by Jim Buzzerd
The West Virginia University Football Team lost to Oklahoma State last Saturday by a score of 24-3. It wasn’t that close as the WVU offense turned in its worst effort in 27 years. WVU (4-5, 2-4) finished with 133 total yards. Nearly half of the yards (64) came on the game’s opening drive, which ended with Casey Legg’s 30-yard field goal for the Mountaineers’ only points. Things got really bad for the Mountaineers after that.
With four minutes to go in the first quarter Dante Stills made a spectacular defensive play when he tipped a pass and hauled it in for an interception. Two plays later quarterback Garrett Greene was sacked and fumbled. The ball went backwards, and Tony Mathis made a great recovery of the loose pigskin, but the result was a 26-yard loss and the field position had been flipped.
The WVU defense put in a game effort, but the offense was historically poor. Quarterback Jarret Doege was sacked an unheard of eight times. Those sacks and the resulting minus yardage contributed to -78 yards rushing yards and a net total of 17 rushing yards for the game. Needless to say, the offensive line, which had looked much improved the previous two weeks in wins over TCU and Iowa State, took a step backwards in this game.
Pro Football Focus rates individual and team performances in each game and for the OSU game assigned five of the eight sacks on the offensive line and three on the quarterback. On two of the sacks, I clearly saw the West Virginia left tackle make absolute zero contact with a pass rusher who simply ran past him.
PFF had both WVU’s offensive tackles rated the lowest of all offensive players for this game. Perhaps the worst stat is that OSU only blitzed three times in the whole game, meaning the Cowboys generated most of their pass rush with four players. Of course, that OSU defense is one of the best in the country and that can happen when you have nine seniors and two juniors on that side of the ball. At least WVU won’t have to deal with anything like that the rest of the season.
The rest of the season begins this Saturday at 6-3 Kansas State. WVU needs two more wins in the three remaining games to become bowl eligible. KSU opened as a six-point favorite, but is a winnable game for West Virginia if they can shake off last week’s loss and play like they did in their previous two wins. Game time is noon and can be viewed on FS1. The following Saturday Texas comes to Morgantown for a noon kick on ESPN2. The time for the season finale at Kansas will be announced later.
The West Virginia Men’s Basketball Team opened the season Tuesday night with Oakland at the WVU Coliseum. The Backyard Brawl will renew this Friday when Pitt comes to Morgantown for an 8:30 p.m. game on ESPNU.