HD Media sports columnist Chuck Landon posts his report card for the West Virginia University football team’s loss to Texas Tech in Morgantown.
OFFENSE: C- – Sometimes stats do indeed lie. This was one of those falsehoods. On the surface, the Mountaineers offense appeared prolific. It rolled up 549 total offense and averaged 6.9 yards on 79 plays. Sound great, right? Wrong. Despite those gaudy offensive numbers, WVU never was in the game.
Sure, starting quarterback Austin Kendall completed 26 of 43 passes for 355 yards. But how many touchdown passes did he throw? None. And, sure, Jarrett Doege had a decent debut at quarterback, completing 11 of 17 passes for 119 yards. Why, he even threw a TD pass. But here’s the catch. It was with only five seconds remaining in the blowout defeat.
The bottom line is the only touchdown WVU scored in real time came on a trick play. That speaks volumes.
DEFENSE: D- – What happened to that defense that played so well at Baylor? Apparently, it stayed in Waco mentally because that defense certainly didn’t show up against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders pretty much did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Think it was a coincidence that Texas Tech scored on its first five possessions? It wasn’t.
WVU’s proud defensive line got hammered for four rushing touchdowns. And that three-safety scheme that fooled Baylor so badly? It was a one-trick pony. Texas Tech dissected it for 354 passing yards. What’s worse, WVU’s defense didn’t produce a single turnover.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B – New place-kicker Casey “The” Legg booted his first career field goal and punter Josh Growden averaged 46.0 yards on two kicks. No complaints here.
COACHING: C – It’s difficult to coach emotion. It might have worked in Knute Rockne’s day. Maybe even in Vince Lombardi’s era. But not so much anymore. If the players don’t bring intensity a coaching staff can’t do much about it. And the Mountaineers certainly didn’t bring any emotion, any intensity or any enthusiasm to this game. I repeat, it’s difficult to coach emotion.
OVERALL: F – As coach Neal Brown so accurately stated, “I don’t know if there’s anything positive to take away from this.” Amen.