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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: WVU loss not good for sleep

Those among you who attend WVU home football games may have noticed that for some reason the return trip from Morgantown across Route 50 seems to become longer and longer.

That is what happens after three consecutive home losses, this one an embarrassing blowout to a Texas Tech team with a losing record.

Coming off the field at the end of the first half, in his interview with the sideline reporter head coach Neal Brown was succinct: “I apologize to our fans”.

Indeed it was the kind of performance that would cause a coach sleepless nights. The defense, which played so well at Baylor, appeared ill prepared and was essentially run out of the stadium in the first half. The offense piled up impressive numbers (549 total yards) but proved that stats are meaningless when they aren’t converted into actual points. The closer the West Virginia offense got to the end zone the more inept it became.

Two plays in that regard stand out. Deep in Texas Tech territory facing a 4th and 6, the Mountaineers called a timeout, ostensibly to take an opportunity to call a play that had a good chance of success. They then came out and had two receivers going for the same pass in the back of the end zone. Later, again in scoring territory, quarterback Austin Kendall threw an interception into a committee of several white shirted Red Raiders in the end zone, a play and decision so poorly executed that perhaps it should, finally, relegate him to backup status.

Mountaineer fans were realistic in their expectations for the 2019 season, but one thing we hoped to see was some improvement as the season played on. Instead, this appears to be a team heading in the opposite direction.

Although of little consequence in the big picture and having no impact on the outcome of the game, one anecdote is still worth noting.

Twice in the third quarter the Mountaineers were driving and in rhythm when Texas Tech defenders were “injured”, causing a convenient stoppage of play to allow the Red Raiders defense an opportunity to get organized. But if one watched closely on the side of the field behind the Texas Tech bench, both players came off the field, received no medical attention, got a drink of water, and returned a couple of plays later.

Maybe it’s just me, but it is difficult to have respect for a coach who instructs his players to fake an injury in order to gain an advantage, particularly in a game already decided. That is cheap stuff.

THIS SATURDAY: Kansas State is also making a transition to a first year head coach, but so far the results have been much more positive. Coming off their upset of Oklahoma the Wildcats were ranked in the Top 25 in the first College Football Rankings before suffering a loss to Texas Saturday on a last second field goal. Unfortunately with the state of the Mountaineers right now, this one is a bridge too far. KANSAS STATE 35 WEST VIRGINIA 13.

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