If you have been following me, you know I have been critical of WVU’s running game. Anyone who watched tonight’s game witnessed exactly what I’ve been talking about. WVU couldn’t run inside or outside, and could not stop Oklahoma’s running game.
Oklahoma ran the ball 46 times for 301 yards. WVU ran the ball 40 times for 137 yards. Oklahoma averaged 6.5 yards a carry and WVU averaged 3.4 yards a carry. I actually had hope for WVU at the start of the game when they had a couple of runs between the tackles for 5 and 7 yards, and then it was the same-o same-o.
In general, teams that can run the ball well, can also stop the run. Right now WVU is struggling at doing both of these.
All 3 kickers were the stars of WVU Special Teams. Nick O’Toole had a 52 yard punt, and Josh Lambert kicked a 54 yard field goal. Michael Molinari did a good job with his kick-offs driving them into the endzone. These guys played very well.
I felt sorry for Clint Trickett for he was under siege by Oklahoma’s defense. There won’t be steak dinners for the offensive line this week. I felt Trickett was just trying to throw the ball away near the end of the 1st half, but his pass was pick-off.
Trickett was definitely off tonight, for he was hit hard a few times and that may have affected some of passes, for some of his pass were off the mark and others I felt were too hard. However, he got little help from the offensive line, and at times his receivers didn’t help him either.
Kevin White played the best of all the receivers. Both Mario Alford’s and Jordon Thompson had tough catches. Alford’s went for a TD and Thompson’s got WVU a critical first down.
Andrew Buie and Rushel Shell both ran the ball well when they had blocking up front. Shell’s determination got him the touchdown, and was one of his better runs as a Mountaineer. Dreamius Smith also gave a valiant effort.
WVU struggled on all sides of the ball against Oklahoma. The Sooners took away the run, and then they not only took away the deep pass, they took away the short and intermediate pass by getting pressure on Trickett. WVU receivers could not beat Oklahoma’s coverage.
I was concerned about this game after watching two of Oklahoma’s 1st three games. One reason for my concern was that Alabama averaged 5.5 yards a carry against WVU. WVU had 4 turnovers against Maryland and 4 more against Oklahoma.
Maryland had a punt return for a TD and Oklahoma had kick-off returned for a TD. WVU had no yards against Oklahoma on kick returns and only 5 yards on punt returns. Maybe special team play needs to be added to my list of concerns going forward.
With all this said, WVU could go 8 – 4 this season. No Big XII Championship or national title for WVU this year. However, WVU may gain some needed respect.
To get in the hunt for a national title, WVU needs to not only have a good passing game, but it needs a running game that can compete with the big boys. A good running game starts up front with the offensive line.
I wish WVU football the best! Enjoy your week off!!!