West Virginia dropped its third consecutive game to start Big 12 play, now looks to off week

WACO, Texas – West Virginia’s defensive struggles were tied as much to Baylor’s talent as it was basic breakdowns and the somewhat surprising rushing of quarterback Seth Russell.

While coordinator Tony Gibson has detailed the strengths of the Bears, namely the ability to spread sideline to sideline looking for match-ups, and the absurd stockpile of talent at receiver, as well as in the backfield and along a senior-laden line, what surprised was the ability of Russell to showcase athleticism in the run game. The junior also mixed in power, made several open field moves and never made a bad read on a play, according to Gibson. Above, linebacker Jared Barber, himself a savvy vet, speaks to Russell’s running ability and the other difficulties he presents.

Fellow ‘backer Nick Kwiatkoski, below, notes how the Bears were able to avoid pressure by getting the ball out quickly, how the blitz was largely negated by such, their tactic of exploiting perimeter match-ups and breaking tackles, and the pocket agility of Russell. Kwiatkoski also talks about the mental challenges of facing Baylor's tempo, and the run-pass pressures from the read option.

 

And finally, safety Jarrod Harper, who was among the first of West Virginia's secondary reserves to be forced to play – Ricky Rumph also saw time – details getting  the call and getting lined up in matching BU’s pace, his mistakes in the game, the main takeaways in terms of confidence, and the stretch of good against bad plays. Harper also discusses the season left to come and the focus entering the open week.


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