Chuck Landon Grades the Mountaineers … Texas 42, WVU 31
OFFENSE: B – Who expected WVU to have more passing yardage and more total offense than Texas? Nobody. Yet, that’s what happened as WVU threw for a whopping 367 yards compared to the Longhorns’ 211, while accumulating 463 yards total offense to Texas’ 427. That’s impressive. What wasn’t impressive, however, was the offense’s four turnovers.
DEFENSE: C+ – Texas coach Tom Herman admitted the WVU coaches used the bye week wisely, installing a complex scheme his offense struggled against during the first half. But the second half was a different story. The Longhorns put the game away with 21 points in the fourth quarter, scoring three rushing touchdowns. Texas finished with 216 yards rushing compared to WVU’s 96.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D – Evan Staley continues to miss significant field goal attempts. Misses from 36 and 47 yards in the first half really stifled the Mountaineers’ momentum. Something has to give here. Staley is now 7-for-12 on field goals in 2010.
COACHING: B – WVU kept this game competitive mostly from adjustments in its rush defense and pass offense. The staff knew the Mountaineers couldn’t run the ball against Texas, so instead it threw the ball with good success. Especially considering head coach Neal Brown exonerated quarterback Kendall Austin during the post-game press conference saying only one of the four interceptions were his fault.
OVERALL: B- – WVU played Texas tougher than expected, but who knows how much tougher it could have been if the Mountaineers hadn’t committed four turnovers?
Chuck Landon Grades the Herd … Middle Tennessee 24, Marshall 13
OFFENSE: F – Marshall ran 82 plays, but scored only one touchdown. The Herd amassed 578 yards total offense, but scored only 13 points. In MU’s last three games – all against FBS competition – the Herd has scored seven, 14 and, now, 13 points total. MU is averaging a paltry 10.1 points in that span. The goal on offense is to score points, not just roll up yardage.
DEFENSE: B – This unit did its job for the most part although it did allow some significant chunk yardage plays. It held the Blue Raiders to only one touchdown in the second half and 171 yards total offense on 31 plays (5.7 yards per play). It did enough to win the game.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C – MU was fortunate that a bad snap took a lucky bounce to the holder, who alertly passed for a first down. The idea is not to have a bad snap in the first place, of course. The kick returns remain poor, but place-kicker Justin Rohrwasser did his job when he was given the opportunity.
COACHING: F – Who goes 2-for-6 on fourth downs? Usually nobody. Who goes for its not once, but twice on fourth down when a short-range field goal could have and should have been kicked? Usually nobody. Who watches his quarterback commit four turnovers, yet doesn’t give the backup QB a chance? Usually nobody. But all those things happened on MU’s sidelines during this loss.
OVERALL: F – The wheels have come off. Marshall has lost three of its last four games and has been out-scored 121 points to 67 during that span. Changes – both personnel- and philosophy-wise – need to be made.