Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 8, 2013

Column: Fans disheartened with WVU football team

By MICKEY FURFARI
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

MORGANTOWN — Have you had enough of what growing numbers of fans consider questionable recruiting, coaching and totally unacceptable results in West Virginia University’s ailing football program?

Third-year head coach Dana Holgorsen’s 2013 team (3-3, 1-1 Big 12) reached several new lows, in my opinion, in last Saturday night’s embarrassing 73-42 beating by No. 17-ranked Baylor in Waco, Texas.

It looked like the Mountaineers lacked the preparation they needed “on all three sides of the ball,” as Holgorsen seems to like to say.

Baylor’s big, lightning-fast Bears’ offense bolted for a record 864 yards, the most by an opponent in WVU’s 122 years of football. In the process, that team scored touchdowns on 9 of its 10 first-half possessions.

BU led by 28-7 at first quarter’s end, 56-14 at halftime and 66-21 after three periods. Does anyone know of a similar modern-day domination by a WVU opponent?

Those 864 yards by Baylor were the most ever surrendered by any West Virginia football team in history.

What’s more, its 73 points rank as the second biggest yield by WVU. For the all-time record, you’ve got to go all the way back to 1904 when Michigan mauled WVU 130-0 in a blowout in Ann Arbor, Mich.

There’s an interesting local angle to that story: the late Fielding H. Yost was coaching the Wolverines then and he was a native of nearby Fairview.

In addition, Yost lettered as a tackle on the Mountaineer teams of 1895 and 1896.

Legend is that Yost was nicknamed “Hurry Up” Yost because of his highly productive, lightning-like and explosive offense.

In that connection, some folks are asking whatever happened to the great offense which admittedly was the reason Athletic Director Oliver Luck hired him three years ago.

It hasn’t been nearly so effective since last year’s 5-0 season’s start with its No. 5 national ranking. The sudden skid for a disheartening 7-6 finish followed in 2012.

Baylor appeared to be very comfortably in front with a 42-7 advantage within the first 23 minutes of the game. That had to be extremely impressive.

Art Briles, Baylor’s fifth-year head coach, reportedly pulled most of his starters at halftime. You could see he was substituting reserves throughout the second half.

Could that have been one reason the Mountaineers were able to tally 21 points in the fourth quarter?

Give those youngsters a heap of credit, though. They simply would not quit. They never really gave up!

To me, that was pretty much the major positive that came out of that contest for West Virginia. How do we know there won’t be similar situations during the second half of the season?

Keep in mind that Holgorsen’s program is 5-9 for the Mountaineers’ last 14 games, stretching back to 2012.

They have a bye week before resuming action here on Saturday, Oct. 19, against Texas Tech.