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Breakdown In Baylor, WVU Loses 62-38

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Mountaineer Football is struggling and losing in ways unimagined when Dana Holgorsen took over four years ago.

WVU's Offense Was Bottled Up All Day Inside the Red Zone.
WVU's Offense Was Bottled Up All Day Inside the Red Zone.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

WVU lost another football contest today largely because of an anemic Red Zone offense that couldn’t produce touchdowns and keep up with Baylor – losing 62-38 to the Bears. WVU football in the Red Zone is almost as painful to watch as a Matthew McConaughey car commercial. Red Zone offensive failures at the end of the first half were the missed opportunities given to WVU by a great Baylor team.

The Mountaineer defense played well against Baylor for much of the first half (after a slow start) and halfway through the 3rd quarter. But WVU’s offense couldn’t provide the needed assistance. As well, today more than all other games we missed Karl Joseph. Our defensive secondary had no leader, no big hitter, and little chance once we lost Terrell Chestnut, to injury too. Plus, you had to feel badly for Daryl Worley, because he was in over his head and all alone out there to boot.

Backup safety Jarrod Harper’s blown coverage in the 3rd quarter was the back breaker, particularly because it happened on a 3rd and 15 play and at the time we were still only down 34-24 (grateful that kid got to recover an onside kick late – that’ll take a little sting out of the game for him).

But you have to give Baylor this: they don’t turn the ball over, they have world-class offensive and defensive lines, and the best wide receiver in the nation in Corey Coleman. They beat us and we don’t have the offensive push to compete.

GOOD

  • Wendell Smallwood. Even battling an injury he is explosive and strong.
  • Our first TD drive. Good play change by Howard and progression read. Strange we never saw anything like that afterward.
  • Our second TD drive. Good clock usage. Great 4th down conversions.
  • Nick O’Toole’s punting was great. Our field position was good all day.
  • Our kick off returning was excellent today. Shelton Gibson's 100-yard return to finish the game was some salve in the wound. We need Gibson and Durante back there to give us a chance to break one.
  • WVU’s first half defense after the first two Baylor series. The Bears went on to go 0 for 4 on 3rd downs in first half.
  • David Sills at Wide Receiver. Where did that come from? I know we were expecting this from William Crest, but as athletic as he is we have some things to look forward to offensively.

BAD

  • Red Zone scoring. It’s not an issue because the media is somehow making it so. Dana, The Charleston Gazette isn’t using their Obi Wan Kenobi mind altering powers to affect your players and make this an issue. It’s a problem with play calling, so I understand why you’re so defensive.But isn’t your specialty supposed to be offensive? I mean, Lamar scored 31 points against Baylor.
  • QB pressure. Granted, Baylor has a terrific, experienced line, but there was only one sack of Seth Russell.
  • Skylar Howard’s 2nd quarter interception. Another missed opportunity as he should’ve just run for the first down.

UGLY

  • Holgorsen’s Red Zone play calling. Why not set up more short routes for a quarterback who is struggling?  Why not get the ball to play makers in space? Because real men run the ball when you’ve "got the numbers." 2nd quarter #1: three straight runs from the 5-yard line resulted in 3 points. On final driver of 1st half Smallwood got the ball back to the 10-yard line on a terrific run…but Holgo then calls Shell up the middle. Not only was the play a bust, but it ate up another 20 seconds (the whistle blew when Shell was tackled at :40 – the next play was snapped at :20.)  What happened to "Mr. Innovative?" Well, when he finally showed up and threw a crossing route to Daikiel Shorts with 5:00 minutes left in the game, it was too late.
  • Bad O-line play also played a role in killing some drives. In the 2nd quarter, Kyle Bosch missed a critical block on a 3rd down running play and then chop blocked on the final drive of the half to move our kicker back another 15 yards.
  • Missed Josh Lambert FG to end the first half - another momentum killer.
  • WVU’s secondary. I know we’re down a couple of guys, but that was the definition of ugly.
  • Having to look at Dave Wankstink at halftime on FOX.