HD Media sports columnist Chuck Landon offers his grades for WVU’s 20-13 loss to Oklahoma State and Marshall’s 24-13 loss to Charlotte.
Oklahoma State 20, WVU 13
OFFENSE: B- – For the third time this season in Big 12 play, WVU actually accumulated more total offense than its opponent. In this case, WVU won the battle 333 yards to 285. Now, here’s the problem. The Mountaineers still lost all three games.
Quarterback Jarret Doege completed 28 of 38 passes for 307 yards with a TD and no interceptions. Nine different receivers caught passes. WVU gained 5.6 yards per play. Now, the bad news. The Mountaineers scored only three points in the second half.
Total offense is great, but scoring is better. The team with the most points still wins.
DEFENSE: B – It did a very nice job of containing star running back Chuba Hubbard, limiting the nation’s leading rusher to 106 yards on 26 carries. The bad part is Hubbard made up for as a receiver, catching eight passes for 88 yards.
Considering Oklahoma State backup quarterback Dru Brown had only one day to prepare for a starting assignment, WVU needed to put a lot more pressure on Brown and do a better job of confusing him in coverage.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B- – The kickoff return team really struggled and place-kicker Evan Staley was very short on a missed 47-yard field goal. But punter Josh Growden averaged 44.5 yards on his kicks.
COACHING: B- – The passing game was very good. Accurate throws, inventive routes and nine different receivers made catches. Now, here’s where I drop the other turf shoe. All season, WVU’s Achilles heel on offense has been no running attack because the offensive line doesn’t get any push off the snap. So, after Doege got stuffed for no gain on a quarterback sneak on first-and-goal from the one-yard line, why in the name of Knute Rockne would anyone try another QB sneak on second-and-goal?
That’s what happened. As a result, WVU had to settle for a field goal.
OVERALL: B- – WVU played well enough to win, but ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.
Charlotte 24, Marshall 13
OFFENSE: F- – It didn’t score a point. MU’s lone touchdown was on special teams to go along with two field goals. But the offense itself? Nada. MU had only 86 yards passing, was 2-for-11 on third down and ran only 52 plays. There’s a word for that – inept.
DEFENSE: D – Another athletic quarterback, another gashed defensive effort. It happened against Ohio. It happened against Cincinnati. It happened against Middle Tennessee and, now, it has happened against the 49ers. Charlotte quarterback Chris Reynolds knifed through Marshall’s defense for 145 yards rushing, one touchdown and 5.8 yards per attempt on 25 carries.
And let’s not even get into all the pass interference penalties.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A – This unit was MU’s only salvation. Darius Hodge blocked a punt, Joe Early recovered it and scored the Herd’s lone touchdown. Justin Rohrwasser added two field goals.
COACHING: F – MU has lost four games this season. Three of the four defeats came in road games. Enough said.
OVERALL: F- – The meteorologist showed up, but the Herd didn’t.