WVU Delivers A Disaster

Here we go again. No. 11 West Virginia came into its game with Syracuse with a 5-1 record and the lofty status of the Big East Conference's best team. It was the same exact situation as a year ago.

The Orange is getting to be the new thorn in the Mountaineers' side.

On Friday night in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse won its second straight game against West Virginia with a 49-23 upset.

It wasn't close.

In fact, just as the score shows, the Mountaineers were dominated and the second-largest crowd in Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone's tenure was dancing in its seats at such a dominating performance.

Now, it's back to the drawing board for West Virginia with another upstart team Rutgers ready to pounce.

This one will be hard to get over … even harder, perhaps, than the loss to then-No. 2 LSU earlier in the year.

First-year head coach Dana Holgorsen has talked in the past about winning all three sides of the ball. On Friday night, the Mountaineers were absolutely pulverized in each facet.

It was ugly.

So ugly that chants of "OVERRATED!" blared through the Carrier Dome and into speakers across the nation with less than five minutes to play.

WVU failed to meet expectations this year. There's no reason why it should've lost another game after LSU.

WVU failed on defense Friday.

The WVU defense had its worst performance since the 2006 loss at Louisville. It looked completely outmatched. Coordinator Jeff Casteel's group let so many pass catchers – most commonly tight ends – run free and score touchdowns. It seemed as if the staff had no answer for what was the 99th-best offensive attack of Syracuse heading into the game.

Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib absolutely schooled the Mountaineers with four touchdowns – the most he's had against a Big East opponent in his career. WVU failed on special teams, too.

Special teams was again a disappointment, as WVU can't find a cohesive and successful 11-man crew to play on kickoff coverage.

It hurt in the second half against LSU when West Virginia was making a comeback and within one score.

In the second quarter, when the Mountaineers cut the lead to five, WVU special teams allowed Syracuse to score on a 98-yard kickoff return. Later in the game, the Orange had another solid kickoff return that started off another scoring drive. WVU failed on offense, too, even if it wasn't so bad as the other sides of the ball.

Quarterback Geno Smith threw two interceptions – both just awful decisions – to the aggressive Syracuse defense. The Mountaineers were unable to keep the Orange defenders away from Smith, who looked rattled and out of it for much of the game.

In the end, West Virginia proved it wasn't the 15th-best team in the country. No, in reality, the Mountaineers shouldn't be in the top 25 if they continue to play like this.

If WVU goes down like it did last year after this point, get ready to watch another underachieving WVU team under a new coach.


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