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WVU gets embarrassed by TTU

By Jude

By Dusty

The West Virginia defense is putrid. That much we knew.

But what worried most Mountaineer fans is what would happen when the offense's output inevitably struggled to match what little resistance the defense could muster against Big 12 competition.

The worst case scenario came true for WVU (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) Saturday as the defense lived up to its (low) expectations and the offense also failed to actually show up, leaving the Mountaineers on the wrong end of a 49-14 score.

The loss snapped WVU's nine-game winning streak, which dated back to last year, and dropped the 'Eers to 15th in the latest coaches' poll (and even lower in the opinions of talking heads and college football fans nationwide.)

The defense's tale of the tape included surrendering 686 yards and seven touchdowns after averaging an already laughable 463 yards and 4.5 TDs to opponents through the first five outings.

Texas Tech managed 9.4 yards per play, had 30 first downs and had to punt just once. WVU forced one turnover but got nothing out of it.

I'm not really sure why you'd want to watch highlights from that game if you're on this site, but here you go.

Red Raider QB Seth Doege was the one who looked the Heisman-leading candidate, completing all but 10 of his 42 passes for 499 yards and six TDs to four different receivers.

And while this loss was demoralizing and ugly, nobody should expect anything less in this unpredictable league. Ask this week's visitor to Morgantown, No. 3 Kansas State, who had to rally in the clutch to beat lowly Iowa State.

Or ask Texas, who just took a similarly humiliating beating from Oklahoma, 63-21. Or Oklahoma State, who had scored 30 points in 22 straight games before barely holding on to beat Kansas, 20-14.

Fellow newbie TCU, who tanked last week against Iowa State, beat Baylor 49-21 this week. Remember those same Bears put up 63 against WVU.

The loss to Texas Tech might have killed the Mountaineers' national title hopes (which weren't very realistic given the defense's ineptness), but it certainly didn't kill their Big 12 title hopes. That's still wide open as the only unbeaten team in conference play is Kansas State.

But enough rationalizing for now, let's continue the post-mortem on this slopfest.

Geno Smith had his worst game in recent memory, completing only 29 of 55 for 275 yards and one touchdown. He was consistently off the mark, overthrowing receivers and could never seem to get in a rhythm to lead the offense.

The senior did continue his impressive streak with no interceptions, now having logged 313 straight attempts with no picks. Smith is 66 attempts away from setting a new NCAA mark, but that was little consolation after the way he looked Saturday.

"There's no excuse for what happened today,'' Smith said in this article from the DA. "I was off. I wasn't hitting my targets. But I have no explanation for it.''

For his part, head coach Dana Holgorsen wasn't afraid to call a spade a spade when asked to explain the offensive's lack of impact.

"Geno let the wind affect him,'' Holgorsen said in this article from the Charleston Gazette. "I played around here for eight years [as an assistant at Tech from 2001 through 2008] and it wasn't any windier today. It's a nuisance, but if you let that be an excuse it's going to mess with you. And I think it did.''

Reports had the winds swirling upward of 30 mph at times, but Geno wasn't buying into that as an excuse (at least that he would admit publicly).

"The wind didn't bother me," Smith said in the previously cited article. "Anyone who says that obviously doesn't know football."

Veiled jabs at his coach and the media aside, Smith tried to bring some perspective to the loss.

"No explanation for it," he said in this article from the Charleston Daily Mail. "Just the way the game goes. Everyone has a bad game. That's really all there is to it. I don't think I played terribly bad. I just don't think I did enough to win the game.

"That's really the way I measure myself, with wins and losses rather than completions and all the other stuff people like to build up in the media."

It was nearly inexplicable how an offense that was averaging 570 yards and seven scores per game could be held to just 408 yards and two TDs - one of which came in garbage time with less than 3 minutes left in the game.

Everything about the WVU game pissed me off, so I'm going to post something that made me extremely happy from this week, despite the fact that it has absolutely nothing to do with WVU.

Dustin Garrison managed that score, but that was his lone highlight. The leader of the ground game was Andrew Buie, who carried 21 times for 71 yards. Tavon Austin had nine receptions for 99 yards, while Stedman Bailey had six catches for 56 yards before leaving the game with a foot injury.

Part of the lack of a comeback can be chalked up to injuries to six key starters, including Bailey, right guard Jeff Braun, who managed only a few snaps all game; cornerback Brodrick Jenkins and linebacker Isaiah Bruce were both knocked from the game with injuries; and defensive end Will Clarke made the trip but couldn't overcome his ailments enough to play.

“We are the offense that everyone is gunning for,” Smith said in this article from wvusports.com. “We get all of the media attention and everyone wants to say we are the best offense since sliced bread, but the thing about us is we work hard from week to week and we're not going to let this affect us.

“In fact, we are going to move on from it and get better.”

That's a good thing, since I can't help piling on just a bit more.

Texas Tech had lost five straight Big 12 games at home, and hadn't beaten a conference team at home since 2009. In fact, the Red Raiders had never beaten a top 5 team by a larger margin and hadn't knocked off a ranked conference opponent at home since 2008.

Tech held WVU to 2 of 7 on 4th downs just one week after the Mountaineers hit on all five 4th down tries against Texas.

Texas Tech had 10 plays of 20 yards or more, while the WVU defense - ranked No. 3 in total yards coming into Saturday, managed just two such plays against the Raider D.

All told, WVU's defense has given up 39 plays of 20 yards or more this season, but had managed to offset that with 36 big-yardage plays on offense.

No team had ever posted 600 yards against any WVU defense coming into this season, but now that mark has been topped twice in the last three games.

"I don't know what else to say other than we've got to go back to the drawing board," defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said in this article from the Daily Mail. "We're not going to give up on what we've been building on. We've got to continue to build on some positive things."

Holgorsen was equally as blunt in breaking down the disaster.

"The bottom line is this: They played better than we did on all three sides of the ball,'' the second-year coach said in a previously-cited article.

“They played a lot better than we did on all three sides of the ball. They played harder than we did. The effort was harder. They outcoached us. We let the situation get to us.”

I know you're excited, but come on. You were 4-point underdogs. Does that really merit a field rush?

The key now, according to the coaches and players, is to keep this game from starting a downward spiral. In this new Big 12 frontier, the horizon doesn't hold any breather games just yet.

This Saturday, in fact, the league's top-ranked BCS team comes to town in No. 4 Kansas State (6-0, 3-0).

Wildcat QB Collin Klein leads the way, leading an offense that's 11th in the nation with 248 yards rushing per game. That straight-ahead, smash-mouth ground game will provide the biggest challenge, as it has helped key an average of 40.8 points per game (15th nationally).

Klein's passing attack averages just 179 passing yards per game, but the threat is always there if opposing defenses try to cheat up too much in the box.

The news doesn't get much better on the other side of the ball as the K-State defense is just as tough as Texas Tech's, allowing just 16.5 points from opponents, the 19th-best total in FBS.

“We just need to focus on overcoming adversity - as a wide receiver group, as an offensive line and as an entire offensive unit,” senior wide receiver J.D. Woods said in a previously-cited article. “I don't have a magic book, but I guarantee next week we will be up to par.”

Smith agreed with that assessment, adding, “The one thing I do know is we will bounce back. That is all there is to it. We are going to put this game behind us just like we do with a win and let's move on and get better each week.

“We've got six games to go. This one is going to sting, but it's going to be my motivation coming into next week.”

Kansas State visits Morgantown Saturday night at 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on FOX.
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Poster Thread
Posted: 10/18/2012 2:45 pm  Updated: 10/18/2012 2:45 pm
Joined: 7/27/2006
From: Alkol, Lincoln County
Posts: 24872
 Re: WVU gets embarrassed by TTU
5% can be attributed to the wind mentally, 5% wind physically, 55% no defense, 10% dropped passes, and 25% going in there cocky.


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