WVU Mountaineers: Reaction to the Oklahoma Loss

By Mike Atkinson


Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The West Virginia Mountaineers lost a heart breaker in Morgantown tonight to the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners 50-49.

They have now lost five consecutive games for the first time since 1986.

WVU had a number of chances to win the game late, but could not get the job done.

My Reaction:

Am I supposed to be happy with the outcome of the game? The good news is that the offense is back. Quarterback Geno Smith played well, and wide receiver/tailback Tavon Austin made a strong case for Heisman consideration, looking like an NFL caliber player against a great defense.

The bad news is that WVU’s defense, while making the stops they needed to for the most part, allowed nearly 800 yards of offense, but showed significant improvement from weeks past. The defense did enough to make this game winnable for the Mountaineers, but not enough to win it.

WVU led the game late in the fourth quarter, and could not hold the lead.

All in all, I expected WVU to get blown out, and they exceeded my expectations. That does not excuse the fact that they were up in the game late, had a number of chances to win (I would even go as far as to say they should have won) and didn’t capitalize.

Halfway through the game, I turned to a close friend of mine and mentioned that if WVU plays as well as they played tonight next week, they would kill the Iowa State Cyclones  in Ames.

Unfortunately, I think that all changed now. See, when a team loses a game by 50, it gets beat down for a while, then moves on and use it as a building block.

However, when a team loses a heart breaker of a game like this, it’s deflating. These are the types of games that sting. These games are not easily forgotten; by fans, or by players.

Throughout the year there has been the lingering question of whether or not WVU will win another game this season; a valid question.

WVU needed this Oklahoma game. They played like they wanted it for the first time in a very long time. They had the win locked up. Suddenly, it was taken away. Just like that, the Mountaineers had any remaining life in them taken away.

This kind of game will be very hard for the Mountaineers to recover from. The Cyclones just finished a beat down of the Kansas Jayhawks. They have a ton of momentum, and Ames is a tough place to play. I just wonder now if WVU will have the will to continue on after being dealt this blow. It’s hard to lose a game this way.

That being said, there is a very real chance that WVU does not win another game this season.

Some Things That Need to Be Addressed:

1) Tyler Bitancurt does not deserve the blame for this loss.

WVU Kicker Tyler Bitancurt’s performance throughout the season has been spotty at best, but he is not the only reason WVU lost this game. Sure, I know it’s easy to look at a score that shows a one point difference when a kicker missed an extra point and want to blame the kicker. I understand that.

What I’m saying here is first, the kick was tipped, which seems to be happening a lot lately. It’s not like he just shanked the kick wide right. I don’t know if it’s the kick trajectory or bad blocking, but it’s ridiculous to have field goals blocked every game.

Secondly, there were a number of chances after this miss for the team to win the game, and they couldn’t convert. Even with the failed extra point, WVU still should have won.

2) The Geno Smith/Stedman Bailey rumor is ridiculous until proven true.

All of the rumors about Smith and Bailey’s quarrels outside of football are just childish. Whatever happened between the two of them is their business and no one else’s. To believe these types of rumors, and think it had anything to do with either one of the player’s on field performances, is just foolish. It’s a rumor.

Questions/Comments? Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS, visit his Facebook page, or click over to his Rant Sports Author page.


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