I am trying not to be the typical “over reactive” WVU fan. After suffering through four quarters of hell last night I decided to wait until Saturday to give you my thoughts on the ass kicking Syracuse put on the Mountaineers last night. If you are a “Kool Aid drinker” you should probably stop reading this article right now. You are not going to like my game 7 assessment. Well, here it goes…in no particular order.
Our defense stinks. There is no reason to sugar coat the situation here. I realize we lost valuable players like Chris Neild but most of these guys have been playing in the same “system” for several years. Can you remember a WVU defense looking so confused and executing so poorly than last night? There is absolutely no excuse for the beat down and lack of execution from this squad. I haven’t said this often, but Jeff Casteel and his defensive genius were schooled last night. Our defensive line couldn’t stop anyone or anything last night. Bruce Irvin has been a monumental disappointment this season. Save me the “he’s not a secret this year” or “other teams have made an adjustments” arguments. At the end of the day, “great” players find a way to either make big plays in big situations or they find ways to be disruptive. Bruce has done neither to date. Our front line continues to struggle putting any pressure on the opposing quarterback. I am pretty sure Syracuse did not have a single negative play last night. WVU will beat no one of significance if their defense cannot become disruptive during conference play. Our linebackers have seemed confused most of the season. Hey, that number 80 guy, Provo, you might want to cover him at some point during the night. I understand breakdowns, but allowing Provo to catch 3 touchdown passes (and each with little to no resistance) is inexcusable. Our secondary couldn’t cover my grandmother. Pat Miller continues to be this year’s version of Perlo Bastien. He should change his number from No. 6 and replace it with a huge neon sign that reads, “Hey, throw at me.” If the defense does not step up the rest of the year don’t be surprised if Casteel and Holgorsen part ways. I continue to believe the 3-3-5 defensive scheme is too gimmicky to win a National Title. WVU’s two best opponents this season have scored 47 and 49 points (and gave up 31 to Maryland). Unacceptable.
Geno played his worst game of the season last night. Spare me the “statistics”. Statistics don’t mean crap if you make bad decisions in key situations. The interception in the end zone before the end of the first half was a poor decision. Part of his poor performance was his fault, but the majority of the offensive struggles last night falls directly on the offensive line. With the exception of the LSU game, this offensive line has struggled most of the season. Yes, it’s a “new system” but Holgorsen’s offensive philosophy is not overly complicated. The Syracuse line was 5 yards in our backfield the entire night. Syracuse blitzed the entire game, and we failed to consistently execute. Look for major adjustments to the offensive line over the next week.
Special teams. I don’t even think I have the energy to rip this situation. Here’s a thought? Replace all 11 players…or kick the ball out of bounds every time!
If I offended any diehard WVU fans, you should get thicker skin. WVU’s program is headed in the right direction and Holgorsen is and will be a great head coach. There are several games left and plenty of room for improvement. Let’s Go Mountaineers!