WVU coaches and fans have watched the offensive line progressively worsen over the past 3 games. I was upset with WVU’s inability to run between the tackles early in the season, but this improved and now I simply don’t know.
On the major blogs, many WVU fans are asking is the lackluster performance of the OL is a coaching or talent issue.
When you look at total yardage in this game WVU had 448 while Texas had 351. WVU’s Kevin White caught 16 passes for 132 yards, and WVU’s Dreamius Smith had 10 carries for 100 yards. You now have to wonder how WVU lost the game 33 – 16.
Here are some other critical stats:
- WVU had 24 1st downs to UT’s 19
- WVU went 3 of 17 on 3rd down efficiency while UT was 4 of 15
- WVU went 3 of 5 on 4th down efficiency while UT was 0 – 1
- WVU’s Trickett completed 36 of 49 passes while UT’s Tyrone Swoops was 11 of 29
- WVU had 49 rushing attempts for 200 yards while UT had 39 for 227 yards
- WVU’s FG Kicker Josh Lambert connected on 1 of 3 Field Goal Attempts, and UT’s Nick Rose connected on 1 of 2
- WVU ran 90 offensive plays to UT’s 69 plays
As is so often the case, stats don’t always tell the whole story.
The big story here is that WVU could not score from the red zone The underlying problem is that WVU’s QB Clint Trickett was sacked 5 times, was under constant pressure, and when WVU needed it most its offensive line failed to perform. The OL could open holes for the RBs and could not protect Trickett. The other underlying problem is that WVU’s RBs failed to finish runs.
At least twice during the game, if the WVU RB had lowered a shoulder and surged forward he could have picked up a first down. However, the RB just stopped when he was hit, and each time WVU ended up a yard short of 1st down.
It appeared that WVU’s OL and RBs just quit playing. Texas averaged 5.8 yards per carry to WVU’s 4.9.
You often hear that statistics are for liars for you can make them say anything you want. When you look at the statistics from this game, you can see that. Statistically WVU won this game, but the only stat that counts is the score.
WVU’s defense looked like a train wreck in the 1st half, but played a whale of a game in the 2nd half. The issue in the 2nd half was WVU’s offense, or lack of offense.
I don’t care how mobile a QB you have, when he is constantly under pressure he hurries decisions, and in fairness he has to. Trickett did not have time to set his feet before throwing. He was running for his life. The result of which caused Trickett to have 1 fumble and 1 interception, and he was sacked 5-times.
If you don’t think pressure affects a QB, just ask NFL QBs Payton Manning, Aaron Rogers, Drew Breese, Tom Brady, etc.
We’ve heard the WVU coaches this season state that they have pushed the team this year to finish, and finish is something WVU’s offense has failed to do the past 2-weeks.
Currently, WVU has a 6 – 4 season, with 2 Big XII losses. Can WVU beat Kansas State and Iowa State the next two weeks to go 8 – 4 for the season? Yes, they can, providing they finish. However, when you look at the diminishing play of WVU’s OL and RBs, most likely they will finish 6 – 6 for the season.
I felt and still feel WVU should have had a 10 – 2 season for the talent is there, but it appears WVU still lacks depth on the OL, and that WVU’s running backs are tired and ready for the season to end.
The ole saying “It’s not the fight in the dog, but how hard the dog is willing to fight.” And it is very evident from the play WVU’s OL over the past 3 weeks, that there is no fight left in the OL, and little if any fight left in the RBs.
Can the same 5 offensive linemen really be expected to play 90 snaps per game this many games in a row? I don’t know how they can even walk to class on Mondays.