Discussing The High (And Low) Points Of West Virginia's 24-21 Loss At Cincinnati

There are a lot of things that happened last night, some good, some of course bad.

Here are Saturday's talking points:

  • The touchdown reversal was clearly the incorrect call.  If it had been ruled a touchdown on the field, then we're talking a completely different story.  But it wasn't.  It was ruled a fumble, and there is absolutely nothing that could be considered indisputable about that video evidence.  By definition, indisputable means beyond doubt.  I would love to have the replay official look me and the rest of West Virginia fans in the eye and tell me that there wasn't a shadow of a doubt on that call.  It simply was an incorrect call.
  • The soon-to-be-infamous fourth and eight call from the 25.  With over five minutes left and plenty of timeouts, West Virginia could have very easily kicked a manageable field goal and kept themselves in the game with anything short of a touchdown.  Instead, the call is made to go for it, a call that fails miserably, and Cincinnati is able to take a two possession lead with just a field goal.  Here is Stewart's reaction to that call:
  • "I was going for the win," coach Bill Stewart said. "It was going to be tough to stop them. We really hadn't stopped them all night. I couldn't go for the field goal. I figured the game would go to the end."

    • Against USF, we couldn't stop them so we punted from their 33 yard line on a fourth and short.  Last night, we couldn't stop them so we went for it on fourth and long.  I fail to see how any of this makes sense.
    • Ryan Clarke carried the ball with great success.  He also only carried it five times.  I have been the #1 fan of giving Noel Devine more carries, and last night it happened.  Only problem was that it didn't work, as he averaged a measly 3.5 yards per carry.  On a night when our offensive line couldn't block the air in front of them, it was time to feed Clarke more often.  If our running backs are going to get hit in the backfield, might as well have the big guy there to bounce off those hits.
    • Speaking of the offensive line, the Dave Johnson era should end.  The quicker the better.
    • Jarrett Brown put on his best performance of the season last night.  He rarely made mistakes (outside of the fumble, which didn't hurt us), he threw the ball with conviction, and he kept us in the game with both his arm and legs.  It's just a shame he's nearly always running for his life.  Did I mention the Dave Johnson era should end?
    • Another era that should end?  The Bill Stewart as special teams coordinator era.  It has been disastrous, certainly since he took over as head coach.  The way I see it, he has enough on his plate (if not too much).  Hand the reigns to someone more competent able talented ... OK, just someone else.
    • Sometime between now and next year, we must find a defensive backfield that is able to cover the pass.  Whether it's lockdown corners, safeties, or dropping linebackers (hell, drop Chris Nield if we have to), we simply can't expect to win while giving up pass plays as we have this season.

    What are your thoughts?  Happy that we came this close to knocking off the 5th ranked team in the country?  Mad that we're at a point where we're happy with moral victories?  Did you throw a shoe?

    Let us know in the comments...

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