By Bob Hertzel
For the Times West Virginian
Things have gone from bad to worse to worst with the West Virginia University football program, an unprecedented drop being 5-0 and a Top 5 team in the nation to being unranked and not yet bowl qualified and 5-4 looking Oklahoma’s Top 10 Sooners in the eye.
My views on the reasons behind the team’s collapse, which includes two wide receivers leaving the program in the past week even though both had started games recently, have been vented over and over, but after this latest shellacking at Oklahoma State, 55-34, we felt it was time to let you have your say.
Mostly all a fan has a chance to do is boo loudly at games or boycott those games, maybe make statements on the social media that only go to friends and contacts ... but this way we can give you a Twitter sounding board with your thoughts on what’s wrong with WVU’s football team.
Luke Whorton sees no easy fix for the problems:
• We are a Big East team in the Big 12 right now. Need to tear it down to build it back up.
Tom Simmons lays it on the defense:
• No direction on defense; the kids act like they don’t know who has who in pass coverage. Pass routes take too long to develop.
So does Ken Rhodes:
• Five times this year given up 40 or more points. Happened only four times from 2004 through 2011.
Andrew Fowler goes right to the obvious:
• Special teams is broken. The secondary is giving way too much cushion for opposing receivers.
Sean Fitzpatrick offers an analysis that is bothering almost everyone.
• I see a lack of fundamentals on all three sides of the ball. That’s not Mountaineer football.
Greg Evans seems to be especially bothered by a lot of things, so many things it took three tweets:
• Geno needs to realize his abilities and limitations and manage the game on the field.
• Holgs needs to learn to manage timeouts, to fourth downs, to field goals, he’s made every mistake. Time to grow as coach.
• Implement a little discipline! Start by making Geno snap his chinstrap. After missing several plays, he still doesn’t.
Then there was this from Cheri Callaghan, also sent in three tweets:
• Coaches and team want the explosive play, the easy fix, not the steady grind. Dana’s age and status make him vulnerable and players have more interaction with fans than ever before and probably hard to hear fair-weather, venting fans. It’s all mental. It’s like this whole generation, team distracted by social media, personal issues, coaches can’t get attention, not supportive in right way.
Kevin Mace’s observation:
• We are not the most talented team on the field this year so we must play great every week — get turnovers, play smart, make plays.
@SydneyCarton1 offered this:
• What’s right? Honestly, nothing. All three sides show flashes but they’re all extremely inconsistent.
Richard Clay sees a lot of issues:
• New coaches learning to be leaders, RBs are average, recruits over past two years generally weak; Geno missing something.
Karen Fitzpatrick doesn’t waste words:
• Lack of discipline.
Jay Miller is a straight shooter:
• Lack of depth and talent, especially on D. Lack of experience on the staff. Unrealistic expectations. Adds up to a mediocre team.
Jared takes the traditional view of what has gone wrong:
• The problem is at QB. Geno is not the same. No clue the reason; there are people open — he has missed them. Defense is young and new.
WV Sports Nation lays it out this way:
• 1. Geno Smith lost his mojo. 2. Lack of depth all around. 3. Holgorsen growing pains as H.C. 4. Not unique enough in Big 12.
Bill G. stuck simply with the Oklahoma State loss but fingered the right villain:
• I put most of that loss on special teams ... can’t make those mistakes against a good team like that.
And finally there’s Eric Hayhurst, who sees the biggest problem as the one that I find most troubling:
• Coaching. There is talent on team, but no improvement from week to week. That’s coaching.
Email Bob Hertzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.