OU game will show what WVU is made of
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012 02:11
Things couldn’t be going much worse for West Virginia right now.
After the season started the way it did, I think it’s safe to say not many people expected a collapse quite like WVU is experiencing now. The Mountaineers have gone from legitimate national title contenders to a team that is fighting for its life just to make it to a bowl game.
As you’ve read a number of times throughout the last few weeks, all hope is not lost quite yet. It’s close, though.
The team has started to lose confidence, and players are becoming more and more frustrated with every loss.
But, as the old saying goes, winning cures all.
Coming back to Milan Puskar Stadium and pulling off an upset against No. 12 Oklahoma this weekend could be all the Mountaineers need to get things rolling again heading into games against Iowa State and Kansas – two opponents they should be able to handle pretty easily.
What needs to change, though? What is it that this WVU team hasn’t been doing in the last four games that it has to be able to do against the Sooners to win?
It all begins with getting off to a quick start in the first quarter.
West Virginia was able to jump ahead and score a couple fast touchdowns in the beginning of the first five games.
After outscoring opponents 72-28 in the first five games of the year, WVU has scored just 14 first-quarter points in its four losses, giving up 52.
The Mountaineers can’t afford to continue playing from behind the way they have been for the last month or so. They haven’t scored on their first drive of the game since their win against Texas.
Most of the time, when the WVU offense can’t put points on the board in the early drives, it finds itself stuck trying to work out of an early deficit, and as we’ve seen in the last four games, it’s struggling to do that.
It’s a lot of pressure to have to work from behind every single game, and against a team like Oklahoma, it could be even tougher than usual.
But the Mountaineers have a great opportunity this weekend.
It’s a chance at redemption after their last blunder in primetime on national television against Kansas State.
Some could look at this game and say it’s set up just the way West Virginia likes it. WVU has thrived in the past in night games against highly ranked teams when a lot of people aren’t expecting the Mountaineers to come out and play hard.
This is another of those times. West Virginia has its back against the wall, and the team can either fold and lose out the rest of the way or step up to the plate and take this challenge head on.
Starting this final three-game stretch with a huge victory against Oklahoma would be a huge boost to a team that is in desperate need to have a good game.
All they can do is go out and get the job done.