How much does West Virginia miss RichRod now? After years of having an explosive offense and consistently finishing the season in the top 10, the Mountaineers find themselves 1-2 in the Bill Stewart era, with a win over Villanova and losses to East Carolina and Colorado.
Tonight, the Mountaineers had the momentum most of the second half, but couldn't capitalize. Late in the game, the WVU sideline looked confused and didn't call timeouts to allow themselves to get into field goal range. However, the problems run much deeper. The loss of Schmitt has resulted in a total inability to run up the middle, especially in short yardage situations. WVU might not have converted a single 3rd and 1 up the middle, against an undistinguished Colorado defensive line. On 4th and an inch (literally one inch), one Buffalo DT stuffed the WVU guard and center, and Pat White lost half a yard.
Colorado played well early with the wind, going up 14-0 quickly, but the offense faded and never impressed thereafter. In spite of their defense looking slow at times compared to Devine and White, the Buffaloes did quite a good job of containing the explosive offense and really only allowed one big play all game.
The biggest question for the Mountaineers may be the passing game, which was supposed to be featured this year and take advantage of Pat White's "skill" throwing the ball. WVU had -5 yards passing at halftime, and the Mountaineers looked completely incompetent passing. White was lucky a Buffalo dropped an easy pick-6 in the 2nd quarter. Again, the Colorado defense is not an SEC defense or a top Big12 defense. The Mountaineers clearly miss RichRod and will be in bad shape against the better teams of the Big East (USF and... USF?). Can the Mountaineer AD already be regretting his long-term commitment to Stewart? I would be.