A View of Mountaineer Field from the Goodyear Blimp
Next Up: National Signing Day in February
This game had the built in excuses for the Mountaineers with starting quarterback Clint Trickett’s sudden retirement from football due to multiple concussions, a couple of which he never revealed to anyone. Thus WVU was forced to start sophomore Skylar Howard at quarterback who had played a little more than 5 quarters of football thus far in his WVU career. Even though Howard looked promising in the fourth quarter against Kansas State and in the game against Iowa State I didn’t have a real good feeling about the game against A&M.
Howard didn’t play particularly well in this game even though he passed for 346 yards and three touchdowns he was under 50% in completions connecting on just 20 of 46 passes and although he did not toss an interception he did routinely miss open receivers throughout the football game. Young Howards performance was of course not the reason West Virginia lost the football game it was once again the inability to consistently run the football and the Mountaineer defense despite making significant strides this season under defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, took a big step back in a very inadequate performance in this contest.
Despite Skylar Howards 4 yard touchdown pass to Elijah Wellman with 2:32 to go making it a one score game at 45-37 there was never a sense, to me at least that West Virginia was ever really in this game or at least that they ever really had a chance to win this game. The final drive of the game by the Aggies typified the entire WVU season of “close calls but no cigar” when the Mountaineer defense had A&M on third down with 2:22 to go in the game with a chance to get the ball back and stage one of these big Bowl comeback victories like Michigan State did against Baylor or Houston did against Pittsburgh yesterday but instead they not only allow a first down but a 21 yard completion on the play and that was the game. And another close loss in a parade of close losses this season from the Alabama game to the Liberty Bowl WVU was about 5 or 6 plays short of having a 10 or 11 win season.
The Mountaineers had too many drives end in field goals. Starting with their first scoring drive. After A&M had connected on a one play 44 yard td pass from Kyle Allen to Josh Reynolds to take a 7-0 lead WVU comes back with 1 10 play 56 yard drive that stalls on the Aggie 5 yard line so the settle for a short Josh Lambert field goal and it’s a 7-3 game. After Howard found Mario Alford on a 45 yard TD and KJ Dillon brought an interception back 35 yards the Mountaineers were suddenly up 17-7 with 4:54 still to go in the first period but I still never really felt they would do enough to win this game.
A&M came right back with Kyle Allen finding Trey Williams for a 40 yard TD to close the gap to 17-14. That was two 40+ touchdown passes in the first quarter allowed by the WVU defense. The EERs came right back to close out the high scoring first quarter with a66 yard drive that stalled at the Aggie 22 yard line and the EERs settled for another Josh Lambert field goal and a 20-14 lead.
After Kyle Allen tossed his third TD pass of the first half, this time to Malcom Kennedy, the Aggies had the lead again at 21-20 however on the ensuing series Skylar Howard would find Kevin White for a 49 yard TD and the EERs were back up 27-21 The Aggies would however take the lead just before halftime on a 14 yard Kyle Allen TD run and it was 28-27 A&M at the Half.
The Aggies score 10 quick points on their first two possessions of the second half to take control of the game at 38-27. On the ensuing possession the Mountaineers put together another strong drive marching 66 yards on 10 plays but after a1st and 10 at the A&M 11 yard line the drive stalled and WVU settled for yet another Josh Lambert field goal, his third field goal that should have been a touchdown and it was 38-30 Aggies. A&M went up by 15 points on their final drive of the 3rd quarter and took a 45-30 lead into the final 15 minutes. The fourth quarter was tough on WVU they would get to the A&M 40 yard line on their first possession of the 4th quarter but Kevin White would fumble the ball after a 7 yard reception to the A&M 33. On their 2nd possession WVU would drive to the A&M 12 yard line but a 4th down pass from Howard to Daikel Shorts was incomplete. Finally the EERs would close the gap to 8 points at 45-37 on the before mentioned 4 yard TD pass to Elijah Wellman with just 2:32 remaining in the game. WVU did not attempt an onside kick as they had all three timeouts left but the Mountaineer defense could not stop the Aggies and they ran out the clock for the victory.
Another bowl game another loss, should not be a surprise to Mountaineers. I watched legendary Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen win 3 of his first 4 bowl games only to lose 8 bowl games in a row from 1987-1998 before finally winning his last attempt in the Music City Bowl in Nashville over Mississippi. Bowl games have not been kind to WVU in the past 50 years, in fact if you take out the 4 consecutive bowl victories with Pat White at quarterback I believe WVU has only won 2 bowl games since 1984 (30 years) In any event it has been a tough season and most likely my last as a Mountaineer season ticket holder. It just isn’t the same anymore. I love Morgantown and plan to attend some baseball games at the new ballpark this spring and will certainly attend a game now and then but not like before.
As for this site, I will keep it up through the National Signing period and the Spring Game. After that I may be closing it down as it is not as much fun as it once was and I really don’t believe anyone really views this site anymore anyway. Take care all and until next time.
Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Mountaineers!!!!!!!
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 20|
Kansas St 26
|Big 12 Game||FOX Sports 1||West Virginia 37|
Iowa St 24
|12/29/14||2:00 PM||Texas A&M
College Station, Texas
|The Liberty Bowl||ESPN||West Virginia 37|
Texas A&M 45