West Virginia looked anything but good in its 24-3 loss at home against Oklahoma State and are now staring down having to win two of their final three games in order to become bowl eligible. If they cannot do that, it will be two of the last three years Neal Brown would not have made a bowl appearance.
We have all had that one friend who rushes into a relationship with someone and then they look happy together all before things come crashing down sooner than later; well the same could be said about this West Virginia team post bye week.
The Mountaineers defeated TCU and Iowa State in back-to-back weeks and many people jumped into the deep end saying this team was capable of beating Oklahoma State. Then, Saturday happened, where West Virginia did not look good in the slightest and again beat themselves.
West Virginia had 133 yards of total offense, with 64 of those yards coming on the first drive of the game. The last time West Virginia came close to that mark of 133 was Sep. 20, 2003, when the Mountaineers lost 34-7 to Maryland, and recorded 156 yards of total offense.
Another factor was the amount of time quarterback Jarret Doege had to get rid of the ball. Doege was sacked 11 times and the young offensive line that had gotten praised, got pushed around by a veteran and deep defensive line from Oklahoma State. Doege proved he is not the answer as his inability to escape the pass rush proved costly all day on Saturday.
Beating West Virginia
The Mountaineers had two costly mistakes on Saturday, and when you are playing a better opponent they are unacceptable. In the first quarter, Dante Stills made an incredible play. He tipped a pass and was able to catch it. West Virginia then started with the ball on the Oklahoma State 40-yard line, but on second down quarterback Garrett Greene fumbled for a loss of 26 yards. The play could easily have been a defensive touchdown for Oklahoma State if not for Tony Mathis but that is besides the point. If West Virginia gets any positive yardage on that series, it is more likely than not a field goal and the Mountaineers put points on the board.
In the third quarter, it was another costly mistake from a young player. Redshirt sophomore Graeson Malashevich muffed a punt and the Cowboys recovered. Not only did this come after the West Virginia got a pair of stops to open the half, but it flipped the field and momentum for Oklahoma State, who then scored a touchdown four plays later.
No this loss was not Greene’s fault nor was it Malashevich’s fault, but when you want to try and beat good team, you cannot beat yourself in the process.
Currently, West Virginia is 4-5, with three games to go. The Mountaineers travel to face Kansas State, then return home to face Texas, then travel to Kansas. It should be safe to say Kansas is a win, meaning West Virginia would have to win one of its next two games to get to 6-6 and bowl eligible. Not making a bowl game would be a huge blow for Neal Brown as he is trying to build up a program, and being on the cusp of bowl eligibility in year three is not the best feeling in the world.
West Virginia travels to face Kansas State. Luckily for West Virginia, Brown is 2-0 against Kansas State in his tenure as West Virginia’s head coach. Kansas State is coming off three straight wins, and their defense should pose a problem to the Mountaineer offense. This offense will be as good as Doege is. If you get Iowa State’s version of Doege, this team will more than likely be going to a bowl, but if you get the Oklahoma State version of Doege, the only place this team will be going in late December is home.
Basketball is back!!
West Virginia men’s basketball opened their season on Tuesday night in a 60-53 over Oakland. No it wasn’t pretty, no there were a lot of flaws, but it is only November. Give Huggins and this team some time to mesh. If they can find consistency from anyone on the inside, and are able to shoot like everyone knows they are capable of, then they should be penciled in to make it back to the NCAA Tournament. West Virginia hosts rival Pitt this Friday, before traveling to Charleston, South Carolina, for the Charleston Classic next weekend.
Photo by Ethan Bock, Blue Gold Sports