WVU win came at a good time
O, we of little faith.
Just when WVU fans begin to doubt whether their beloved Mountaineers, and their embattled head coach can overcome their own mistakes and pull off a victory that will somehow make them more than just a bottom feeder in their new home, the Big 12 Conference, a game like the one at Amon G. Carter Stadium happens and all turns happy in the valley of the old gold and blue.
At least for another week.
But, for the first time since knocking off Iowa State in the home of the Cyclones last season, West Virginia has gone on the road and come away with a win. A much needed win. A win that not only ends a five-game drought away from the friendly confines of Milan Puskar Stadium, but renews hope that our favorite college football team won’t find its way to the cellar of its new home.
No, it wasn’t pretty. But, it was a win and it puts the program one game closer to playing in the postseason for a 12th consecutive year.
The road won’t be an easy one. Mountaineer fans are learning the hard way that winning a game-any game-in the Big 12 isn’t automatic. But, knowing that two of WVU’s final three games of the regular season will be played at Mountaineer Field gives hope.
And, that is all the loyal fans of the old gold and blue want as they attempt to embrace a team, and a coaching staff, that are struggling to find an identity. Yes, TCU is not going to win a Big 12 title, but the Horned Frogs had won 31 of their last 37 home games under head coach Gary Patterson and returned preseason all-Big 12 quarterback Casey Pachall.
West Virginia, however, finally played four quarters (plus an overtime) of football.
There were mistakes. Some were the same ones that cost WVU a chance to win against Texas Tech and Kansas State.
But, unlike those two fourth-quarter collapses, the offense continued to move the football and the defense made just enough plays to get the game into an extra period where freshman placekicker Josh Lambert, a resident of the Lone Star State making his initial return home, booted a 34-yard field goal.
Yes, there was some luck involved. But, this team has had little of it for the first eight games of the year and, to put it bluntly, was due some good fortune coming its way.
Three TCU turnovers helped to ignite a stagnant Mountaineer offense and a personal foul on the Horned Frogs defense following a pick six by safety Chris Hackett played huge roles in the outcome of this game.
But, unlike so many times this season, WVU’s players and coaches continued to work hard and did not allow themselves to dwell on the negatives, even at the end of regulation when they squandered a 10-point lead and allowed the Horned Frogs to push the game into overtime.
Let’s hope those are the Mountaineers we watch over the final three games of the season.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org