Just Couldn't Finish

Over the course of the past month or so, it's become a disturbing trend for the West Virginia football team.

For the fourth game in a row, the Mountaineers had a lead in the second half of a game.

Things seemed to be going well. Even though there were always a few bumps in the road along the way, which seems to consistently be the case with a West Virginia team that still hasn't been able to totally figure out what it is yet.

But for the most part, especially for the first few quarters or so, WVU does enough to make you think that it has what it takes to make enough plays and do enough things well in order to win the game.

Then the floor falls out from underneath them.

Over these last four games, it's happened - for the most part - at similar times in each contest. Somewhere in the third quarter, the opposing teams makes a couple big plays, momentum begins to swing and the Mountaineers aren't able to hold on.

Of course, last week's game against TCU was different. Even when the Horned Frogs made their comeback, West Virginia was able to hold them off and come away victorious.

But even then, WVU had times when you thought that a better team would take advantage of its mistakes. TCU wasn't that team. But Texas was.

Even with Paul Millard struggling to find himself in the first half, West Virginia's defense came to play. Keith Patterson's unit was playing inspired football early on, holding Texas time and time again.

At one point, early in the third quarter, Texas started three drives in its red zone - twice beginning a drive inside WVU's 10-yard line - but the Mountaineer defense stood strong and held the Longhorns to a field goal all three times.

The Longhorns were 1-of-9 on third down in the first half, and failed to convert on their first two tries in the second half. From there, Texas went 9 for its last 12 attempts on third down, and converted a huge fourth down on its final drive of regulation that ended in Anthony Fera's fourth field goal to send the game into overtime.

It's become the story of the season for the Mountaineers.

They come so close, look so good at times, but they can't finish it.

The players and coaches continue to say that they're so close to becoming a good team. Honestly, they might be true.

But the fact is, with what they have and the talent level on this team, right now that's all they're going to be.

West Virginia will likely finish .500, considering they get the Big 12's worst teams back-to-back to close out the season. But they aren't much better than that. Right now, they're a team that's close to being good.

But getting close doesn't win games if you can't finish.

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