Offense must improve for WVU to get back on track
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 08:10
Life hasn’t been easy for West Virginia’s defense.
Since the Mountaineers opened Big 12 Conference play almost a month ago – especially in their first two losses of the season – opposing offenses have been able to drive up and down the field whenever they have wanted to, putting up record-shattering performances in the process.
Through the first four conference games of the season, the Mountaineers have allowed 53 points per game and have given up more points in those four games than they allowed all season in 2010.
while everyone can argue that the defense is a big problem and a reason West Virginia has struggled the last two weeks, it’s arguably not the most concerning thing that has happened.
To find that, one should look at the dramatic decline in production on the offensive side of the ball.
The offense that looked nearly unstoppable in the first few weeks of the season disappeared against Texas Tech and Kansas State.
Against the Wildcats last week, the Mountaineers gained just 243 total yards of offense. The last time they had fewer yards in a home game was in 2007 for their 13-9 loss to Pittsburgh.
After scoring on 33 of their 65 drives (51 percent) in the first five games of the year, the Mountaineers have scored just three touchdowns on their 22 drives in two losses.
Sure, the defenses they’ve faced have been quite a step up from the likes of Baylor and James Madison that West Virginia faced in those first five games of the season, but it hasn’t been the lack of execution and production that I have found to be disturbing.
With a night game in Morgantown against one of the best teams in the country and a chance to redeem itself after a tough loss the week before, West Virginia didn’t come out with the fire I thought it would when Kansas State came to town.
It was the perfect opportunity to bounce back and make a statement that the Mountaineers deserved to be looked at as one of the best teams in the country. Yet the offense came out flat, looked stagnant and didn’t make adjustments when they needed to.
The attitude surrounding this team – the offense, especially – wasn’t there. There wasn’t that sense of confidence we had all seen when things were going well in the first five weeks.
A few weeks ago, after they lost to Texas Tech, I was optimistic. These Mountaineers looked poised to be different than teams in the past. I thought they’d be able to bounce back after such a disappointing showing on offense against the Red Raiders.
But they didn’t.
And now I’m not so sure if this team really is different.
Maybe the bye week will be a good thing, giving them an extra week for the feeling of losing to sink in.
But saying you want to get things back on track is one thing. The real first step in getting back to the way they were is to come out and look like they did before these last two games when TCU comes to town in a week.