Football Notebook: West Virginia Mountaineers – Baylor Bears

West Virginia quarterback Garrett Greene (right) talks with fellow QB Jarret Doege (2) after an interception

WACO, Texas – It’s time.

West Virginia’s meltdown against Baylor could trigger a number of changes, or at least a thorough review, of the entire Mountaineer football program during its open date week, but there’s one change that needs to be made. Garrett Greene should get the start against TCU, and should get to play the entire game, barring an epic collapse of the sort that most of the team suffered against the Bears, to see what he can do.

This course of action is not made lightly. Quarterbacks get more of the credit and more of the blame for wins and losses than anyone other than the head coach, and calls for replacement are as common as advertisements for betting services. This also shouldn’t be seen as an indictment of what Jarret Doege has done, or hasn’t done, in his time as the starter. WVU head coach Neal Brown is correct in noting that Doege has done a number of good things, and that West Virginia has many more problems than some off-target passes.

“We’ve got a lot of issues to fix,” he stated simply and truthfully after the Baylor debacle.

Sometimes, though, a change is needed just to proide a spark, to shake things up. There’s no guarantee that giving Greene a full-blown chance will produce that, but it’s also undeniable that when he’s in the game, and especially when he’s running the ball, there a bit more zip, a bit more electricity in the Mountaineer attack.

Again, there’s no guarantee of success with this move. It might make West Virginia’s offense even more one-dimensional. And it is definitely not a panacea for all that ails the Mountaineers. But after six weeks of limited offensive success, it may be one of the few moves left to make. And if, as Brown also said, “Everything is on the table,” then personnel changes, even at this most critical of positions, have to be considered.

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Lack of effort was noticeable on a number of snaps for WVU in Waco, particularly in the open field where the view is uncrowded. Some defenders gave up on pursuit or were noticeably slower on some snaps. Wide receivers weren’t paragons either, as three or four half-hearted attempts at catches stood out. If, as Dante Stills, Winston Wright and Sam James said after the game, that the players will have to rededicate themselves through practice and hard work during the next 12 days before the TCU game, it’s fair to wonder if that message is being received, and more importantly, taken to heart, but the majority of team members.

* * * * * *

West Virginia’s offensive line performance has at best flatlined, and at worst deteriorated some, over the past couple of games. Some of that can be attributed to execution, but against Baylor communication seemed to be lacking. On multiple snaps, WVU would have more than one pass protector on one Bear, while another had an open path into the backfield.

Of course, there are times when double teams are assigned, or a lineman without a rusher over him can move to assist elsewhere. That wasn’t the case on a number of these plays, though, and as a result, the Bears picked up six sacks on the afternoon. It wasn’t all on the offensive line either – a couple of missed assignments/pickups by running backs also contributed.

All of this played into the lack of consistency that reached a peak on the sunny hot, afternoon.

“I don’t know if there was a time we blocked them for two plays in a row,” Brown noted.

That obviously makes it difficult to string plays together for lengthy drives, which is about the only way the Mountaineers have managed to score this year.

* * * * * *

WVU also continued to show a lack of mental discipline in the game, and it went way beyond another first down timeout when the team was starting a drive. Brown clearly was blaming officials for starting the play clock early on this one, so we’ll leave that for The Film Room, but a number of other errors were apparent.

Chief among those were continued illegal procedure and offside calls, which, while only five yards apiece, often served as important sequences in extending Baylor drives or putting the Mountaineers behind the chains.

Even more embarrassing? WVU set up its punt protection shield on one play some 2-3 yards off-line, forcing punter Tyler Sumpter to wave them over into their correct position. Those sorts of plays aren’t devastating in the long run, but they do show where concentration and mental discipline reside at the moment, and it’s not in a good place.

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    WACO, Texas — It’s time. West Virginia’s meltdown against Baylor could trigger a number of changes, or at least a thorough review, of the entire Moun
    [See the full post at: Football Notebook: West Virginia Mountaineers – Baylor Bears]


    I was completely flabbergasted by what appeared to be a lack of effort, especially in the secondary.  Also multiple plays where WV appeared misaligned leaving not enough defenders to cover receivers


    The issues that you point out are indictive of something being amiss in the locker room, Kevin.  Their heads aren’t right.  The talent level of these guys is better than what is being displayed on the field.  And the kind of apathy and sporadic mental lapses in their play just reinforces that something is fracturing this team.


    I couldn’t agree more that Greene needs to start.  He’s going to make mistakes, but he shouldn’t be pulled when he does.  He’s done well the few times he’s been in the game.  Let him play a full game and see what happens.  Things can’t get much worse for the offense.  WVU is obviously not going to a bowl game this year so why not play Greene?  Get him ready for next year.

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Home Page forums Football Notebook: West Virginia Mountaineers – Baylor Bears

Home Page forums Football Notebook: West Virginia Mountaineers – Baylor Bears