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5th Year breaks it down...and it ain't pretty
With such high hopes for the remainder of the season, WVU delivered an absolutely embarrassing performance. To me it was more embarrassing. I don’t think we fell prey to the meme of the "trap game." We just got our butts beat in every facet of the game.
After being the toast of college football for the first few weeks of the season, WVU is now appropriately relegated to second class status. Throughout Saturday night and into Sunday as the rankings were released, pundits and commentators rightly criticized our team after the blowout loss.
I almost graded the performance immediately after the game, but I decided to not write mad. Instead, I decided re-watch the game to see if we were as bad as I originally thought. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, it was worse.
I didn’t think this offense could look worse than it did against Syracuse last season, I was wrong. We tried to force the ball down field when underneath throws were consistently open. We couldn’t convert on third or fourth down. After last week’s display of emotion, it was disappointing to see the constant downtrodden looks on the faces of our players. Our offense seemed defeated after we failed at fourth down on our opening drive. Are we the worst team in college football on capitalizing on turnovers?
Offensive Line: F
When a broadcaster is able to predict run or pass based upon a linemen’s foot position, something has gone horribly wrong. Texas Tech was able to consistently pressure Geno and stuffed the run pretty well. It all starts up front and these guys did not get the job done.
This group was getting open, but Geno was either high his throws or tried to force the ball into coverage. They had several key drops and did not respond well to a physical coverage scheme. I have not read anything since the game, so I hope Stedman Bailey’s ankle is nothing serious.
Running Backs: B
This group was solid despite not having many lanes to run through. They got tough yards, however were not able to do it on a consistent basis because the line was not able to block.
Whether the wind affected him or not, Geno had a rough day. Despite what many fans are saying, he did not lose a shot at the Heisman. He made it a little tougher to win, but he did not kill his chances. Why did he not tuck the ball and run when there was open space? He held the ball too long and threw into coverage rather than picking up some positive yardage with his feet. Despite forcing the ball into coverage and making a few bad decisions he still has not thrown an interception. Geno has always shown he can bounce back from a bad day and we are going to need him in top form Saturday when Kansas State comes to down.
The DeForestation of our defense is a sad site. This unit has the ability to get a max of 2 maybe 3 stops a game. Beyond that if our offense doesn’t match scores with the other team; we are going to get beat. This unit is historically bad and doesn’t deserve to be graded on a unit-by-unit basis. To all those that hated Mullen after only a few games, count me as one that doesn’t think DeForest can get the job done on defense. We have seen no ability to make adjustments in-game or after games to improve the quality of our defense. We may need to pull the plug on this experiment before it gets too far down the road. During SaDale Foster’s 52 yard TD run before the half, Pat Miller turned his back to the play and waited for Foster to run past him. He does realize that he can tackle someone before they run past him right?
Special Teams: B-
We didn’t really get to see much out of our special teams because we went for it so much on fourth down. Bitancurt averaged 39 yards a punt which isn’t bad. Tavon had a long return on his only kickoff return. Other than that, I don’t really see anything to complain about, unless I have totally blocked something out.
I like the aggressiveness of going for it on fourth down, but on the road you should kick the damn field goal. Take the points and move on. Three points takes some of the pressure off both sides of the ball. No adjustments or changes have been made on defense since game one. We are still constantly chasing guys and out of position to make plays. We are inexperienced on D, but one would think our coaches would be able to teach these guys to be within fifteen yards of the guy with the ball. On most of the plays our defenders aren’t even close to making the play.
ESPN’s Choice for College GameDay: B
It comes as no surprise to this old guy that ESPN picked Gainesville over Morgantown for the site of College GameDay. I want to call BS, but I can’t blame ESPN for this pick. We still have a chance to host Gameday when Oklahoma comes to town on November 17, unless we absolutely choke between now and then.
Hopes for the rest of the season: A+
I’m a glutton for punishment and an eternal optimist. As a Mountaineer fan I’m accustom to disappointing losses after big wins, so I will brush this Texas Tech game off and say confidently say that we beat Kansas State by two touchdowns. Let’s GOOO Mountaineers!!