In football, when a defensive player jumps onto an offensive player who already has been tackled, it is called piling on.
After listening to Mountaineer fans on talk radio shows and reading their comments on message boards, it is clear that they should draw a flag for the disapproval they displayed during WVU's 31-21 win over border state rival Maryland.
Just a short reminder for followers of the old gold and blue- the Terrapins came into their fourth contest of the season with the No. 8 ranked pass defense. This was a senior-ladened unit that blitzed on nearly every play.
Sometimes the Terrapins were able to get to WVU's Geno Smith, sacking him on two occasions, other times the unit was able to rush the Mountaineers' senior signal-caller into hurried throws. But there were just as many times when Smith, who connected on 30-of-43 attempts for 338 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, made the Terrapins pay for their defensive strategy.
Yes, West Virginia's rushing attack that came into the contest averaging just under 230 yards per game was limited to 25 total yards. But, that number might have been a lot different had leading rusher Shawne Alston, who was out with a bruised thigh, been able to perform and if sophomore Dustin Garrison, who missed the first two victories, was anywhere near the form that he displayed while leading the team in rushing a year ago before suffering a knee injury that required surgery just days before WVU's 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
It is always easier to second guess a coaching staff than it is to support it when your favorite team doesn't perform the way you believe it should.
My wife can testify that I spend my fair amount of time screaming at the television screen when my favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers fall short of my expectations.
It is a trap that is so, so easy in which to fall into if you are a passionate fan. And, no one will ever say that Mountaineer fans are not passionate.
Does second year head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff still have a 'work-in-progress'?
You can bet it. But, that's why they play 12 regular season games. Coaches, who have been through these types of battles, will spend their time looking for answers instead of pointing fingers and making excuses.
Especially when you are coming off of a performance that witnessed your defense return a fumble for a touchdown for the second time in three games, force three turnovers, sack the opposing quarterback five times and hold the opposition to 46 yards on the ground.
WVU opens Big 12 play next Saturday against a Baylor offensive attack that is averaging 51.3 points and 568.7 yards per game. Scary numbers until you realize West Virginia's offense is putting up nearly 48 points and 530 yards per outing.
Think about those latter numbers before jumping on the pile and drawing that yellow flag.
Contact Jim Butta at email@example.com