Tough one point loss for the Mountaineers. Still not a complete effort in all three phases of the game, but it is certainly inspirational to see the offense get back into rhythm after all these weeks. Like the Mountaineers, the HailWV staff made some terrific calls and some wonky ones. Here is how we did:
Ken Durbin’s Predictions: I am going to predict Buie rushing for 100 yards, receiving 25 yards, and 2 total scores. WVU gets a nail-biting victory for the ages: 56-54 in 3OT.
I said that if West Virginia was to have a shot in this game, they would need to establish the running game to balance Geno and the passing game. The Mountaineers not only established the run, they dominated the line of scrimmage against a top Sooners defense. WVU piled up 458 rushing yards, far exceeding their rushing totals for the past 4 games combined!
The only problem with my prediction is that I thought Andrew Buie would be the one to carry the load for the Mountaineers. Tavon Austin, after receiving high praises from Holgorsen all week, was given the task of establishing the run for the Mountaineers. Austin, who once played as a running back under Coach Stewart, showed why Stew had him originally slotted for running back. Austin found tiny creases to carve up the Oklahoma defense for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Buie was mostly an after thought to the explosive Austin, only seeing 16 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown. Not exactly the performance I envisioned him having.
As whole, I was close on the game prediction, thinking WVU would pull out a close victory in the 50 point range, just was on the wrong side of that one. Sigh…
Brandon Miller’s Predictions: Bailey and Austin will both have huge games, each going for 150 total yards and a touchdown. I also think the running game will show some life – Buie will run for 80 yards with Alston adding 50 yards and a touchdown. WVU will become bowl eligible with a 38-34 victory.
I really feel terrible for Tavon Austin. He puts up 572 all-purpose yards and still is on the losing end of the game. That’s unbelievable. And if you look at our last 3 games, only a handful of plays stand between us and an 8-2 record. 5-5 looks really bad, but despite our difficulties, we could very easily be sitting 8-2 right now. I guess that’s why I’m not really concerned, long term, about our program in the new conference.
As for this game, it’s pretty hard to believe that we lost when you look at the stats. It’s ridiculous actually. Our defense might be the worst ever in the history of football. I cannot understand how you can repeatedly give up 3rd and longs, why you play 10 yards off receivers on 3rd and shorts, and how you can actually be in good coverage a fair amount of the time and simply fail to turn around and make a play. I don’t understand why anyone bothers to run the ball against us. There’s no point. There’s no excuse for the performance of this defense, and the blame falls on everyone- coaches and players. I’m done thinking that it will be better this year. We just have to hope for a drastic improvement next year.
It was good to see the offense get its groove back though. After struggling in the first half, Geno looked like Geno again in the second half. He made perfect throws and looked like a Heisman candidate again. Hopefully this continues. I really wish he would stop staring receivers down though. He’s done it his whole career so it probably won’t change, but that is one major obstacle between him and a starting job in the NFL. You just can’t do that. He’s got to be more consistent with looking off defenders and going through his check-downs.
As for my predictions:
-I said the defense would turn in its best performance of the year. Couldn’t have been more wrong.
-I said the running game would be the key- and it was for us, although I didn’t expect 450+ yards on the ground. What a shame to waste that performance.
-I called Austin and Bailey having huge games, but I vastly underestimated what they would do, particularly Austin. That has to be one of the best individual performances in NCAA history. And give a lot of credit to Holgorsen for changing up the offense and putting Austin in the backfield- if not for that decision, we would have gotten blown out.
-Missed on Buie and Alston. Buie took a backseat to Austin in the running game, and Alston didn’t play.
-I was almost right on the outcome (WVU winning it close). A few plays here or there and I would have been right.
Alan Searles’ Prediction: 55-43, OU.
If someone actually predicted that Tavon would blow up at running back, they deserve prediction of the year award.
I was really down headed into game and thought we would get trounced, but we ended having a great shot to win. The defense had a few big stops that allowed us back into the shootout, but we couldn’t make the stops at end, when it mattered to seal the game.
My lasting thoughts all seem to surround Austin’s gameplay (that pass from Geno over Stedman’s shoulder was awesome as well), however it’s startling to think we still lost. Two things stand out to me, the missed extra point and Kenny Stills abusing Ishmael Banks. I have come to expect the latter; the former is what is really killing this team though. Doesn’t it seem like we have not had a technically sound special teams unit since … The Cold War?
Patrick Pishko’s Predictions: OU 54- WVU 17.
Holy Tavon! First and foremost, I just want to let those who missed the game know what a pleasure it was to see such an effort from who I believe to be the best offensive player in country…if you neglected to attend because of your fair weathered-ness, you deserved to miss it.
My prediction was not close other than the fact that we lost. I am glad the offense showed up, however the stench of our defense still lingers in my sinuses. I think the word FRUSTRATION best describes the goings on of last night.
Here’s to next week; I firmly believe the offense will allow us to become bowl eligible… by the hairs of their chinny chin chins thanks to the D.