Oh, what a bad weekend.
And, yes, “oh” is the correct word.
As in oh-for-the-weekend.
Whether it was watching Marshall University’s offense disappear during the second half of a 14-7 loss on the blue turf at Boise State or viewing West Virginia University get thoroughly defeated in a 38-7 rout at Missouri … oh, it was just miserable.
It all started on Friday night in Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho.
Thanks to Marshall running back Brenden Knox’s hard-nosed, tackle-breaking running on a five-play, 68-yard scoring drive, the score was tied at halftime, 7-7. Knox gained 42 of the 68 yards himself, including a 13-yard touchdown burst.
Who would have guessed he would touch the ball only one more time in the entire game?
Yet, that was the case.
All because Marshall’s offense went oh-for-the-second-half. Literally. The Thundering Herd gained zero yards of total offense and had zero first downs in the entire second half.
Marshall had five second-half possessions, but the first four ended in three-and-outs while the fifth and final ended with quarterback Isaiah Green throwing an interception on the second play.
The Herd ran only 14 plays in the entire second half.
What a complete turnaround from a very productive first half. Marshall accumulated 172 yards total offense in the first half on 119 yards rushing and 53 yards passing.
So, naturally, Marshall’s fans expected more of the same in the second half. Instead, they got a case of the blues.
“That’s a relentless defense, to go out there and do what they did in the second half,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin told the Associated Press. “If we win games with our defense like that, I’m all about it.”
Meanwhile, Marshall’s defense also played well although it allowed Boise State running back George Holani to rush for 103 yards on 22 carries to break the Herd’s 15-game streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher.
“Our offense did just enough to take care of the football at the end of the game,” said Harsin, “so we could run the clock out. It’s hard to be 1-0 every week. Like everybody, you like to dominate on all phases of the game, but it doesn’t always work out like that. It’s nice to be able to learn with a win.”
Marshall, on the other hand, has to learn from a loss that could stick in anybody’s craw.
Right, Doc Holliday?
“Our defense played well,” said Marshall’s coach, “but our offense needs to make more plays.”
That’s an understatement.
Then, there are the Mountaineers.
The same problems that WVU experienced in its 20-13 season-opening win over James Madison plagued the Mountaineers again vs. Missouri.
Namely, not being able to run the ball or stop the opponent’s rushing attack. After managing only 34 yards on 24 carries against James Madison, the Mountaineers gained only 30 yards on 32 carries against Mizzou. That’s a microscopic 0.9 yards per rush.
In two games, WVU has rushed for only 64 yards in 56 carries for a miniscule 1.1 yards per attempt.
WVU’s offensive line is obviously very overmatched. And the Mountaineers’ rush defense isn’t much better.
After allowing James Madison to gain 137 yards on 26 carries in the first half, WVU was gashed for 232 yards on 50 carries (4.6 yards per carry) by Missouri.
Oh, what a miserable weekend for college football fans in the state of West Virginia.