The Times West Virginian

Sports

October 29, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Is WVU in ‘carbon copy of faulty, folding finishes’ identity?

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University’s football team seems to be establishing an identity that nobody should like.

I call that identity, after eight games, a “carbon copy of faulty, folding finishes.” And that’s not only unacceptable to growing numbers of Mountaineer supporters, but seemingly mystifying to WVU third-year head coach Dana Holgorsen and his constantly changing staff.

The terribly inconsistent Mountaineers (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) folded in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s 35-12 loss at Kansas State (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) just as they had in the closing stage of the 37-27 homecoming loss to Texas Tech the previous Saturday in Morgantown.

West Virginia blew leads in both of those Big 12 contests. Granted, the Red Raiders and the Wildcats were favorites to win.

But both teams had to battle back from deficits against WVU, which gave up a combined 35 points in the fourth quarter of what were certainly winnable games.

Tech scored 21 consecutive points and KSU 28.

This latest one was No. 3 in that category of games WVU could have won, in my opinion (counting that 16-7 loss at Oklahoma on Sept. 7).

Following this third straight setback, Holgorsen told reporters:

“It’s a huge concern. It’s a four-quarter game. We talk about it being a four-quarter game. We talk about how we have to finish. And we didn’t.

“It’s a concern. That doesn’t happen to good teams.”

But it continues to haunt Holgorsen’s Mountaineers.

West Virginia, which now is 5-11 for its last 16 games dating back to last season’s shocking collapse after a 5-0 and No. 5 ranking start, yielded 35 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of the last two losses.

It is still baffling to many what has happened to that highly productive offense Holgorsen had success with elsewhere as offensive coordinator. Wasn’t that the main reason WVU athletic director Oliver Luck hired him in 2011 to replace the late Bill Stewart as head coach?

West Virginia not only is in a losing mode but by large margins. Seven of its last 11 defeats overall were by 21 points or more.

The Mountaineers gained just 146 yards, made seven first downs and scored a mere three points on freshman Josh Lambert’s career-best 50-yard field goal in the entire second half at Kansas State.

For the game, WVU netted only 367 yards in total offense while giving of 448 yards to the Wildcats. The Mountaineers had 71 offensive plays, but trailed in possession time, 24:28 to 35:32.

Coaches’ answers to postgame questions are beginning to sound more and more like excuses. But no one with authority at the university seems to be concerned.

This, despite the growing feeling of numerous WVU alumni and others that the once-proud football program is sinking from the glorious past.

Give the players some credit, though. They seem to play hard most of the time.

***

TCU (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) has been installed as a 14-point favorite in next Saturday’s 3:30 pm game against West Virginia in Fort Worth, Texas.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Kicker sees second chances after gondola accident

    Maikon Bonani knows all about second chances.
    The native of Brazil is back with the Titans for a second year with the kicker job wide open for the taking, and he’s the only guy in training camp with any NFL experience if kicking in a preseason game counts.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign Suisham through 2018 season

    Shaun Suisham doesn’t seem to mind kicking at Heinz Field.

    August 1, 2014

  • A healthy Trickett gives WVU chance to win

    You might recall that Pat White’s career as West Virginia quarterback began when Adam Bednarik was injured in the Louisville game of White’s freshman year, opening the door for him to come on and lead one of the greatest comebacks in school history.

    August 1, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Lingering injury keeps Barber out as season begins

    He was off on the sidelines on the first day of practice, where he’ll be for quite a while now, wearing the red jersey that signifies a player is unable to practice due to injury.

    August 1, 2014

  • Post 17 makes short work of Wheeling to advance to nightcap

    Post 17 Fairmont scattered 16 hits and plated double-digit runs in a 10-2 rout of Post 1 Wheeling Friday afternoon at Hawley Field.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU #6 SHORTS -TS.jpg WVU opens practice with different feel: VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.
    Of course, he would note, “Everybody in the country has a good first day.”
    But somehow, this was different.
    Very different.

    August 1, 2014 9 Photos

  • Post 17 #18-Post 29 catche copy.jpg Post 17 picks up much-needed win over Elkins

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Field in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.
    While it’s usually hitting that gets Fairmont by, Thursday it was the pitching and the defense.

    August 1, 2014 5 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia University quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld what should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU basketball non-conference schedule released

    After playing challenging schedules along with the tough Big 12 road, West Virginia University has backed off some this season on its non-conference schedule that was released Thursday.
    West Virginia is coming off a 17-16 season in which it failed to reach the NCAA Tournament and lost to Georgetown in the first round of the NIT.

    August 1, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings