A View of Mountaineer Field from the Goodyear Blimp
Next Up: The TCU Horned Frogs Saturday November 1st at 3:30 PM on ABC
The ESPN Gameday crew will be Morgantown Saturday Morning at 9:00 AM
This game started out like it could be a Mountaineer rout with WVU jumping out to a 14-0 lead on their first two possessions of the football game on a 19 yard touchdown pass from Clint Trickett to Kevin White capping a short 5 play 62 yard drive followed by a 79 yard touchdown pass from Trickett to the “Morgantown Missile” Mario Alford. However the potential rout was halted when the Cowboys made a few defensive adjustments and this contest turned into a pretty tight football game until the Mountaineers broke it open early in the 4th quarter.
After the EERs grabbed the quick 14-0 lead I must admit I figured there was a good chance that it could be a 28-0 game before the Cowboys knew what hit them but to their credit they really battled WVU for most of this game with the 1st quarter ending with a 14-0 WVU lead. After the Mountaineers Nick O’Toole punted from the WVU 9 yard line the Cowboys began their first drive of the 2nd quarter from their own 44 and after driving to the WVU 24 OK State finally got on the scoreboard with a 40 yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Ben Grogan and it was a 14-3 game. After the 3rd consecutive Nick O’Toole punt the Cowboys drove 89 yards in just 6 plays and really tightened things up at 14-10 on an 8 yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Daxx Garman to senior fullback Teddy Johnson. The highlight of that drive was a 51 yard run by junior wide receiver Brandon Sheperd to the Mountaineer 8 yard line on his only carry of the game.
After a 56 yard Nick O’Toole punt on the ensuing WVU possession, the 4th consecutive punt by the now sputtering Mountaineer offense, the Cowboys began their next drive at their own 7 yard line and drove 74 yards on 7 plays to the WVU 9 yard line with 3:28 to go in the half and like most Mountaineer fans across the country watching on ESPN I thought surely the Mountaineers will not go into halftime down 17-14 after the way this game started? But thankfully on the next play on 3rd and 8 from the WVU 9 yard line Garman was sacked by senior defensive tackle Dontrill Hyman for 10 yards to the 19 yard line and on the next play Grogan missed a 36 yard field goal and the Mountaineers went to the break with a 14-10 lead.
The EERs got the football to start the 3rd quarter and immediately drove 53 yards on 12 plays before settling for a 39 yard Josh Lambert field goal and a 17-10 lead. On the ensuing possession the Cowboys punted from their own 44 and downed the ball at the WVU 1 yard line with 7:45 to go in the 3rd quarter. This was a precarious situation for the Mountaineers and I believe a key moment of the game as the Mountaineer offense put together a beautiful 14 play 53 yard drive before bogging down at the Cowboys 46 yard line. 10 of the 14 plays were runs and WVU ran off all but 37 seconds of the 3rd quarter before Nick O’Toole punted 30 yards out of bounds at the 16 yard line. Now that is how you run the football, keep the clock running and shorten the game.
On their first possession of the 4th quarter the Mountaineer offense finally gave themselves some breathing room making this tight contest a two score game with a 43 yard Josh Lambert field goal and like most of this young man’s kicks was right down the middle with plenty to spare and with 10:14 to go in the football game it was 20-10 Mountaineers. After trading punts the Mountaineers broke this game open with 4:44 to go in the game when true freshman Dravon Henry intercepted a Daxx Garman pass and returned it 52 yards to the house and suddenly it was a 27-10 Mountaineer lead. After a Cowboy punt the Mountaineers would close out the scoring on a 40 yard touchdown run by third string tailback Dreamius Smith and WVU had a very impressive 34-10 road victory in Stillwater Oklahoma. The outstanding defensive efforts by the Mountaineers resulted in the lowest home point total by the Cowboy offense since a 34-0 loss to Colorado in 2005 in coach Mike Gundy's first year with the program. Once again it was a very ballanced attack with the Mountaineer offense again rushing the football more than they passed it as they run the ball 44 times for 210 yards and passed 30 times for 238 yards.
In all it was another tough road victory. We ain’t in the Big East no more folks, pretty much all the road games in this league are tough with the exception a trip to Laurence Kansas every other year to play the Jayhawks. The 6-2 Mountaineers are now bowl eligible and in line to win the Big 12 Championship if they can pull off a couple more big home field victories against TCU this week and Kansas State on November 20th. I believe they will be big favorites against Texas in Austin next week and at Ames Iowa against the Iowa State Cyclones on November 29th.
POSITIVES & NEGATIVES:
Once again the top positive would be the Mountaineer defense holding the Cowboys to their lowest offensive total at home in 9 seasons. True freshman safety Dravon Henry picking off 2 Daxx Garman passes and taking on 52 yards to the house in a critical moment of the 4th quarter.
With starting tailback Rushel l Shell not being able to goWendell Smallwood’s fine performance rushing for 132 yards on 23 carries for a 5.7 yards per carry clip for the game was vital in the Mountaineers efforts to keep a balanced attack. 3rd sting tailback Dreamius Smith also added 72 yards on just 5 carries and a touchdown.
The Cowboys defense blanketed star receiver Kevin White with double coverage and even triple coverage at times and were successful in containing him to just 3 catches for 27 yards and a TD however it did hamper Oklahoma States attempts to stop the run or handle other receivers one on one as witnessed by Mario Alfords 136 yards on 7 catches including the touchdown bomb.
Negatives would be the Mountaineer offense getting bogged down a bit after the quick 14-0 lead and not scoring again until the 3rd quarter.
Now we have TCU coming to Morgantown fresh off a staggering 82-27 beat down of Texas Tech in Fort Worth. I am certainly not convinced that the new and improved Mountaineer defense can handle TCU but after the magic we all witnessed in the Baylor game I believe it is certainly possible for WVU to win this football game and take control of their own destiny in the Big 12 race.
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
|Big 12 Game||FOX Sports 1||West Virginia |
|11/20/14||7:30 PM||Kansas State
|Big 12 Game |
|FOX Sports1||West Virginia |
|Big 12 Game||TBD||West Virginia |