The Mountaineers actually had Texas right where they wanted them. West Virginia had the ball down by four, unfortunately they couldn’t cash in and lost the ball on an Austin Kendall interception that also gave Texas the ball in the Mountaineer red zone. At the end of the day Kendall threw four picks, and despite losing by eleven for three quarters this game was back and fourth.
Neal Brown said what he could to try and take some of the blame off of Kendall, but the stats are the stats. Despite looking better in the pocket and on his quick throws, that four next to the INT in the stat sheet sticks out. The Mountaineers were in position to win this game, the picks held them back.
The first 20 minutes were dominated by West Virginia. The Mountaineers struck on a deep ball touchdown on their first drive where Sam James made an incredible catch. The Mountaineer defense looked ready to play from the start and despite allowing a few third down conversions they held Texas off the board. It was an Austin Kendall interception that led to the first Longhorns TD. The offense didn’t get any points their next few drives but moved the ball pretty well. The defense was making plays left and right. In the first drive after the first quarter WVU scored another touchdown on a Austin Kendall keeper that the Longhorn defense still hasn’t picked up.
West Virginia led 14-7 after a strong start, but were down 21-14 heading into the half. A few missed field goals kept West Virginia off the scoreboard late in the second quarter but all in all it was a impressive first half.
The third quarter was a lot of punting but West Virginia got a field goal back sandwiched in between a few more Kendall picks. Heading into the final quarter, the Mountaineers were only down by four. West Virginia actually had the ball with a chance to take a lead but Kendall threw a huge pick that led to a Texas TD. From that point on, the Longhorns never looked back. West Virginia played hard and didn’t deserve to loose by eleven, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, a loss is a loss.
Things To Work On
Quarterback: Wether Kendall was at fault for the turnovers or not, it happened. The roster, outside of the QB position, played well enough to win today. All the fans saying Kendall should be replaced, if the Mountaineers had a better option than him, trust me they would be starting that person.
3rd Down Play-call: I think Neal Brown is great, he’s called some great games this year, including this one, but the Mountaineers need to extend drives. Today they went four for 14 on third down. It’s an issue that is most likely the fault to the lack of talent on the roster but it needs to be better.
Give The Mountaineers Time: The Mountaineers are young, really young. Almost all of the receivers and a solid handful of the defensive players getting time are underclassmen. Young teams loose games like this. Neal Brown is doing a great job and has passed his first five game test with flying colors. Win the recruiting ground and this team could be a conference contender as soon as next year.
The Mountaineers Defense Looked Great: Yes, they gave up 42 points, but I actually thought the Mountaineers defense played great. Besides struggling to get off of the field early, the Mountaineers were plagued with Texas having great starting field position. The Longhorns three fourth quarter TD drives started inside the Mountaineers territory. The Longhorns first TD also came with a drive starting in Mountaineer territory, the defense was put in tough spots. When the Longhorns were looking at a full field they couldn’t get much of anything going.