West Virginia head coach Neal Brown says the Mountaineers used their bye week to reset, self-scout and focus on solutions to their issues. We’ll see if they found any answers when they open the second half of their season in Fort Worth against TCU.
Starting with the offense, the Mountaineers must find more consistency, they rank at or near the bottom in several offensive categories in the Big 12. They are eighth in total offense only ahead of Kansas State and Kansas. In terms of rushing, the Mountaineers are last in the conference. They are third in the conference in passing offense, so could we see even more of an emphasis to throw the ball and have Leddie Brown more involved in the passing game? Through the first six games he has caught just 17 passes, and increasing that number would help get the ball in the hands of one of the Mountaineers’ best players more often.
One good note for the Mountaineers — TCU is ninth in the Big 12 in defending the run, allowing 210 yards per game.
The biggest key to improving the run game comes up front with the offensive line. Not only are the Mountaineers last in rushing, but WVU quarterbacks have been sacked more than any other in the Big 12 — 16 times in six games.
Another good point for the WVU offensive line: TCU has only sacked their opponent’s quarterback eight time this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Mountaineers have done well against the run, but the passing defense is struggling, sitting currently ninth in the conference. The last time out against Baylor, that led to some wide open receivers, long touchdowns and four Baylor scores through the air. The struggles in the defensive backfield are highlighted even more when you realize WVU has just two interceptions for the year, which ties them for last in the conference with Kansas.
You can’t reinvent everything in one week, but let’s hope the Mountaineers self-scout and focus on solutions to help correct some of these issues in the second half of the year.