What Did We Learn From WVU’s Loss to OU?

The one thing I believe I learned today is that Rushel Shell III is becoming the running back many people thought he could be. Against OU, Shell had 20 carries for 72 yards. Shell ran with determination beginning with his 2nd play against Maryland. And let’s give accolades to WVU RB Wendell Smallwood who had 22 carries for 111 yards today. GREAT JOB GUYS!!!

WVU looked sluggish in the 1st half, played well in the 3rd quarter, and completely fell apart in the 4th. Against Maryland WVU CB Daryl Worley was burned twice. Today, against the Sooners he and Terrell Chestnut both were burned by OU receivers. Both were out of position.

I had the impression that WVU didn’t do a very good job at reading OU’s offense or defense.

All I’ve heard since spring is that QB Skyler Howard gives WVU the best chance to win. He is working on his passing. He is close to Shelton Gibson and the timing is good and will get better. However, what I saw today was the same Skyler Howard I saw last year and this year in the spring game.

I saw a QB who is late with his short passes, who can’t throw a touch pass, and who struggles throwing the deep ball. Only one time this year have I seen Howard hit a receiver in stride, and that was a TD pass he threw to Shelton Gibson in the end-zone. Howard struggled doing this today, and cost WVU a touchdown.

All year we have heard, “the starting QB is the one who does the best job at protecting the ball, and Howard was the guy.” Today, Howard had 5 turnovers: 3-interceptions and 2-fumbles. And OU only turned the ball over twice.

WVU had 369 yards of offense compared to Oklahoma’s 427 yards. Now this isn’t a huge difference. However, WVU’s first TD game as a result of 4 15-yard penalties against OU. If you take this TD away then WVU only scored 2 TDs and a field goal, a total of 17-points on its own.

I don’t know what you saw if you watched the game, but I watched a team that was not ready to play Oklahoma. I saw a starting QB that I’ve been questioning since the spring as the starter.

I’ve read articles other analysts that were at WVU spring practices stating that QB Chris Chugunov was the most accurate passer on the team. The assistant coaches have stated all year that Chug’s can sling it with the best of them. Last week Holgorsen stated that he had thought about redshirting Chug’s, but he wants him by his side, for he is the smartest QB he has ever coached. Holgorsen has also stated that Chug’s was much more athletic than he first thought. Chug’s was the scout team QB when WVU was preparing for Liberty. With all these accolades about Chug’s then why is he not starting?

Earlier in the year, someone asked if 2015 was going to be another 2013, when we didn’t know from week to week who the starting QB would be. I stated then and I’ll state it again now, yes, this could be the case. Though there are a lot of sports writers and analyst who are fans of Skyler Howard, I’m not one of them, and if you saw the WVU vs Oklahoma game today, then you can understand why.

Howard throws too high over the middle and that is why two have been tipped in the air and intercepted. In 4 games he has only thrown one pass that a WVU receiver could run under without breaking stride. I’ll concede that Howard can scramble, but he is late to scramble at times. There were times he was out of the pocket and could have thrown the ball away and didn’t.

Howard was sacked 7 times today, and not of all them are on the O-Line. When he was scrambling he was late getting rid of the ball, and on more than one occasion ended up throwing a bad pass. He doesn’t look down field when he scrambling for an open receiver.

Howard only completed 17 of 32 passes, which is a 53% completion ratio. Howard’s day ended with having a 90.1 QB rating, compared to OU’s Mayfield ending the day with a 195.1 QB rating This will not win many Big 12 games.

At some point this season, Holgorsen will pull Howard, and most likely he’ll replace him with William Crest, but before the season is over we’ll see Chris Chugunov. William Crest is a WR playing QB, and Chug’s is more of a pro-style pocket passer, but who like the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodger’s can and will run with the ball and is able to move the pocket.

After today’s game I’ll stay with my prediction in that WVU won’t win more than 7 or 8 games this season. This offense needs time to gel and an accurate QB who can throw a touch pass, thread narrow alleys with the ball, and throw the deep ball so a receiver can run under it and stay in stride. Howard has shown he can not do these things.

I appreciate the fact that after the OU loss that Holgorsen didn’t throw Howard under the bus, and took the hit for today’s loss. However, shot of Holgorsen on the sideline after each turn-over told a different tale.

GO EERs!!!

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