HD Media sports columnist Chuck Landon posts his grades for the West Virginia University football team’s win over North Carolina State and Marshall University’s win over Ohio:
Marshall 33, Ohio 31
OFFENSE: B — t faced a real gut-check moment when Ohio took a fourth-quarter lead. But it passed the test, literally, with a seven-play, 75-yard drive for the win. Yet, it can’t keep disappearing in the third quarter. That could become problematic.
DEFENSE: C- — It couldn’t begin to contain Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke, who passed for 215 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 118 yards and another TD on nine carries. Besides that, Ohio averaged 7.2 yards per rush and 7.7 yards per play.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B — Place-kicker Justin Rohrwasser’s missed extra-point kick dropped this grade one letter.
COACHING: C — When a team’s offense keeps vanishing in the third quarter, it has opposing halftime adjustments written all over it.
OVERALL: B — This was a much tougher win than it should have been.
WVU 44, N.C. State 27
OFFENSE: A — The Mountaineers outrushed, outpassed, outscored and outplayed the Wolfpack. And WVU did it consistently by scoring in every quarter. Stat of the day? WVU outscored N.C. State 23-6 in the second half.
DEFENSE: A — It held the Wolfpack to 97 yards total offense, only five first downs and just two field goals in the entire second half.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A — It gave up a successful fake punt to N.C. State, but the Mountaineers’ blocked punt was much more important.
COACHING: A+ — What a performance. The staff started three new faces in the offensive line, switched the scheme from running between the tackles to running outside the tackles and incorporated wideouts into the rushing attack on jet sweeps and end arounds. In general, WVU’s coaching staff completely and utterly surprised N.C. State with its coaching moves.
OVERALL: A — This much-needed victory has captured everybody’s attention.