Chat: Week 1, Ash, best venues, Tech D

Thanks for coming by today's chat. Like all chats during the season, it was a lively one. Here's the full transcript.

Got more to say? Send your thoughts, quips or questions to my Mailbag.

On to the highlights!

Bill (West Virginia): Hey David! I think that WVU's defense played OK given the fact that we were playing Marshall soft for a majority of the game due to our early lead, and the liberal substitutions that were occurring during a majority of the second half. But assuming that WVU's defense does not improve much before the Big 12 schedule kicks off, do you think our offense alone will be able to overpower teams and still win the league? I saw some pretty impressive offensive performances from a few schools, and it seems like we could be looking at some shootouts this season if the defense doesn't improve over the next 3 weeks. Thanks and keep up the good work!

David Ubben: Yeah, I still think WVU can contend for a Big 12 title if its defense plays like it did on Saturday. It wasn't great, but it was far from awful. Not a huge concern. The best thing for WVU: It has an offense that can outscore anybody in the league, and maybe anybody in the country.

Collin (Dallas): DUbbs... What was the most concerning sign this weekend? For me, it was Texas' high-profile defense getting burned for 173 yards by a Wyoming receiver.

David Ubben: I wouldn't be all that worried about that. Almost half of those came on a fluke play that shouldn't have happened. Texas has to get better at eliminating those mistakes, but it wasn't a scheme issue.

Kevin (Texas): Texas Tech defense can't be judged by what it did to NWST stat wise. However, the defense looked to play with better gap position, they all swarmed to the ball, and they got off the field on third down. Any chance the have marked improvement this year?

David Ubben: I loved what I saw from them. Yes, it's Northwestern State, but you can't just discount it entirely. Holding anybody to 86 yards over 60 minutes? That's really, really, really hard to do. It may mean nothing in December, but that's a pretty clear sign of at least some level of improvement.

Kirk (Houston): Will Garrett Gilbert end up being responsible for the firings of both Greg Davis and June Jones?

David Ubben: Ha, no. I was actually having a conversation about Gilbert with one of my bosses this morning. I don't understand it at all. When guys don't translate to the next level, it usually makes at least some sense. Lack of experience at the previous level. Not the smartest guy. Not a hard worker. Gilbert's failures have no real reason. He's a good kid, a smart guy who does his best and applies himself. It just doesn't work. He looked really poor against the Bears. Why? I have no idea. He was one of the best players in the state's history. Granted, he's only been in this offense a little less than a month, but he didn't look much better against the Bears. He missed a lot of easy throws that have nothing to do with knowledge of an offense.

Dave (MD): Hey Ubbster,Did you catch the Longhorn game last weekend? Did you see a reason to believe the horns will contend for the BigXII title, because I didn't. I'm confident the defense will be nasty by the time BigXII play starts, but I see no improvement in Ash's ability to throw the deep ball. Without the threat of a deep ball of the play action, I see an 8-win regular season ceiling for the horns. Your thoughts?

David Ubben: Yeah, he needs to be able to connect on those if defenses are going to soften up. If he can't throw the ball downfield, defenses are just going to stack the box against the Horns and the offense isn't going anywhere. Bryan Harsin said he wants to take a shot deep about twice per quarter, but if Ash can't at least connect once or twice a game, nobody's ever going to respect it. It'll be worth the risk to leave your corners alone on the outside and have safeties come up and help in run support against Brown and Bergeron.

Jason/ Morgantown [via mobile]: Which venue (Big 12) has the best game day atmosphere? Tailgates, noise level,venue and fanbase. Iam planning My road trips.

David Ubben: Interesting question. Outside the stadium atmosphere, Kansas State and Iowa State are always fun. K-State has a really good in-game atmosphere and is one of the rowdiest venues in the league. Oklahoma and Texas have the most impressive stadiums, but both of those are a little overrated when it comes to noise level. If it's not a big moment or a big game, the atmosphere is a little overrated. Texas Tech is always a loud venue, too, when they're not getting blasted by 60 points.

David Ash (Austin): Ubben 20-27 156 yards, 1 TD and NO INTS. What did you think of my performance since you think I am terrible??

David Ubben: I don't think Ash is terrible. I think he was understandably unprepared to lead a team last year. The guy was a true freshman that got no work in the offseason. It was Garrett Gilbert's team. I think we'll see some progress from Ash this year, but not enough to win a Big 12 title. Saturday was a good start, though. Not turning it over is more important than any other production Ash turns in.

Corey (Morgantown): After week one it seemed that WVU did much better than expected, but OU did much worse than expected. Should this be some indication of what the what these two teams will look like for the rest of the year or do you just see it as a first game fluke?

David Ubben: Not a fluke, per se, but teams are not a constant. You don't see the same effort out of every team every week. It just doesn't happen. People forget this all too often. WVU's not going to play that well every single week. OU's not going to play that poorly every week.