If you saw the Pitt game, you saw the West Virginia squad finally gel as a team. Now 8 and 3, 9 and 3 should be the regular season result. Any team that can play that bad in the first half and then win is truly a good team. World beater? No way. But this is the best time to finally gel as a team. Unless Cincinnati wins out (who knows) we won’t get the Orange Bowl but quite frankly whoever gets the Orange Bowl is likely to lose. So for WVU it is better to beat South Florida, go to a “lesser” bowl (probably the Belk Bowl in Charlotte) and win for the future. A truly remarkable game.
What I mean by catching lightning in a bottle is winning out our two remaining games, getting the needed tie breaker losses from other teams, play an SEC opponent in the Orange Bowl and win big. Now that would be so nice and would put WVU back on the list of legit big time football programs in the country.
The key is no mistakes (fumbles, shanked kicks, blown coverages, missed tackles, dumb penalties) and big plays at the right time. What Coach H needs to do is tweak his game plan to include more blitzes and always roll Geno out of the pocket.
Will this happen? Absolutely.
What is wrong with the Mountaineers? Simple.
First of all, the offense is very good. In every game the offense has put enough points on the board to win. The problem is the defense and the special teams.
What to do about the defense? Blitz, blitz and blitz again. The defense just doesn’t have the talent to play traditional smash mouth defense. The blitz is the way to go for two reasons. First, if it works, it hypes up the emotion beyond belief which is part of what is needed. Secondly, if it doesn’t then at least the offense is back on the field with an opportunity to score. High risk? Yes. But what have we got to lose?
Now the kicking game and special teams. To find a kicker go talk to the soccer coach. You need a leg. Go get one. Special teams? Play your best players from offense and defense. To heck with worrying about injuries. What have you got to lose.
Lastly, Dana H. be more of a leader and less of a “hey, we got beat” low key interview. You need to repeatedly point out what we do well (score quickly with awesome pass and catch and decent running) and tell folks you are going to fix the defense and special teams and tell them how. Forget about this “we need more effort” stuff.
If you don’t do this it looks like the Papajohn’s Bowl. Oh my.