As of this week, the good vibes stemming from the West Virginia University football team’s 27-21 double-overtime win over Baylor have faded and it’s back to the task at hand coming off a bye week for the Mountaineers.
That task is a tall one and unique one and it will begin on Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium as WVU (2-1 overall, 1-1 Big 12 Conference) welcomes in Kansas (0-3, 0-2) for a noon kickoff. The game will air on Fox.
“It’s really unique. We’re the only ones,” WVU coach Neal Brown said of a stretch of five games in five weeks that now lies squarely in front of his team, a span that no other team in the Big 12 will face this season.
While there were obviously positive takeaways from the Mountaineers’ conquest of Baylor, there were plenty of evident deficiencies as well, particularly on offense and, more specifically, in the passing game.
Brown pointed out on Tuesday that the struggles aren’t necessarily represented in the team’s statistics. After all, the Mountaineers are averaging 263.7 passing yards per game entering this weekend, good enough for 26th out of 76 teams nationally and fourth best among Big 12 schools. West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege is third among league throwers (241 yards per game) and fourth in completion percentage (66.3 percent).
Yet where the Mountaineers have yet to break through, at least on a consistent basis, is throwing the ball downfield and accounting for explosive plays. Doege’s average of seven yards per attempt is seventh in the Big 12 and 46th nationally.
Obviously, all of that doesn’t fall on the Mountaineer signal-caller. There have been protection issues. There has been inconsistent play at wideout. But the combination of it all was a focal point of the bye week, and with such