West Virginia football notebook: Players have letdown vs. Texas Tech
College Football Videos
LUBBOCK, Texas — Even before West Virginia took the field against Texas Tech, something didn't feel right.
Emotion, for one. The Mountaineers didn't play with their normal intensity in Saturday's 49-14 blowout loss.
“We needed to bring our own energy, and we didn't from start to finish,” said freshman Isaiah Bruce, who suffered a hip injury in the game. “That's just something we have to improve on is keeping our energy, especially when we're on the road.”
West Virginia was playing its second consecutive road game. A week after defeating Texas in Austin, the Mountaineers fell flat in Lubbock.
They paid the price in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, dropping 12 spots to No. 17 this week. The Mountaineers opened at No. 13 in the first BCS rankings.
“Any time you play — and we only have (13) opportunities to play — and leave the game and say they played harder than us is something that's very disturbing to me,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said.
“They were flat going in, which was amazing,” West Virginia defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said.
To a man, the players said practices leading to the game were among their best of the season.
What the coaching staff was unable to do was psyche up the players.
“When it goes bad, you can't have a bad demeanor,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. “In the first half we were getting down. I felt our energy was a little better in the second half, but we never got over the hump.”
The Mountaineers said they will apply lessons learned from the loss to future games. But they weren't quite ready to let go of the one that got away.
“Coach Holgorsen told us things happen,” receiver J.D. Woods said. “His main point to us was to overcome adversity and create our own energy. Just keep our heads up. We overcame a lot last year. It's a long season.”
Injuries are beginning to add up for the Mountaineers.
Senior running back Shawne Alston and junior defensive tackle Will Clarke didn't play, while junior receiver Stedman Bailey, senior guard Jeff Braun and Bruce suffered injuries during the game. Their status for Saturday's game against Kansas State is unknown.
“I'm never going to use that as an excuse,” Holgorsen said. “It's the nature of college football. Guys go down. People have to step up.”
Two freshmen made their first career starts.
Eric Kinsey started for Clarke at defensive tackle and did not record a tackle. Dante Campbell started at inside receiver. He had one reception for 9 yards.
“Everybody plays true freshmen. I think we're up to about 13,” Holgorsen said.
Other freshmen making contributions against Texas Tech included receiver Jordan Thompson, who finished with a career-best 27 yards receiving and had a career-high 15-yard reception.
On defense, safety Karil Joseph recorded his first career interception in the first quarter and added a team-high nine tackles and one pass breakup.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WVU football assistant and former Penn State coach Bradley headed to UCLA
- WVU’s Gee a president with broad interest in sports
- Quarterback Sills highlight of West Virginia recruiting list
- Proposed change of college baseball season would benefit northern schools
- West Virginia assistant Bradley nears deal to join UCLA