Chip Shots – Tough Ending

Tough ending

by Jim Buzzerd

No matter how the final result of the football game between West Virginia University and Virginia Tech turned out last Saturday, the above title would be apt. The Mountaineers won the game 27-21, but they led by 20 late in the third quarter and 13 with four minutes left. Due to a Jarret Doege pass interception with 2:11 left in the game, the Hokies had the ball at the WVU 17 with a chance to win the game. The West Virginia defense had played well in the red zone most of the day and rose to the occasion once again.

WVU held Tech for no yards on a first down rush, tackled them for a one-yard loss on second down, then forced two Braxton Burmeister incompletions to escape with the win. WVU was prepared for the Hokies’ goal line offense since practicing for their two-point conversion attempts.

“It’s repetitions. I could see it unfolding,” head coach Neal Brown said. “He did what we call an orbit motion and came back out and our guys in the back end did a great job matching it. Then we had some pressure from the inside-out. You in-and-out it, but we switched it off and that’s great.”

Now that the game is safely tucked into the win column, we can ponder the continuing Mountaineer quarterback saga. Earlier in the fourth quarter Doege was sacked and fumbled (sound familiar?) giving Virginia Tech at the WVU 48-yard line. The Hokies eventually had a first and goal from the WVU eight-yard line. WVU’s defense held on downs again, but Doege’s turnovers nearly killed West Virginia’s chances.

Doege wasn’t all bad. He had a nice first half, first three quarters, actually. He passed for 193 and two touchdowns including a 29-yard pass to Bryce Ford-Wheaton and a 16 yarder to Sam Brown. At the end of the day many of us are left just shaking our heads at how Doege can be good and then have back-to-back blunders late. Then he didn’t get much help from his coach who called the third down pass play in the fourth quarter and decided to sit on the lead perhaps a little too soon.

Backup quarterback Garrett Greene saw action Saturday and was effective as a runner. He missed his only pass attempt but gained 28 yards on four carries. Just one person’s opinion here, but Greene doesn’t seem ready to be the passer this offense needs, or the coaches would give him more plays to pass. Still, he could possibly become ready if he could get more reps, but at what cost.

It will be interesting to see what Oklahoma this Saturday does when Greene enters the game. Chances are good that they will be able to defend Greene’s ability to run because he’s not proven to be a threat to pass. That’s why it might be a good Idea to take advantage of that defense and let Greene throw because someone will be open. WVU’s game at Oklahoma Saturday is at 7:30 on ABC. Next Saturday’s Homecoming game with Texas Tech has been announced as a 3:30 start on ESPN2.