This middle part of the week is typically about the time where DVN highlights three MVPs from the Mountaineers’ offensive unit. Even in a ‘bad’ showing leading up to the Iowa State game, West Virginia generated enough firepower and highlights where at least three players emerged above the fold and were worthy of special consideration for their performance that week.
As much as I hate to say it, there just weren’t enough positives to draw from Saturday’s upset loss to the Cyclones to hand out any helmet stickers. Yes, it really was that bad. So bad, in fact, that I would almost be in favor to ban the all-white “storm trooper” look for the foreseeable future.
This prolific, high-powered aerial attack that looked indomitable through five weeks of action faltered and faltered historically on Saturday as Will Grier and group totaled a paltry 152 yards of offense. By comparison, Iowa State was able to post 498 yards on a top-25 West Virginia defense.
Your lone statistical highlight: Punter Billy Kinney lined up 8 times and totaled 332 yards. A banner day for the senior.
Trust me: I’ve re-watched the game and looked hard for something — anything — to look favorably on, but it’s just not there. Grier was unable to get anything going, thanks in part to the offensive line being unable to effectively wall off the pocket, and was forced to try and extend numerous plays beyond their natural lifespand. A runningback corps hampered by injuries relied on the duo of Martell Pettaway and Kennedy McKoy; the pair combined 17 carries, were only able to manage 85 yards and no touchdowns.
David Sills V, Gary Jennings and the rest of West Virginia’s touted receiving corps? 72 yards and one touchdown on the day.
First and second down were both bad. Third and long, which was pretty much what West Virginia faced all night, was downright dreadful. Whatever magic the Mountaineers were routinely able to conjure up through five weeks turned to ash in Ames this past Saturday.
If ever a bye week came at the perfect time for a team in need of recalibration, it’s this Week 8 break for the Mountaineers.
Hopefully, after a week to retool and reorient themselves, West Virginia can come out firing on all cylinders next Thursday against a rebuilding Baylor Bears team. Until then, I’ll hold onto these offensive MVP awards in the hopes that Grier, Sills and Co. right the ship and return to form.