WVU slowly regains focus?
Virtually every college football team has moments during a season where it lacks focus and plays far from its best. The only hope is you are good enough to win with less than your best level of play, and your opponent isn’t good enough to take advantage.
A scenario unfolding for West Virginia last Saturday against Kansas. Carrying over from the second half at Texas Tech the previous week, the Mountaineer offense became feast or famine and again lacked consistency. On its final six first half possessions WVU piled up 342 yards of total offense, yet penetrations to the Kansas 13, 2 and 1 yard lines ended in interceptions. Thus in a game that should have been decided at halftime, West Virginia found itself in a competitive battle it didn’t anticipate after the Jayhawks scored on their first possession of the second half to cut the lead to 21-14. Only after a touchdown on the last play of the third quarter did the Mountaineers regain control.
Will Grier had one of his poorest games with the interceptions and a lost fumble in the third quarter, but one had to give him credit after one of the red zone interceptions when he chased the defender 60 yards downfield to save a touchdown.
Coach Dana Holgorsen said after the game that he has had headaches after wins the last two weeks. But those pains can be a lot worse after losses, so with the Mountaineers at 5-0 we can’t complain too much. And when we bemoan our quarterback having a poor game after throwing for 332 yards and four touchdowns then things can’t be all that bad.
But the competition will be getting stronger and West Virginia will need to improve to maintain its unbeaten record.
THIS SATURDAY: Who is Brock Purdy, you ask? Well, out in Iowa State territory they are throwing around superlatives about him already. The Cyclones lost their starting quarterback in the first game of the season, and their offense then went missing. Thus despite solid play by their defense they lost at Iowa (13-3) and TCU (17-14). But after two series at Oklahoma State on Saturday Purdy, who is a highly touted true freshman, came off the bench to lead an Iowa State 48-42 upset. Purdy went 18 of 23 passing for 318 yards and four touchdowns, and added 84 rushing yards (running 19 times) for another score.
Now indeed it was an impressive debut, but after reading a sports column in the Des Moines Register one would have thought he was ready to win the Heisman. Let’s hold on just a bit. Admittedly if he can put up those numbers again the Mountaineers are looking to be upset this weekend, but as we all know success doesn’t always come easy.
Expect WVU to come out with more of that focus that was missing last Saturday. It will be a tough battle on the road in a night game against a confident opponent, but we’re staying on the bandwagon. WEST VIRGINIA 34 IOWA STATE 31.