OSU Now Gets The Struggling Mountaineers

It's probably a good thing that Oklahoma State can move into conference play. It's also good for the entire Big 12 to begin playing each other because the outside competition portion is not enhancing the Big 12's street cred. The conference has really no marquee wins with the Cowboys victory over Mississippi State leading the way. The league has some ugly losses including a pair to FCS squads.

The Cowboys will make their first trip to Morgantown, W.V., on Saturday to visit old friend and former offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen. The OSU-West Virginia game comes on the heels of the low point in Holgorsen's head coach career.

The 11 a.m. kickoff (Central time) will take place on ESPN.

Now one of the ugliest wins at least by style points, or lack of, is West Virginia's 37-0 loss to Maryland on Saturday. It featured some very disturbing numbers for the Mountaineers.

Holgorsen showed his typical brutal honesty in describing his team's performance or, again, lack of.

"Offensively we are as inept as we can possibly be in college football, and I accept the responsibility for that," said Holgorsen. "Give Maryland all the credit obviously. They whipped us on all three sides of the ball."

Last season, West Virginia, despite finishing 7-6, set a total offense record for the school averaging 502 yards of offense a game (171.8 rushing and 330.2 passing). On Saturday at Ravens Stadium in Baltimore against Maryland, the Mountaineers finished with 175 yards of offense (113 rushing and a paltry 62 passing).

Holgorsen didn't totally blame red shirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress, who finished 11-of-22 for 62 yards with two interceptions. Holgorsen explained the offensive line performance was the worst that he'd seen in college football and the receivers were bad as well. The Mountaineers had just six first downs.

"I told (the players) that they need to look in the mirror and that's what I'm going to do," said Holgorsen. "Obviously what I'm doing offensively is not working so we will do whatever we've got to do to fix it and we need everyone in that room to do the same thing - coaches and players."

They did run for 113 yards, not good, but better than the passing offense. Dreamius Smith had 12 carries for 74 yards and Charles Sims finished with 35 yards on eight carries. However, that wasn't comforting to Holgorsen as again the offensive line came in for its share of blame.

"We've committed a lot of practice time and a lot of schemes to running the football and when they have five in the box and we can't get a yard it's going to cause a problem," said Holgoren. "When you can't block it's tough. We put these guys into position to be able to block and we didn't."

Special teams were not good. It was a blunder there that started a boring game initially going the wrong way. A fumbled punt return early by Ronald Carswell set Maryland up with a very short field for the first score. The next offensive series ended with a pick six for a score and momentum was established and it was downhill from there. The defense only allowed 330 total yards (113 rushing and 217 passing).

"We're far from a suffocating defense but I do think we competed defensively," said Holgorsen almost sarcastically.

The early bad momentum and the total of six turnovers insured the game came out looking about as bad as it can for a team. Now Oklahoma State gets the Mountaineers as they try to find something to hang their hat on and climb out from the hole they dug very deep on Saturday in Baltimore and aided in the nonconference embarrassment for the Big 12.

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