Saturday’s loss on the gridiron was multidimensional.
A loss any Saturday stings, but losing at home on Senior Day and losing your starting quarterback for at least next weekend’s season finale, if not the bowl game as well, adds on to the bad feeling.
Regardless, the show must go on.
In the meantime, here’s how the team graded out Saturday.
Offense – C-
Obviously the offense was put in a tough spot after Will Grier went out with the gruesome finger injury that now requires surgery.
Backup quarterback Chris Chugunov was thrust into a situation that no one could’ve expected.
However, the offense wasn’t looking great prior to the injury. The Mountaineers were forced to punt on each of their first two possessions. A 15-yard penalty against the Longhorns and a 34-yard play down the sideline to David Sills V flipped the field and set up WVU in scoring position.
It took too many plays, though, which coaches talked about after the game. That’s what forced Grier to run to the outside on the play he got hurt on.
The offense still struggled to score after Chugunov got his feet underneath him, only putting up seven points.
I give the unit a bit of a pass given the circumstance, but the fact of the matter is that the offense isn’t consistent or operating smoothly – both in play calling and in on-field production.
Defense – C-
For the fourth time this season, the Mountaineers gave up 200 yards rushing. It wasn’t just one Texas player that was having success, there were multiple.
Running backs Daniel Young and Kyle Porter, as well as quarterback Sam Ehlinger, all averaged over seven yards per carry.
Tackling continues to be sub-par.
Pass defense wasn’t bad, but it was clear Texas’ game plan was to beat WVU on the ground, and it did.
One touchdown the defense surrendered can be blamed on the offense for fumbling inside its own 10-yard line. But giving up 28 points to a Texas team that hasn’t been especially strong, and doing so while allowing a bad running team to look like a good running team is concerning.
Special Teams – B
You wondered what kind of game it was going to be for Billy Kinney when his second punt went off the side of his foot and just traveled 22 yards.
He was fine other than that, for the most part.
WVU also didn’t allow a single kick return, and minimized the punt return yardage, as well.
Over the past few weeks, special teams has been the most consistent unit on the team.
Linemen – D
The guys up front didn’t have their best game.
Chugunov seemed to be under constant pressure once he entered the game, and Grier was feeling some pressure from the Texas defense early on, as well.
On the other side, the Longhorn offensive line was opening up big holes for its backs to get through.
The D-Line didn’t get much pressure, and the O-Line was giving up pressure.
Overall – C-
Like mentioned earlier, the team as a whole was put in a tough spot when Grier went down. That can’t be overlooked.
With that said though, Saturday wasn’t one of the Mountaineers better on the year.