatever he decides to do.  In addition, it's time to put him in the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, honor his achievements and move on from the bitterness and hatred stemming from a choice he made 13 years ago.

Neal Brown’s Noncommittal Stance on Garrett Greene is Disappointing and Concerning

Morgantown, West Virginia - West Virginia's season opening loss at Maryland could have been avoided and future losses for the Mountaineers could also be prevented. Neal Brown has made it abundantly clear that Jarret Doege is his starter and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  From all indications from the coach, Brown is overall quite pleased with the performance of Doege, calling him "very efficient", and not so impressed with backup Garrett Greene right now. "Garrett did some things," Brown said in the postgame conference following West Virginia's 66-0 victory over Long Island.  "We had the first two drives scripted for him and I don't think he ran any of the plays the way that were supposed to be ran out there, but again, he made some plays." Brown continued: "There's some things that he probably didn't do a good job of, but everything he did was full throttle.  That is one of the reasons we're excited about him." Brown, clearly frustrated with a question about Greene's performance, closed by saying, "We'll go back and evaluate the film and if his play here and his play throughout the week warrants that he gets an opportunity in some situations, then we will use him.  I think he can help us." Brown's noncommittal stance on Greene is both disappointing and concerning.  It's clear that Greene's mobility and elusiveness is precisely what the Mountaineers need right now.  West Virginia's offensive line has been bad through two games, but that's largely because of Brown's offensive scheme and a quarterback that can't move in the pocket. With Greene, West Virginia's offense is completely different.  Leddie Brown will have more space because the defense will have to concentrate on Greene running.  When the defensive line beats the West Virginia offensive line - and they will get beaten often - Greene would escape and make plays outside of the pocket rather than taking a sack like Doege would. West Virginia would be 2-0 with Garrett Greene as the starting quarterback.  He is exactly what the Mountaineers needed against Maryland and is the answer to all of the problems the team will face when they play Virginia Tech and Oklahoma over the next two weeks.

New “Haters” of WVU Will Be Back on the Bandwagon Eventually with Shame Following...

One of Neal Brown's goals as the Mountaineers' head coach is to get the program to where they are playing "meaningful football" every November. What this means is he wants the Old Gold and Blue competing for conference and potentially national titles during the crunch-time portion of the season. With the 2020 schedule being as awkward as it is, it may just set up perfectly for West Virginia to be in the thick of the Big 12 race in late Fall. However, once they reach that point this season, what we see among the fanbase will be quite laughable.   When WVU defensive lineman Dante Stills revealed the team's "BLM" (Black Lives Matter) sticker on the back of his helmet, Mountaineer Nation almost instantaneously imploded. Many so-called "fans" denounced their allegiance to the Mountaineers, and also displayed a plethora of hatred towards the players, coaches, and all of those involved with the program. While these individuals may be yelling that they are "done" with the team, we know they truly are not.   When the Mountaineers are in the thick of the Big 12 race this November, these fans turned haters will all be crawling out of the backwoods to jump back on the bandwagon. Though you have every right to do so being that is your freedom, the fans who supported the players and the players themselves will all remember the hell that has been raised over the course of the past day. All of the "I'm done," and "I hope you lose every game" bullshit that has been passed around over the last 24-hours will always be held over your head...and it should be.   In a time when these players are standing up for something they believe in, you have done nothing but tear them down and mock their beliefs. And in turn, you want to cheer them on when they score touchdowns? No, it does not work that way. T.J. Simmons said it best when he tweeted that the "fans" only love athletes when they are on the field. Either stand behind the players through everything, or don't stand behind them at all. You simply cannot cheer them on when the ball is in the air, and then accuse them of being "snowflakes" when they bring something that is bothering them into light.   This too shall pass, and all of the newfound haters will be right back in Milan Puskar Stadium when fans are allowed. If you are one of those fans, will it be on your conscience of how poorly you treated the players during this, or will you simply find your own satisfaction when points are put on the board as you guzzle down another Bud Light?   #TrustTheClimb and Let's Go Mountaineers

REPORT: Campbell Spoke With the Lions, Turned Them Down

(Photo by Brian Powers - The Register)    Matt Campbell remains a hot topic of conversation in the coaching carousels of the NFL and College Football. After turning down an opportunity to interview with the New York Jets completely, it appeared as if Campbell wasn’t interested in giving anywhere a look and would remain in Ames, Iowa. However, according to reports, Campbell has spoken with another team, but would turn them down in the end.   As shared by Jonathan Schaeffer of Local 5 in Des Moines, Iowa, Campbell allegedly spoke with the Detroit Lions. The source in which this rumor came from was Get Up, a daily program on ESPN. This source stated that Campbell was one of five coaches that spoke with the Lions, but the Cyclones coach would choose to pass on the opportunity for the time being. Should his success continue, this will be a story that will be followed until the day he finally decides to move on from the Cyclones. Until then, it will be interesting to see just where Campbell decides to make himself available to, and where he passes on. Campbell had his best season at Iowa State in 2020, finishing 9-3, which included a Fiesta Bowl win over Oregon, and a Big 12 Championship appearance.  

Rich Rodriguez Expected to Hire Former West Virginia Coach

Morgantown, West Virginia - Former West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Rich Rodriguez accepted the position of head coach at Jacksonville State earlier this week.  Now, Rodriguez is working on hiring his assistant coaches and staff. According to Football Scoop, Rodriguez has already asked Dusty Rutledge and Mike DiAngelo, fellow assistants during his one year at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, to join his staff. In addition, Rodriguez is expected to target Rick Trickett as the offensive line coach. Trickett is the long-time West Virginia and Florida State offensive line coach is currently assistant head coach / offensive line at Glenville State. Trickett was the offensive line coach for the Mountaineers from 2001-2006 and at Florida State from 2007-2017.