What do I want to say this week and what should I say this week? Forty games in and the head coach is two games below .500 (19-21), we have not spent a single week in the top 25 in those 40 games and still have not won three games in a row. Now we have the long task of 13 days off before we get a Thursday night game.
First and foremost we are praying for CJ. Watching him lay on the ground and then be carted off the field was a scary sight. You could tell the players and the coaches were worried. The reports that came out were that he was out cold. That’s extremely scary on the football field.
Reports are that Donaldson will travel back with the team and has movement in all extremities, so the worst possible scenario has been avoided. Now we hope that CJ is healthy and can return to a normal life. Without knowing what the cause of the injury was, it is possible it was something fluke and he will return and its possible it was something serious. We won’t know but as we hear anything, we will let you know. We hope CJ is healthy and has no lasting side effects.
I’ve gone back and forth on Lesley trying to figure out what exactly is going on here. Why is the secondary so bad and so lost. Lesley, who engineered good defenses the past two years suddenly couldn’t stop a Pop Warner squad if they chose to throw the ball.
I’m more frustrated with the alignments more than anything.
This is Texas’ first touchdown. This is right as the ball is snapped. West Virginia has one corner playing five yards off the ball, another playing eight off the ball and Aubrey Burks is spying the running back. At first glance, this should be a good alignment. West Virginia has eight “in the box” (close) and 3 out wide but Burks doesn’t provide any over the top help.
When the pass is thrown, Kpogba has a hit on Cards, but there are two guys blanketing the running back, two more who are ten yards off the ball with no receiver anywhere near them and a wide open receiver in the end zone.
Here’s the second touchdown. West Virginia has THREE defenders to the wide side of the field while Texas only has one receiver out there. West Virginia has one defender out with the stacked receivers and one safety. Why are we triple covering one receiver?
As wide open as the guy who caught the ball, look at the top of the screen. There isn’t anyone within 20 yards of him. Duffy had his pick of guys to throw to here.
Isn’t the strength of this defense supposed to be our defensive line. Aren’t we supposed to be strong along the front? Where is the pass rush? Where is the domination? Where is the fifth year senior coming back to prove everyone wrong? West Virginia had five sacks in the Backyard Brawl and since then, against three other P5 programs (Kansas Jayhawks, Virginia Tech Hokies, Texas Longhorns) they have three sacks. Eight sacks in 4 games against P5 programs and five came in the first game (that we still lost).
As I watched this game, this felt a lot like the 2018 Iowa State game to me. Just the way the team looked unprepared for a road night game and seemed to take an opponent that they had beaten in the past for granted. It almost appeared as if the team thought that the past was going to play a part in this game and because they beat this team last year in Morgantown and West Virginia was one team that Texas didn’t have a winning record against, they believed the hype. In 2018, the Mountaineers ran into a buzzsaw in Iowa State. This year it was Texas.
This is the article Matt Kirchner wrote saying it was time to let go of Jake Spavital and for Dana to take over play calling. It was a call to arms to let go of a friend of Dana’s. Well now its time to let go of a friend of Neals and Jordan Lesley needs to go.
I don’t ask West Virginia for consistent elite play as it would be a fool’s errand, and unreasonable expectations are the worst part of fanhood. I do expect West Virginia to take advantage of their chances to be special,
This is what I wrote following that Iowa State loss
I’ve saved the head coach for last because, in all honesty, the fault lies with him.
And here is what I said three weeks ago
So what do we do? I think you have to see if Brown can right the ship. Give him the opportunity to get through Texas. Why Texas? Because there is a two-week gap between Texas and Baylor. Why Texas? Because it also reinforces your decision. If Brown can turn it around, you can maybe swallow your pride and let the season play out - which is what I think is going to happen. If Brown’s team collapses, you can say you didn’t overreact to one loss. Despite what you and I and other fans might feel, Lyons’ job is not to overreact. But! it is to react to the situations presented and he must react.
We are now past Texas. We didn’t fall off a cliff but the ship is still sinking. Come on December, you can’t come fast enough.