It was a game where WVU's offense never really seemed in sync, this, despite some gaudy numbers put up. Time after time, plays were there to be made and balls were overthrown or dropped. A&M's defensive line did enough to stuff the running game until late in the game. Couple that with the WVU defense playing one of their worst games of the season and it's a recipe for a loss.
The score shows WVU only lost by 8 points, but it somehow felt worse than that. Skyler Howard threw for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns, but only completed 20 of 45 pass attempts. Almost half of his yards were on 4 completions: 49, 43, 45 & 47. Those were the longs by four of WVU's receiving corps. Kevin White had his usual stats as well, 7 catches for 129 and a touchdown.
The running game was largely ineffective for the better part of the game until Wendell Smallwood came in an provided a spark with 77 yards on 8 carries (most of them late). WVU's rushing totals were only 126 yards against a team that was supposed to be vulnerable to the run.
It felt worse than it is, yet, that kind of also encapsulates the entire season if you look at it as a whole. Most reasonable folks would have taken a 7-5 year, 7-6 with a bowl loss if you offered it to them back in August before this season's schedule began. Yet, we still are left with a taste of disappointment here at the end.
We saw great glimpses of what this team could do, and did, on a couple of occasions. Now is the time, once again, to regroup, hit the off-season program and come back stronger next year.
It can and will be debated, here and other places, whether this program is heading in the right direction. I'm among those who think it is and am optimistic going forward. Our coaches definitely still have room to improve upon in several aspects of the game, but I'm still on board and think disrupting the current process would do more harm than good at this point.