September 22, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Tavon Austin (1) celebrates with wide receiver Dante Campbell (left) and running back Andrew Buie (13) after Austin scored a touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins during the fourth quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The West Virginia Mountaineers won 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
The absence of Shawne Alston (out today with thigh bruise) in today's offensive performance by the Mountaineers was glaring. Couple that with uninspired offensive line play and you could have a recipe for disaster if you're the Mountaineers. Thankfully WVU has Geno Smith and Tavon Austin who were able to connect enough times for the Mountaineers to come away with a victory.
Knee jerk observations (Bad):
- Open field tackling was a BIG issue
- Defense must get off the field on 3rd down better
- Too many 3-and-outs for the offense
- More punts today against Maryland than against LSU last season
- Inconsistent punting and kickoffs
- Lack of a true running game without Alston
Knee jerk observations (Good):
- Offense no turnovers
- Austin another monster game against Maryland
- Defense created three turnovers and scored on one
- Defense was able to create pressure and get sacks
- Geno didn't hurt his Heisman campaign
And so ends the out of conference portion of the 2012 Mountaineer football schedule. It's nothing but the Big 12 the rest of the way. There's plenty for the team to work on after what was shown today, but it's a win and we'll take it. That's all I have for now...I'm exhausted.