WVU’s Donahue Already At Work To Mend Approach
AMES, Iowa — West Virginia defensive lineman Reese Donahue was unflinching in his assessment of his team’s play in the 30-14 loss to Iowa State on Saturday. But is was his statement on what comes next — indeed, what was playing out right at the moment as the team prepared to board its flight back to Morgantown, that might be the most telling.
“I just told a couple guys ‘Depending on what we do this very second, not when we get back tomorrow, not on Monday or Tuesday, but right now, is going to tell us what kind of a season we are going to have,'” a direct Donahue said as the beatdown sunk in.
Without question, Donahue and others, like wide receiver David Sills, sensed the importance of the last few minutes of the game and West Virginia’s response to the loss. That will, without question, be critical. Some WVU players clearly didn’t take it well, which one would expect, but there were signs of immaturity too.
“We can be a 5-5 team if we keep our heads down,” Donahue said. “But if you keep your head up and are hungry to get back to work and don’t let your teammates down, those are the teams that handle adversity well. When you handle adversity well, good things happen.”
That, then is the crossroads West Virginia finds itself at. That might seem to be an overreaction, but the Mountaineers are a team that looked puzzled and confused. Its offense, once a strength, was abysmal against the Cyclone, totaling 152 yards — a figure it often reached in a quarter. It’s defense, while playing with heart and grit, is riddled with injuries, and simply wore down over the course of the game.
“Most of the time it doesn’t bother us, and I feel like it shouldn’t have bothered us today,” Donahue said of the continuous personnel shuffle on defense. “Our scheme doesn’t change depending on who is in. We did get a little thin, but as a whole, we didn’t execute a team, and that is exactly why we are here.”
In a place, he might have added, that he hopes to begin dragging the team out of.