WVU’s Donahue: “I Take 100% Of The Responsibility”
STILLWATER, Okla. — West Virginia defensive lineman Reese Donahue pulls no punches. That’s why he’s a go-to guy for post game comments. Following WVU’s soul-sucking 45-41 loss to Oklahoma State, he was direct in his assessment of the defense’s performance.
“It’s really frustrating,” he said of his unit’s inability to stop the Cowboys in the second half. “I 100% take responsibility for everything that happened today. Forty-one points should be well enough to win the game. That’s 100% the defense’s fault. The offense might try to take some of the blame, but in reality, it’s our job to stop them We didn’t do that today.”
Donahue is the ultimate “thumb-pointer” — a player who isn’t about blaming the other guy, but rather taking criticism on his own shoulders. That’s one of the definitions of a leader, and he’s to be commended for it.
Certainly, the defense had a bad second half. That follwoed a first 30 minutes that was pretty good, though, as it yielded only 14 points to the high-powered OSU offense. It collapsed in the second half, though, as the Cowboys went to a four-wide receiver set that opened up some gaps in West Virginia’s run defense. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius took full advantage, mixing scrambles off pass plays and designed QB runs to rack up 86 rushing yards after halftime. Sixty-seven of those came on the Cowboys’ final two possessions, both of which ended in touchdowns.
“I don’t think they made an adjustment [in their run game] ,” Donahue said. “I think they just told the quarterback to read, and a lot of their stuff comes from the option [game] . We knew what he could do, and we know what kind of player he is. We knew he could hurt us with his legs. It just comes down to execution, and we didn’t execute well.”
Despite Donahue’s statements, the fault wasn’t entirely on his squad. West Virginia’s offense scored just ten points in the second half, and combined with some questionable tactical decisions, that was enough to allow the Cowboys to get back into the game.
Donahue also noted that another strength of this year’s team — the synergy between units — was absent.
“I think it was a lot of us not feeding off of each other. When the offense is going down and scoring the defense should be excited to get stops.”