The Kansas State Wildcats came into Morgantown ranked and left with their tails between their legs after failing to score in the second half and their freshman quarterback looking much like a freshman quarterback.
Doege’s Stats Are Misleading
Let’s get this out of the way. Doege played well. So take whatever vitrol your gonna yell at me and hold onto it because Doege played well. Still, he only completed one long pass, a flag patterns to TJ Simmons. Every other pass was under 10-yards. Nearly 200 of his 300 yards came after the catch.
You simply can’t rely on YAC yards consistently. You can expect to get YAC yards but the fact is that you can’t throw the ball behind the line of scrimmage or near the line of scrimmage and expect to score. You have to throw the ball forward. Now, against the Wildcats its worked and when it works you keep at it. Still, better teams tackle in space and crowd the line of scrimmage and make those throws hard. Kudos to Jarret for navigating this game because it can be tempting to launch one deep when making short throws is all that is necessary.
Defending This Offense
If I were going to draw up a defense against the Mountaineers it would be to sell out on the run on first down, blitz like hell on 2nd down and dare Doege to beat me on third down. More often that not, the Mountaineers were behind the chains on first down and then had to make a longer throw to get back on schedule. When they did, they were able to move the chains. When they couldn’t make third down manageable, they struggled. Given that we tend to run up the middle with Leddie and Doege can’t make long throws, we can’t expect to continually convert long second and third downs.
Now Comes The Defensive Test
The Mountaineers are ranked 4th in total defense, though the top three teams have only played one or two games. Texas has the #3 offense in the conference. Oklahoma has the #1 offense. Iowa State has the #5 offense. The Mountaineers have played the lower offenses in the conference and now its time that they put their money where their mouth is. Texas is the highest scoring offense in the league with 44 points a game. Can the defense hold the Longhorns in check and give the offense a chance to shine?
Receivers Staring To Find Groove
This isn’t about the drops (which were much improved this week). This is about each receiver figuring out who they are as a receiver. Winston Wright leads the teams in catches. Sam James is second Bryce Ford-Wheaton is fourth (Leddie is 3rd). Wright averages 12 yards a catch. James averages 9. Wheaton averages 18!
Those stats look like a WR1, WR2 and WR3 to me. Wright is the guy we are looking for when we need a play. James is the guy we use between the 20s and Wheaton takes the top off of the defense. The only problem is that each guy seems to fall in the wrong category.
Wright is listed at 5’-10 so if you told me he was a slot guy we used to move the chains like Edelman, I’d believe you. James is listed at 6’-0 and has a background as a track star. If you told me he was running verts all day I’d believe you. “I’ve had like a 21.7 (miles per hour) reading against Oklahoma,” James said
Wheaton is listed at 6’-3 and should be dominating cornerbacks. He should be giving Doege a target to just “throw it up”. Ultimately, production trumps perception and if these receivers fit better as they currently are, then you wear it out until a defense stops you.
I just like defensive guys scoring