By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
A year ago this week, West Virginia played its first Big 12 Conference home game and gained national attention with a mind-numbing 70-63 victory over Baylor. 365 days and 180 degrees later and the Mountaineers find themselves at a loss when it comes to scoring.
"Offensively we are as inept as we can possibly be in college football and I accept the responsibility for that," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “There is plenty of blame to go around. The one who can be blamed more than anybody is me. I’ve got to do a better job of coaching ‘em.
“It’s gonna be a challenge. If I do a better job, the other guys will do a better job.”
Since beating the Bears in last season’s track meet, the Mountaineers are 5-8. They dropped to 2-2 on the season following Saturday’s 37-0 loss to Maryland. West Virginia was shut out for the first time since a 35-0 loss to Virginia Tech in 2001 and it failed to gain at least 200 yards in total offense for the first time since 2010.
In his second career start, redshirt freshman Ford Childress had just 62 yards passing on 22 attempts. He’s the third QB to play for West Virginia this season and Holgorsen has made his choice.
"We made a decision he's going to be our guy, and he's going to be our guy," he said. "He's going to continue to get better and better. He's a redshirt freshman who'd played one game. He's not very experienced; he's not very seasoned. That's not an excuse. He needs to step up, man up and get better.
"The people around him need to step up and do the same. A lot of the guys around him are a lot more experienced than him and they're not doing a very good job right now and that needs to change, including me."
West Virginia hopes to get its offense untracked when Oklahoma State visits Morgantown Saturday.
Making The Right Choice
Kansas was faced with a 52-yard field goal to win Saturday’s game with Louisiana Tech. Walk on Matt Wyman, who had missed from 28 yards earlier and then made a 39 yarder, drilled it to end the Jayhawks’ 22-game losing streak to FBS teams.
KU coach Charlie Weis considered allowing Trevor Pardula, the team’s punter and kickoff specialist, to attempt the kick.
“I could have turned him into a rock star,” Weis said of Pardula, who averaged 57.6 yards on his five punts Saturday. “Trevor’s got a 55 to 60-yard range, I just don’t know if it’s gonna be 10 yards to the left, 10 to the right or down the middle. I’m glad we stuck with Wyman for that last kick.
“Matt has been very consistent from that range. He’s made 80 percent from that range. That (winning kick) probably would have made it by three to four yards.”
Berry On The Bears
Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com talked to Louisiana Monroe coach Todd Berry Sunday morning. His team was overwhelmed by Baylor, 70-7, Saturday.
"I don't think we're that bad," Berry said. "We just couldn't keep up with their speed, and we've got some fast guys. We have a corner who ran a 10.5 100 (meter) in high school and he had an angle on (Lache) Seastrunk, and Seastrunk just ran away from him.
"It's a very unique scheme they have. Art (Briles) keeps re-inventing the wheel there. Their wide receivers are (lined up) wider this year. They'll put three wide receivers out by the numbers on the field side, and even if you try and go three-on-three, you've lost a support player (for the run game) and they really put you in a bind because they have this huge O-line with really tight splits and all their runs tend to be big 'bounce' runs where you get bunched in the middle and they have so much speed now to bounce outside.
“So, you end up overloading outside to try and deal with all the bubble screens, and then they run by you and throw it over the top or they hand it off to Seastrunk and he runs for 60. Plus, they go so fast and everything is off play-action, your linebackers and safeties are always in a quandary.
"They just stress you so much schematically. They are for real. I am going to be very curious to watch the rest of the season to see how people try and defend them."
* Texas will be without junior linebacker Jordan Hicks after he ruptured his left Achilles tendon in Saturday’s game. Hicks missed all but three games last season with a hip injury. “Last year we didn’t respond very well,” Texas coach Mack Brown said Monday. “(Hicks) was our leading tackle, a tremendous player and an even better leader. Injuries are part of the game and somebody will have to step up.”
* Kansas punter Trevor Pardula was selected as the Ray Guy Award player of the week. KU kicker Matthew Wyman and Texas Tech kicker Ryan Bustin were two of three Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award “Stars of the Week.” Wyman’s 52-yard field goal gave the Jayhawks a 13-10 victory over Louisiana Tech while Bustin tied a school record with four field goals in the Red Raiders’ victory over Texas State.
* Iowa State will play at Tulsa Thursday night seeking its first victory of the season. The offensive line will get a boost with the return of junior center Tom Farniok. He missed the Cyclones’ loss to Iowa after suffering an MCL injury in the season opener.
Kansas coach Charlie Weis, whose team next plays on Oct. 5 against Texas Tech, on practice plans:
“We’re gonna beat the hell out of each Tuesday. We need to become a tougher team and the off week is a good time to do that. We have to continue getting better at the line of scrimmage.”
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, asked about what he observed Saturday with his team having the day off:
“I think that there’s parity in the game and it’s going to continue to develop. It’s great for college football, it’s great for the fans. It’s not great for the coaches.”
TCU coach Gary Patterson on senior running back Waymon James, who missed most of last season with a knee injury:
“The off week has really helped him. He was a little hesitate about his knee. We’ve talked to him about you only get once chance at your senior year. He’s had two great weeks of practice so I think we’re going to see a higher level player out of Waymon James in the next coming weeks.”
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was asked to assess the play of his team’s offensive and defensive lines:
“Probably in one word: Inconsistent.”
Iowa State plays Tulsa Thursday; the teams will meet for the third time in less than a year and Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads on the advantages/disadvantages of familiarity:
“You know more about a team and you know more about a team. You can be too familiar and then outsmart yourself, think you know the other team too well. But you know the personnel and tendencies. There’s a good and bad to it.”