Another game against an inferior Big East opponent and another loss for our Mountaineers. That is the story of our last four seasons. We are either not as good as I think we are or our opponents are better than advertised.
Either way, WVU lost a second Big East game and now needs a miracle to win the Big East title. Our level of play has not improved through-out the season and I almost hope we are forced to stay in the Big East next year because we are not even close to "turning the corner."
A lack of enthusiasm and effort was grossly apparent throughout the entirety of the game. Even after big plays, there was little to no emotion shown by the players of fans (more on that later).
The most emotion that I saw was from Bruce Irvin after his back-to-back sacks. The lack of effort was glaring on every snap by our defense. Players constantly gave up on plays after it left their area. Is that a lack of conditioning or not wanting to win. I have no clue, but it is absolutely unacceptable.
Sure we put up yards, but when we needed a big play the most we dropped the ball, both figuratively and literally. Geno, yet again, lost his grip on the football without being touched, usually sure-handed Stedman Bailey dropped a touchdown and Sticks let a deep pass go right through his hands.
Mistakes happen, however, as was the case in the Stew era, these mistakes are becoming a pattern. This mistakes are leading directly to loses and that is not acceptable.
Geno Smith: B-
Again, stats, stats, stats, but no W. I don't see any progress in his talent from earlier this year to now. If anything, he may have regressed over the course of the season. He holds the ball too long without even looking in the direction of his check-down receivers.
On a sack mid-way through the 3rd quarter Tavon was visibly upset, as a check-down receiver because there was not a defender within 15 yards of him. Geno did not even look his way. I understand not wanting him to run, but at least throw the ball away.
The lack of effort and emotion makes me think there are problems in the locker-room. Is there a contentious relationship between the offensive and defensive staffs or is there something else going on? Whatever it is, we could be looking at two more losses if it doesn't get fixed.
The visible problems is that we lack girth up front to allow our linebackers to fill the gaps and we lack experience at all other positions. The problems we can't see could be a lack of conditioning or contention in the locker room.
Bruce Irvin: A
He was going all-out on every play. The only negative thing I saw was that he missed a big tackle on third down that kept the drive alive. He was being double teamed on every play after back-to-back sacks and yet he was chasing down the ball on every play. He never gave up.
Special Teams: D-
They don't deserve an F because kick-coverage was good. Our guys stayed in their lanes and made tackles.
Punting and field goals are a completely different story. They were terrible. I hope our coaches are looking for quality kickers on the recruiting trail now. Hell, call up Marlon LeBlanc to see if he can spare a soccer player.
Under Stew were terrible on special teams because he was incompetent at coaching football. Are we bad now because we don't spend enough time practicing special teams.
Our program and our fan base is not as great as we think they are. A lot of our fans are fair weather fans that give up way to easy. There will be more on this tomorrow, but it took Oliver Luck eliminating pass-outs to keep a portion of our fans in the stadium. Have real fans been priced out or are we still so new to being favored that we don't fully know how to handle being favorites? I'm not smart enough to figure out that puzzle, however, our fanbase needs to step up if we are going to be competitive in the Big 12. Both your average fans and your big-time boosters need to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.