A View of Mountaineer Field from the Goodyear Blimp
Next Up: Kansas State Wildcats - Thursday November 20th at 7:30 PM on FOX Sports 1
This will be Senior Night and the last home game for Kevin White and Clint Trickett
Orlando is of course a nice vacation spot and the fans would no doubt enjoy the trip but when you had visions of the playoffs or at least the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Texas it is rather pale by comparison. WVU has played in this bowl before in 2010 when it was called the “Champs Sports Bowl” where they lost to North Carolina State 23-7. This was Russell Wilson’s final game at NC State before transferring to Wisconsin for a season. It also marked the last game coached by the late Bill Stewart. There is also a chance the Mountaineers end up in the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl in Memphis Tennessee also on December 29th.
As for the poor performance on the field this past November 8th at Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, It really was a major disappointment that the team didn’t grab the opportunity to play inspired football and beat an opponent that they certainly could have and should have defeated. West Virginia has the talent to have finished this season 9-3 and send a message to the other schools in the Big 12 that they lost a couple of close games but they are back as a program and will be a factor in coming seasons. Instead we get a VERY lackluster 33-16 defeat at the hands of a VERY ordinary 5-5 Texas Longhorn team. After falling behind 24-3 at the half there were articles covering this game that stated that certain players had to fire up their team mates to at least come out in the second half and not embarrass themselves and in fairness they did get to 26-16 but that was it and they end up losing by 17 points.
This game started out with clear signs that Texas came to play and WVU did not. After their opening drive stalled Texas took over at their own 10 yard line and made an immediate statement driving 90 yards in 11 plays doing pretty much whatever they wanted on offense and took a 7-0 lead on sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes 2 yard TD pass to his tight end Geoff Swaim.
Mario Alford returned the ensuing kickoff 48 yards to the Longhorn 45 and the Mountaineers drove 40 yards before the drive stalled at the 5 yard line and they had to settle for a Josh Lambert field goal and the first quarter ended with the Longhorns holding that slim 4 point lead however in the 2nd quarter the Longhorns took control of this game and never really looked back. Texas started to get some distance on their second possession of the 2nd quarter when their talented junior tailback Johnathan Gray went 39 yards for a touchdown and the Longhorns took a 14-3 lead. After another 3 and out by the West Virginia Offense the Longhorns went 78 yards on just three plays with the bulk of it being a 40 yard run by Johnathan Gray to the WVU 13. 2 plays later Gray busted in from 2 yards out and with 6:19 to go in the 1st half it was 21-3 Longhorns. Texas would and a 39 yard field goal by junior placekicker Nick Rose and things were looking rather ugly at Royal Texas Stadium as the 1st half ended with a 24-3 Longhorn lead. And really folks it wasn’t that close.
The 2nd half started off a lot different as the Mountaineer defense was much more effective and the Mountaineer offense at least showed signs of life unfortunately they couldn’t produce results on the scoreboard. On their 2nd possession of the 2nd half they drove to the Texas 9 yard line but on 4th and 7 from the nine they could manage only a 2 yard pass to Kevin White and the drive ended at the Texas 8. After a Texas out the Mountaineers again drove 42 yards in 10 plays but the generally reliable from 50 yards out Josh Lambert missed a 40 yard field goal and again WVU came away with nothing. After another Texas punt the Mountaineer offense began their 3rd consecutive drive of at least 40 yard this time going 75 yards on 14 plays and on the 3rd play of the 4th quarter WVU cut the lead to 24-10 on a 9 yard Dreamius Smith touchdown run.
On the ensuing possession Texas again could not move the ball but senior punter Mike Davidson got off a 63 yard punt and pinned WVU on their 2 yard line. On 1st down Clint Trickett was sacked by senior defensive end Cedric Reed in the end zone for a safety and the Longhorns were now up 26-10. The Mountaineers made one last attempt to get back into the game when they drove 80 yards on just 4 plays highlighted by a 62 yard Dreamius Smith run and cut the lead to 26-16 on a 3 yard touchdown run by Wendell Smallwood with 6:38 to go in the football game.
The Mountaineer coaches decided to try to go for two and make this a one score game but the conversion failed and it remained a 10 point game. On their next possession the WVU offense would be unable to move the football and would go for it on 4th and 9 at their own 15 turn the ball over to Texas. On 1st and 10 from the WVU 15 John Gray ran 15 yards for the score and it was 33-16 Horns with 3:06 to go in the game. I understand going for it but I hate willingly giving the football to a team at your own 15 yard line. On the ensuing possession WVU would drive 74 yards to the Texas one yard line when time expired.
Ironically the Mountaineers outscored the longhorns 16-9 in the second half with 7 of those points being handed to the Longhorns offense. The WVU offense had their chances but a missed field goal and a couple of red zone failures proved too much. However they have only themselves to blame when you come out disinterested and fall behind 24-3 at the half.
Next up: A Thursday night showdown with the Kansas State Wildcats on November 20th at Mountaineer Field. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be telecast nationally on FOX Sports 1. Bill Snyder’s Wildcats have had Dana Holgersons number so far in conference play but this is not an unbeatable Wildcat team as we saw this weekend when TCU ran the football for 334 yards and racked up 553 yards off total offense while allowing the Wildcats to rush for just 34 yards in 19 attempts in a 41-20 rout in Fort Worth. West Virginia should come out strong on senior night on national television. With a very winnable game the following week at Ames Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones this is a chance to finish with a very solid 8-4 season and go to a good bowl game with a chance at a 9 win season which would be about 3 or 4 victories better than most of the college football experts thought they would be.
POSITIVES & NEGATIVES:
The positives would certainly be that Kevin White is alive and well and caught 16 passes for 132 yards and although he didn’t get into the end zone he was at least a factor that defenses had to deal with. Another positive would be Dreamis Smith rushing for 100 yards on just 10 carries with a touchdown run as well. In fact WVU rushed for 200 yards on 41 carries for a 4.9 yards per carry average on the day with 2 rushing TDs and the Mountaineer defensive performance in the 2nd half that basically shut out the Longhorns offense except for the touchdown run after WVU surrendered the ball on their 15.
The negative would basically be starting the game in a disinterested manner and falling behind 24-3 at the half before deciding to try and make a football game out of this. Had WVU played with the same intensity from the start of this game they would have won this game by at least 3 scores.
USA Today Coaches Poll
|Game Date||Game Time||Opponent/Location||Event||Televised||Game Score|
|08/30/14||3:30 PM|| Alabama
|Chick-fil-A Classic||ABC||West Virginia 23|
#2 Alabama 33
|09/06/14||7:30 PM|| Towson
|Non League Game||Root Sports||West Virginia 54|
College Park, MD
|Big Ten Network||West Virginia 40|
|09/20/14||7:30 PM|| Oklahoma
|Big 12 Game||FOX||West Virginia 33|
|10/04/14||4:00 PM|| Kansas
|Big 12 Game |
|FOX Sports Network||West Virginia 33|
|Big 12 Game||Fox Sports 1||West Virginia 37|
Texas Tech 34
|Big 12 Game||Fox Sports 1||West Virginia 41|
|10/25/14||3:30 PM||Oklahoma State
|Big 12 Game||ESPN||West Virginia 34|
Oklahoma St 10
|11/01/14||3:30 PM||Texas Christian
|Big 12 Game||ABC||West Virginia 30
|Big 12 Game||FOX Sports 1||West Virginia 16|
|11/20/14||7:30 PM||Kansas State
|Big 12 Game |
|FOX Sports1||West Virginia |
|Big 12 Game||TBD||West Virginia |
||TBD||TBD||West Virginia |