MORGANTOWN — Did West Virginia University’s Leddie Brown break the plane of the end zone before his knee touched the turf?
I’m not certain.
Was Baylor’s John Lovett short of the end zone?
I’m not sure.
Was the unnecessary roughness penalty on WVU’s Tony Fields that led to the WVU-Baylor game going into overtime legit? You got me.
There’s only one thing I am absolutely sure about in no uncertain terms regarding WVU’s 27-21 double-overtime win here Saturday before 987 spectators in Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.
The game didn’t deserve to go into overtime.
It just wasn’t good enough. The mere fact that the score was close for the entire game and tied at the end of regulation wasn’t a good enough reason to play two additional overtimes.
Sometimes opponents compete on equal terms. Sometimes they battle to a draw. This was one of those times.
There’s no lack of dignity in that.
But the rules makers in football obvious have a different opinion. So now we play and play and play and play until someone finally wears out and the other team wins.
It has become a battle of attrition.
That’s what everyone witnessed in Mountaineer Field Saturday. WVU wore Baylor down and eventually untied the tie.
Was it better than a loss? Of course. But was it a feel-good victory? Not exactly.
“I’m never going to apologize,” said WVU head coach Neal Brown. “Some people will say it was ugly. It was gritty. We have to get better. We’ve got to get way better offensively.
“I’ll say this. Winning is hard. On a day when we have a ton of things go wrong, we found a way to win. We found a way to lose at Oklahoma State. We found a way at home to win.
“WVU found a way at home to win today. I hope that will be the story line.”
How about we found a way — thanks to the rules — to avoid a tie?
At times, this contest was such a misadventure. WVU and Baylor combined for 16 punts — eight by each team. Not even Ray Guy would want to watch that.
The Mountaineers and Bears also managed to get whistled for a total of 24 penalties. Does everybody realize just how much dead time that creates? WVU committed 12 penalties for 102 yards, while Baylor was guilty of 12 for 86 yards.
As cleanly played games go, this was a pig pen.
“At times it was hard to watch,” Neal Brown admitted. “But hey, the offense figured out a way not to screw it up. There’s a lot to clean up offensively. But we’ve got time to do it. We figured out how to get in our own way about as bad as possible.”
That’s a valid point.
Then Brown made another one.
“I’ll worry about that another day,” he said. “I want to enjoy that. We’re in building mode. We’re better than we were last year. But we’re not where we want to be. That was evident today.”
Indeed it was.
The offensive line was a mess for the second consecutive week. The wide receivers struggled. And quarterback Jarret Doege committed three turnovers.
“It wasn’t a thing of beauty,” Neal Brown said. “But offensively we didn’t lose it.”
That’s a very good point.
And here’s another one.
Sometimes winning is like kissing your sister.