The Times West Virginian

WVU 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
WVU Sports
  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos