Questions. That's all this game left us with.... questions. Well, that, and a horrible taste in our mouths. I've been going back and forth with people on the internet all day about it, and honestly, I feel worse having talked it out.
Here's what I'm hearing: Dana Holgorsen is outmatched. He's not developing talent fast enough. He's just a coordinator, not a head coach. His recruiting is terrible. I've even heard that we need to bring Rich Rod back (which made me wanna vomit, the traitor, but I digress).
Here's where I stand with it (and maybe I'm a homer and shouldn't be trusted): Rome wasn't built in a day. I could write out a LONG list of stud, WVU players, who left via the NFL draft/graduated the past 3 years. There's no way to get that back overnight. Also... anyone who thought the transition from the Big East to the Big 12 was going to be cake was fooling themselves. I knew going into it that it... would... take... TIME! Time, time, time... patience is required to deal with it. I only hope that if I'm right, and Dana Holgorsen is indeed the man for the job, Oliver Luck will also give him some of his patience - give him some much needed, precious time to build. I think we can all officially say that this team is in reset mode.
Yes, we should have more to show on offense than what we do... not sure who's to blame the most for that. The lack of recruiting? The offensive staff around Dana? Or, Dana himself. I know this... last year the major gripe was that Holgorsen was an offensive mind only, and that his D's would continually suck if we kept him. Flash forward to now, and our D might be one of the nastiest in NCAA football. I'm not sure I know of another D who's offense puts them in this bad of shape, yet they constantly keep shutting down the opposition. Hats off to the Mountaineer defense! They've been wearing their big boy pants since William & Mary. Take away the foolish turnovers, and the points Maryland scored off of them, and this D had a real nice outing today! Once again... kudos to the WVU D!
This was Ford Childress' first true test (you can't count Georgia St, and neither did Holgorsen). He will undoubtedly get better, but how much better? I know the kid was a top prospect... #8 QB in the nation coming out of a school in Houston (I believe) - #1 QB out of the state of Texas. That has to stand for something. He's a redshirt Freshman, and he needs his cherry popped (so to speak). Well, today that cherry was popped. I've never seen a Holgorsen offense struggle this bad (at the QB position especially). I know we're a super green team... we lost our entire offense in the draft... but DANG, you'd expect to see SOMETHING by this point. Our OL needs to improve in their assignments. We have the stable of RB's to run on anyone, but when the OL is that confused and when no D fears our pass, all we're gonna see is loaded, 8-9 man fronts. No one can consistently run on that. Simms and Smith should be getting close to 100 yards a game, apiece, they're so talented. It's a shame they don't have any semblance of a hole to run through most of the time. These backs could keep the pressure off of us until a QB steps up and delivers. The WV O-Line needs a major gut check.
I'm willing to give Holgorsen a few more years to right the ship. I really feel like the guy is something special. I think he needs to fine tune his offensive staff (like he did the D after last year)... they aren't getting these young guys up to speed. I didn't think the recruiting was bad either... weren't we a top 25 class? That's great actually! I will also say this... too many more games like this one, and I'm not sure my faith won't waiver a little. Bottom line, this is a super young, inexperienced team with a ton of question marks. When you lose that much talent to the NFL 3 years in a row, it's going to take time to gain it back (multiple recruiting classes unless you're Bama or A&M, or a team like that). If this keeps up, I wholly expect to see Dana can some coaches mid-season and start anew.