It may seem hard to believe, but the Mountaineers are already halfway through the 2013 regular season.
WVU has battled its way to a reasonable 3-3 record but has also certainly had its share of highs and lows along the way.
This rollercoaster has been especially noticeable during WVU’s last three games, where it was shutout by an unranked Maryland team, responded with a big win over then-No. 11 Oklahoma State at home and then got absolutely run over in primetime against No. 17 Baylor Oct. 5.
After this extended period of peaks and valleys for the West Virginia football team, it was becoming quite clear that the Mountaineers needed a bye week to recharge, both from a mental and physical standpoint.
In some ways, you can actually liken the Mountaineers’ midseason bye to the midterm Fall Break students are returning from today.
For nearly two months, students have constantly been grinding away at their coursework and in the classroom. And for many of them, there comes a time when you simply hit a bit of a mid-semester wall.
If you happened to catch Baylor hang a cool 73 points on WVU two weeks ago, it was pretty clear the Mountaineers had just run smack into a midseason brick wall of their own.
West Virginia’s bye week, like the newly added Fall Break at WVU, allows for a brief hiatus from this constant grind.
For coaches and players of the football team, it was probably even more needed, as they’ve all been working fairly relentlessly since the start of preseason camp in the beginning of August.
In fact, this recent break was one of the first and only times all season many of West Virginia’s football players got a chance to get away from the practice field, film room and just football in general for a few days.
Even more fortunately, the bye also happened to coincide with the aforementioned short break from classes, so many players were able to actually go home and spend a couple much-needed days with their families.
This is more important than most people realize, since many tend to conveniently forget we are still dealing with young men who miss their families and get homesick from time to time just like any other college student.
I think because of this, heading forward, this break will ultimately serve the Mountaineers very well.
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said yesterday he can already see his players have returned both mentally and physically refreshed.
They’ll need to be.
Despite the fact the toughest stretch of the Mountaineers’ 2013 schedule is likely behind them, there still won’t be any necessarily easy games.
West Virginia needs to win at least three of its final six games in order to become bowl-eligible for the 12th consecutive year. Luckily, half of those games will be at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown where the Mountaineers are 3-0 this year.