Dana Holgorsen is an offensive guru. He cut his teeth under another offensive mastermind in Mike Leach, now the head coach of Washington State.
While it’s fine and dandy to put up more than 600 yards of total offense and 40 or more points on the board, football games need to be won with defense. Dana Holgorsen realizes that.
He is in his sixth year as head coach of the WVU football team. In every season, including this one, the defense has seemed to fall behind the offense in terms of development and production.
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This campaign may be set up to be a historically bad one for the Mountaineers. Currently, with their 4-2 record, the Mountaineers have still surrendered 453.8 yards per game. That doesn’t even crack the top 100 in the nation. Marshall is head over heels more polished than the WVU football team because it comes in at No. 25 in the country in total defense.
When it comes to stopping the run, the Mountaineers are criminally bad. Opponents are rushing for an average of 210.7 yards per game against West Virginia. According to NCAA.com, the Mountaineers are right among the likes of Kent State, Louisiana-Monroe and Florida Atlantic.
According to Diehards.com, Dana Holgorsen said that the Mountaineers “must get better at stopping the run” in his weekly press conference.
West Virginia isn’t the worst team at stopping the run in the Big 12, though. That dishonor belongs to Baylor, the team the Mountaineers play this weekend. Baylor is giving up 241.2 yards per game, which should be a welcomed sign for WVU running backs Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy, who were slow coming out of the gate against Texas Tech last weekend.
Last week, in a blowout loss to Oklahoma State, the Bears still put up more than 200 yards on the ground. Terrence Williams is the key running back for Baylor, so he is hoping to have a good game against the Mountaineers. Plus, Baylor remains winless on the year. What better way to nab that elusive first victory than at home, at night, against a team who can’t stop the run?
West Virginia has to buckle down on the defensive front. It seems like that has started to happen with the inspired performance that came about in the second half in the thrilling win against Texas Tech. The Mountaineers gave up 190 rushing yards to Texas Tech, which is a great mark for the team. Plus, most came in the first half.
West Virginia buckled down when necessary and got the job done. That’s going to have to happen against Baylor this week, and for the rest of the season.