Defense Helps WVU Secure Win Over BYU

My editor, Michael Walker told me that when I write this article to be nice. I am always nice.

Whew, what a game! I don’t know about you, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.

I usually have little good to say about WVU QB Skyler Howard, but except for a couple of plays I thought he played extremely well against BYU. His short passes looked the best I’ve seen from him.

Howard finished the day with a 77.5% completion percentage as he completed 31 of 40 passes for 332 yards. I believe this is his highest completion rate in a game at WVU. If I were handing out helmet stickers for this game he would definitely get one. If Howard keeps this up, he’ll make a believer out of me.

I have also questioned the heart of WVU RB Rushel Shell III, but I saw more effort from him in this game that I’ve seen from him in any game he has played in since coming to WVU. Shell had a couple of very impressive runs today. He would also get a helmet sticker.

I truly felt sorry for WVU Center Tyler Orlosky when he caused the fumble near the end of the game as WVU was getting ready to score. He was totally upset with himself and obviously took the errant snap to heart. I can assure you, he and QB Howard will discuss this and correct it. Orlosky is not known for making mistakes.

WVU’s entire offense played well today. I know the o-line gave up its first sack of the season, and that didn’t set well with them.

WVU’s defense was far from impressive, but what did impress me was that they didn’t give up. If they made a mistake they put it behind them and moved on to the next play.

What frustrated me the most with the defense, was when BYU’s QB ran with the ball, he had all sorts of room, and there was not a Mountaineer close. I believe the overall tackling of the defense improved from the previous two games. The defense must improve on pass coverage.

What was impressive about the defense was they had 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. WVU won the turnover battle today because the young defenders stepped it up and got it done.

BYU ran the ball 40 times for 280 yards. WVU ran the ball 35 times for 149 yards. That has to change.

WVU’s defense lost the battle on the line-of-scrimmage when BYU ran the ball. BYU’s OL pushed WVU’s DL back.

WVU special teams? I watched the game and felt these guys couldn’t block for our Shelton Gibson, but when I looked at the stats, I see WVU had 6 returns for 116 yards and BYU had 5 for 121. I was shocked it was this close.

It was in the 4th quarter when Shelton Gibson got good yardage on his returns, but in the 1st half he couldn’t get the ball to the 20 yard line.

I think WR Ka’Raun White was correct when he stated that BYU couldn’t run with the WVU receivers. WVU WR Shelton Gibson had 4 catches for 144 yards, and White had 4 for 39 yards. White also dropped a pass for a first and goal and he was interfered with once and drew a flag.

WVU RB Justin Crawford also gets a helmet sticker. He had 9 carries for 86 yards and 3 catches for 36. He finished the day with 122 yards. And lets not forget a helmet sticker for Shelton Gibson who finished the day with 260 yards.

And lets give helmet stickers to WVU defensive players Rasul Douglas, Maurice Fleming and Jeremy Tyler for their intercepts. It was Fleming’s interception that sealed the win for WVU.

WVU’s defense and special teams still need to improve, though there was some improvement from the defense today as they caused and got 4 turn-overs. Before the BYU game WVU’s defense had 1 turn-over.

Also, I never once saw a sideline shot of Coach Dana Holgorsen with hair in that Bozo the Clown look. He appeared calm for the most part during the whole game. Maybe all that Red Bull is beginning to calm him down……………. I was to say the least, impress. Keep it up, Coach!

GO EERs!!!




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