The WVU football team missed its opportunity to finish the season on a high note by being embarrassed by Utah in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
West Virginia looked lost from the beginning and never recovered from a sluggish start against the Utes. The WVU football team fell, 30-14, against a Utah team that actually didn’t play much better than the Mountaineers.
The showing by the WVU football team had to be one of the worst in recent history for the team that hasn’t historically fared well in bowl games. West Virginia did more to harm itself than Utah did to fully disrupt the Mountaineers’ plans.
It started badly for quarterback Chris Chugunov who looked completely lost. The weeks of practice leading up to the game didn’t help Chugunov improve on his performances against Texas and Oklahoma to end the regular season. Chugunov finished with 129 passing by completing just nine of 28 passes.
He missed high and low and put too much zip on his passes. Chugunov didn’t have much time to pass the ball, either. He threw two interceptions and the only time West Virginia reached the end zone was late in the fourth quarter when he found Ka’Raun White for a touchdown.
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The WVU defense was torched by Utah’s rushing attack. The Utes got on the board on their first possession. Zack Moss led with 150 yards on 20 carries and Tyler Huntley added 57 yards on 25 carries.
The defense of the Mountaineers never got settled in and gave up too many big plays. Kyzir White led with 13 total tackles and Al-Rasheed Benton had eight in his final game in a WVU football uniform.
The game was head coach Dana Holgorsen’s fourth loss in a bowl game. Since he won the 2011 Orange Bowl against Clemson, the Mountaineers have tanked in the postseason. It’s hard to pinpoint what the real problem is, but the WVU football team consistently underperforms in big games.
The Mountaineers were missing two of its best players in Will Grier and Justin Crawford, plus two offensive linemen. But there simply wasn’t enough depth to compensate for the absences.
The WVU football team ends the season with a 7-6 record. After a long offseason is forthcoming, the Mountaineers will face Tennessee to open to 2018 season.