What could have been. The Mountaineers shot themselves in the foot, time and time again tonight against the Sooners. Turnovers, offensive inefficiency and special teams breakdowns were the main culprits in WVU's demise tonight. Many were predicting a Sooner blowout, but the Mountaineer defense was able to bend-but-don't-break several Sooner drives, creating four turnovers of their own, a couple of which were in the red-zone.
Dreamius Smith broke a 75 yard touchdown run for what would be the Mountaineers only offensive bright spot and score of the game. Paul Millard was inconsistent at best throughout the night, as were his receivers. Many times tonight when he made a good pass, they dropped it. Other times, his decisions and throws were suspect. The running game, despite everyone but Millard averaging over five yards per carry, never seemed to get on track enough for the team to get into a flow and rhythm.
The Sooners were able to run for over 300 yards for the second straight week, thanks much in part for the WVU defense being on the field for what seemed like an overwhelming time of possession advantage. But, if you look at the actual times, the differential was only nine minutes. In 100 degree heat, though, that was enough.
Despite the yardage allowed, this Mountaineer defense is nothing remotely comparable to the one fielded in 2012. They are sound in technique and very opportunistic, creating four turnovers of their own. Injuries to Isaiah Bruce and Doug Rigg will make things more difficult going forward, stretching the depth chart even further.
This is a team that will be able to compete in the Big 12, but not with the way the offense performed tonight. This offense has a ways to go to be even serviceable. If WVU is to have a respectable season this year, it will be due to the defense. Now that's a sentence not many people would expect to be reading tonight.