The WVU football team suffered two losses this season that really don’t tell the whole story of this squad.
The Mountaineers are literally only three plays away from being 6-0 and a top three team in the nation. Instead, the WVU football team is an inspired 4-2 and sits in a tie for second place in the Big 12 Conference.
Again, if a few things go in an opposite direction, the Mountaineers could actually be 3-3 and on the outside looking in of a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Against Texas Tech, the Mountaineers needed to rally from a deep hole to pull out a victory on homecoming. The WVU football team did that by taking advantage of its opportunities late in the game and striking when it mattered most.
The WVU football team scored 22 points in the fourth quarter and did not allow the Red Raiders to sniff the end zone. Their opportunities included Will Grier slinging the ball around to his best receivers and defensive coordinator Tony Gibson’s charges were fired up making their plays and finishing tackles.
The special teams came into play in a big moment, too, when Marcus Simms fielded a badly kicked Texas Tech punt and caught a seam to take the ball to the 12-yard line. After that good field position, the Mountaineers had the go-ahead score they needed with Grier finding Ka’Raun White for the touchdown.
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen was visibly disappointed in the first half, which made the jubilation of the second half all the more rewarding. He told WVUsports.com that the Mountaineers “were ready to run with it” when the game got into crunch time.
"“Once that thing kind of flipped to us we were ready to run with it. I give our players a lot of credit. I challenged them at halftime. There was a point in the third quarter when I thought they didn’t have it in them because it wasn’t happening. Then all of a sudden it happened, and our players hung in there and seized that opportunity.”"
The moments in the fourth quarter that defined the outcome of the game could really define the direction of this season for the WVU football team. The Mountaineers could have laid down and let the Red Raiders embarrass them. Instead, the WVU football team reached its potential and showed that it has more talent and heart than almost any team in the country.
However, West Virginia has also showed that it may not be able to do that in every game. By getting in such a bad situation early on, it took that valiant effort from everyone on the field to pull out the victory.
By getting ahead early in its next game against Baylor, the WVU football team won’t need these magical moments later on. It’s safer that way. If the Mountaineers can show that kind of grit in the second half, they need to unleash it in the first half as well.