WVU Head Football Coach Dana Holgorsen and quarterback Clint Trickett learned a valuable lesson in a last-minute loss in Morgantown on Saturday.
The success of the Mountaineer team this season has been predicated upon relentlessly attacking on both sides of the ball. That scheme has never been more needed than it was against TCU.
The defense did it’s part, keeping prolific quarterback Trevone Boykin relatively in check, especially while passing. Boykin completed only 12 of 30 passes for 166 yds. with one touchdown and one interception.
The seemingly previously unstoppable Horned Frog offense was held 20 points below their scoring average and under 400 yds. in total offense. TCU converted on only a third of their first downs. Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson’s pressure defense put WVU in a position to win the game.
Unfortunately, for the first time this season, Coach Holgorsen then went totally conservative, trying to simply maintain a nine-point fourth quarter lead. Big mistake. In their last two possessions the Mountaineers totally gave up the pass and ended up getting the running game stuffed.
Coach Holgorsen admitted this error in his post game press conference. The Mountaineers wins come by keeping the pedal to the metal until victory formation time, not trying not to lose.
While primary responsibility lies with the coach calling running plays, Trickett has to assume joint responsibility. He is still one of the leading passers in the nation and has the authority to change the play at the line of scrimmage. Perhaps fearing a possible third interception, he did not.
The results were almost predictable, with TCU winning on a field goal in the final seconds. Hopefully both coach and QB remember this. If so, this could well be WVU’s final loss of the season. A 9 – 3 record would certainly be an incredible turn around for the past two seasons, and would likely land a major bowl bid.