Battle for the Big 12: West Virginia vs Kansas State

“Inconceivable!”

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Apparently, much like Vizzini in The Princess Bride, I’m unclear on the meaning of “unstoppable”. I think the worst part of that heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech was that I in no way saw it coming. I thought for sure they’d give WVU some trouble, but I never in a million years thought we would actually lose, let alone lose that badly. And a costly loss it was. Instead of being national title contenders, now we’re going to have to fight to win the Big 12. Instead of Geno Smith being a lock for the Heisman, he’s just a contender now. He’s the frontrunner, but still.

So, what went wrong? Was it a trap game, like I feared? Not exactly. There’s no question that WVU was not prepared for that game, but it wasn’t a matter of underestimating our opponent. It was a matter of the problems we’ve had this entire season culminating in a perfect storm of football chokery. We can cite factors like back to back trips to Texas, the wind, etc, but in the end they’re all just excuses. I mean, Seth Doege managed five TD’s and almost 500 yards in that same wind.

The problem is the same as its been all season: the defense and lack of protection from the offensive line. If WVU hasn’t dealt with these issues, the Kansas State game is going to go the same way. Granted, Kansas State isn’t the defensive superpower that Texas Tech is, but they are a very good team. They can put up points almost as well as WVU can, and their defense is better than ours. The game is in Morgantown, which increases my confidence level a bit, but I’m not gonna lie. I don’t know if we’re going to win this one. And we need to win if we want to win the Big 12.

At the risk of my head exploding, I’m ready to talk some real talk about the defense. For starters, I’d like to see Joe DeForest and that numbskull from Pitt Keith Patterson lose their jobs. Barring that, just go back to the 3-3-5 defense. It worked (mostly)! What we’re doing now isn’t working. Not even a little bit. The transition to a 3-4 defense has been the opposite of smooth. Now we have players that are inexperienced in their current positions, and the coaching is seriously lacking.

Let’s go back to that Texas Tech game for a minute. It seemed like none of the linebackers or the secondary were ever where they were supposed to be. On top of that, it’s like they weren’t even trying to tackle anyone. There was some pushing, and strong-arming, and half-hearted chasing, but for crying out loud, hit him with your body. Pull him down to the ground!

The offensive line is not protecting Geno Smith enough. He was constantly under pressure, and every play felt rushed. WVU is used to setting pace on offense, and that wasn’t happening.

Until these issues with defense and the offensive line are sorted out, I’m afraid to say we can expect more of the same…. losing.

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