As I’m sure most fans were, I wasn’t hoping to be discussing poor choices in play calls going into Week 2. While few were holding out some extra misplaced hopes that the Mountaineers would be heading to the home opener 1-0, this is not the case. Part of the problem? Poor play calling when it mattered most.
I will be the first to admit that we were outmatched in some critical areas of the game, but that does not mean that some choice things going right (like maybe actually catching one of the two interceptions that Bishop dropped) might have swung some momentum. The worst is making stupid decisions that had everyone watching the game going. Wait, wait-what?
In a 4th and 2 scenario down 24-7, Brown has Nicco Marchiol march onto the field and share it with Garrett Greene; the result is an awkward attempt at trickeration. I could have gone to the kitchen to get a snack and returned by the time the setup was completed for this one, and it did not take long for Penn State to sort out the details themselves – leading to a tackle for loss when a dive run would have had better successes.
Trick plays work when you can catch a defense off-guard by the personnel you have on the field. Greene and Marchiol spent months in camps competing for QB1, a storyline that Penn State was familiar with and likely prepared for when setting up their game plan. We might as well have just done magic tricks, which might have been distracting enough for two yards.
One saving grace is that at least more outlets seem to be discussing the ring-around-the-rosie huddle before the successful two-point conversion attempt. Do you know what might have been an excellent time to get a capable quarterback involved in the offense alongside your QB1? Literally, in almost every single game of the past three seasons you had Garrett Greene in timeout on the sideline bench.
The Sports Junky grabbed a clip of this pre-snap hijinx here:
Fortunately, we hope no trick plays are necessary in a get-right game this Saturday night. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN+.
(photo by Sports Illustrated)