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WVU vs. LSU Grades: A Unit-By-Unit Look At The Mountaineers Loss To The Tigers

Turnovers were the downfall of our Mountaineers...this was just one of four on the night
Turnovers were the downfall of our Mountaineers...this was just one of four on the night

Most people were of the opinion that WVU had to play as close to a perfect game as possible to defeat the Tigers.  They didn't and yet, was able to climb back into the game and pull within 6 before the special teams monster reared its ugly head and the flood gates opened.  Assuming the team can learn from this experience and correct the mistakes, this young team still has a very high ceiling potential for the season.  On to the grades...

Offense:  B+
533 yards against arguably the best defense in the nation (that had only given up just over 600 total in their 3 previous games), but 4 turnovers and virtually no return game forced the defense to defend a short field too many times.

Running Game:  C
Still not setting the world on fire, yet was able to run when they needed to and keep the defense honest a bit. Shawne Alston is a welcome return to this young unit still trying to adapt to the speed of the game.  Two fumbles don't help the grade.

Quarterbacks:  B+
Geno again sets school records with yards, attempts and completions.  The two interceptions bring the grade down a bit (one wasn't his fault).

Receivers:  A
Two 100 yard receivers again this week and Tavon lit up LSU for 187 yards.  4 receivers averaged at least 10 yards per catch.

Defense:  C+
They were forced to defend a short field virtually all night because of turnovers and the inability of the special teams to create much of a workable field position.  Again, due to the situations and the speed at which the offense works, this defense again looked tired late in the game.  Not much of a pass rush is starting to be more of a concern.

Special Teams:  F
No punt returns allowed for LSU to down the ball inside the 20, usually inside the 10, EVERY TIME.  And just when the stadium was rocking as the Mountaineers pulled within 6, the ensuing kickoff was returned for a touchdown, magnified by the fact that the returner was pinned several times and was never brought down.

Discipline:  C-
Braun's early penalty killed one drive on a night when field position was horrendous

Crowd:  A+
I admittedly wasn't at the '03 Tech game, but that's as rocking as the stadium has been that I've been a part of since the reconfiguration with Touchdown Terrace.  I've read several accounts credited to LSU fans about how loud the place was.  One said it sounded as loud as the 90,000 seat capacity SEC stadiums (official attendance was 62,056).  Reported post-game antics are not figured into this grade.