Becoming more disciplined — that’s something the Mountaineers have to do to have success going forward. In their loss to Oklahoma State they were penalized 12 times for 106 yards. So far through two games they have been penalized 20 times for 191 yards. You can’t do that in the Big 12 and expect to win, so a renewed focus is a must for West Virginia this weekend.
“Where we’re at right now as a program, we cannot beat ourselves, whether that’s turnovers, missed assignments, or penalties,” said Neal Brown after the loss.
WVU struggled on third down against Oklahoma State, finishing just 6 for 17. In their win over Kansas, the Baylor defense held the Jayhawks to just 4 for 14 on third down. WVU was just 3 of 17 on third down in their close loss in Waco a year ago.
The WVU defense must do a better job stopping the run. Against Oklahoma State the Cowboys ran for 203 yards, averaging 5.1 yards a carry. The Bears also had success on the ground a week ago rushing for 203 yards and three scores. If they want to get back on the winning track, the Mountaineers need to see improvement on the defensive line.
West Virginia has to find a way to not give up the big play, like they did last week on LD Brown’s 66 yard touchdown run and a 56 yard scoop and score by the Cowboys defense.
WVU has to be able to protect Jarrett Doege. In the loss to Oklahoma State he was sacked 5 times, while the Bears were able to get to the Kansas quarterback four times.
The Mountaineers have to be able to establish the run game and stick with it, as a team WVU finished with only 68 yards rushing last week due mostly to the sacks they gave up. Leddie Brown did have success with 104 yards on 26 attempts for an average of 4 yards a carry. Better offensive line play will help both of those situations.
The Mountaineers must be better on special teams, especially after a dropped snap cost them a shot at a field goal against the Cowboys. Baylor, meanwhile, returned a pair of Kansas kicks for touchdowns.
A better focus and attention to detail is imperative for the Mountaineers this week and through out the rest of the season.