What can I say about this game that I haven’t said about the Mountaineers? The offense was average, the defense played average and the special teams blew the game.
There were a number of chances for the Mountaineers to capitalize on OSU’s mistakes, but they couldn’t convert.
My grades for the Mountaineers:
The WVU offense returned to form briefly during this game. Leading some successful drives down the field, quarterback Geno Smith made a few plays. Receiver Stedman Bailey played an average game.
The offense had a number of chances to score, including a fourth and goal attempt from the one yard line. The WVU offense did not score.
On top of that, Smith’s accuracy problems continued. He missed wide open receivers over the middle of the field for sure touchdowns, threw uncatchable screen passes, etc. All of the same mistakes he has been making in past weeks.
The rushing game could not get going, the offensive line committed a number of pointless holding calls, gave up a delay of game and two or three false start penalties as well.
The WVU defense made a few third down stands, and got some pressure on the quarterback, and got an interception off of a tip, which set up an easy WVU touchdown.
Other than that, the WVU defense looked exactly the same as always. They left receivers completely unguarded, couldn’t tackle anyone, and allowed OSU’s running back to torch the defense all game long.
Special Teams: F-
The WVU special teams once again cost the Mountaineers the game. There were so many mistakes made on the special teams side of the ball.
OSU squibbed a kick to return man Tavon Austin which bounced high in the air and landed on Andrew Buie’s head, was kicked by Austin, and recovered by OSU.
Tavon Austin signaled fair catch later in the game, and the punt landed and touched him, and was recovered again by OSU.
Those are just a few. This team needs a lot of help right now.
Where do they go from here?
Well, the Mountaineers are now 5-4 (2-4 in the Big XII). They have dropped four straight games for the first time since 2001. Freshman wide receiver Travares Copeland has reportedly transferred from the team, and now we’re hearing that wide receiver Ivan McCartney left the team as well.
This is a team that is down physically and emotionally. They put up more of a fight then I expected against the Cowboys, but still couldn’t get the job done, as expected.
I’m starting to wonder if they will win another game this year. This is a team that was ranked No. 4 at one point in the season.
I really don’t know what to expect for the remainder of the season. I predicted earlier this week that the Mountaineers will finish the season 7-5, but now I’m not so sure. I think they will be lucky to make a bowl.
Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his author page.