Defense disappointed with performance in win
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 07:10
Although the Mountaineers walked off of the field with a win Saturday, the defense couldn’t help but feel it should have done more.
On a day when the West Virginia offense was setting records left and right, the Mountaineer defense
was rewriting the record books, as well.
They just weren’t the kind of records it would like to set every week.
In the Mountaineers’ 70-63 win against the Bears, West Virginia allowed the most points in school history.
"You have to give credit to Baylor. They made a lot of plays," said West Virginia co-defensive coordinator Joe DeForest. "I did a poor job of preparing them, I did a poor job of calling the game, and ultimately, it falls on me."
It was the first time West Virginia allowed more than 60 points in a game since it suffered a 62-14 loss to Penn State in 1973.
As the Mountaineers expected coming into the game, Baylor did most of its damage through the air. Senior quarterback Nick Florence completed 29 of his 47 pass attempts for 581 yards and five touchdowns, while wide receiver Terrance Williams caught 17 passes for 314 yards and two scores.
The Bears had two other receivers finish with more than 100 yards.
"That was bad. We’ve got to get better," said redshirt junior Darwin Cook.
"We weren’t clicking. We weren’t doing what we were supposed to do. Coach put us in position to make plays. It’s our fault as a defense; we’ve got to get better."
Another thing the Mountaineers had trouble doing most of the game was getting the defense off the field in the later downs. Baylor converted 11 of its 16 third downs Saturday and was 1 for 1 on fourth down.
"It’s very frustrating. It’s our job to get off the field," DeForest said. "We’ve got to go back and look at the film, make some personnel changes, make better calls. They ran the same plays we practiced. They never really tempoed us; we were never really out of position.
"They executed better than we did. That’s the bottom line."
It was especially frustrating for Mountaineers who have been around for the last few years. Players like Cook and junior linebacker Doug Rigg were among the handful of current West Virginia defensive players who played on the 2010 defense that finished third nationally in total defense.
"I don’t even want to talk to the old guys that I played with two years ago, because they would get on us about how unacceptable that was," Rigg said. "We saw how they worked and how they got after people. No matter how talented the people were, they still got after them.
"Just because they’ve got great receivers and they move fast, it’s not an excuse to give up that many points and yards."
While a lot of people might point fingers at the secondary for allowing so many yards through the air against the Bears, Rigg said it falls on everyone’s shoulders.
"People will try to go at our corners and our safeties, saying it’s their fault, but that’s not the truth at all," he said.
"I don’t think we did our job of getting to the quarterback. It was a collective group effort of not doing our jobs today."
But when it was all over, West Virginia was still able to walk away with a victory. And to DeForest and the rest of the defense, that’s all that matters.
"We won the game," DeForest said. "Am I happy about it? Absolutely not, but we won.
"It’s very hard to take, as a defensive coach, but maybe this will make us better."