Approximately 48 hours after West Virginia University's football team suffered its fourth defeat of the year, Mountaineer fans still are searching for answers.
Sadly, they aren't the only ones.
"They (Texas Tech) played harder and called better plays," third-year WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen proclaimed following the loss. "We called the same plays we did in the last quarter-and-a-half than we did in the first two-and-a-half quarters. First quarter was bad and the fourth quarter was awful."
So, to whom do Mountaineer fans vent their frustrations?
Well, as it should be, those should be directed at Holgorsen and his coaching staff. Heading into the final 15 minutes against the Red Raiders, WVU was holding its own offensively as TTU's offense had gained 409 total yards on 56 plays while WVU's had posted 408 on 66 opportunities. And, more importantly, the Mountaineers had scored on their first two possessions of the second half.
Those numbers took a nose-dive, however, in the final frame as TTU's defense held their hosts to one first down and 29 total yards of offense on 16 plays. I could be wrong, but you would be hard pressed to win a pee wee contest with those kinds of numbers, let alone beat the No. 15 ranked team in the country.
Defensively, the Mountaineers never did find a way to put pressure on freshman quarter Davis Webb-resulting in the first-year starter rewriting the Texas Tech record book for most passing yards in a game (462)-and had no answer for junior tight end Jace Amaro, who had burnt the defense for 156 yards and a touchdown in a 49-14 win in Lubbock last year.
Just how hard is it to find a guy that stands 6-feet, 5-inches tall and weighs 260 pounds? Yes, the defense did an admirable job against the run, allowing a mere 111 yards on 31 attempts. But, why would anybody run the football when their quarterback can sit back and calmly toss the ball to any receiver he wants because the coverage is so bad?
Then, there are WVU's 'not-so-special' Special Teams.
Correct me if I am wrong (and I know someone out there will), but WVU has one of, if not the highest paid, special teams coach in the country. And, for that investment, fans got to witness their team start their first four drives on Saturday at their own 20, 20, 11 and 11. The final three coming as the result of a poor decision to run the ball out of the end zone on a kickoff that, if the receiver had elected to take a knee, would have started at the 25.
Yes, coach, you are right.
Texas Tech's players did play harder. And, first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his staff did call better plays-at least when it counted most.
So, what Mountaineer fans want to know is..... What are you going to do about it?
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org