Cleat Geeks

What WVU needs to do to Win in Waco

The West Virginia Mountaineers travel to Waco, TX Saturday to take on a Baylor Bears team that is one of, if not the, hottest and fastest moving teams in the country, averaging 64.2 ppg. It will definitely be an uphill battle to knock off the second ranked Bears, but it can be done.WVUFootball&Helmet

The first thing that the Mountaineers absolutely must do is Take Care of the Ball. in the last two games, WVU has turned the ball over 9 times and has lost both games. If they can hold on to the ball, that’s just the first cog in getting a victory.

Baylor leads the nation in yards per game, averaging over, an eye popping, 700 ypg. They are 8th in the nation averaging 367.4 ypg passing the ball and 357.6 ypg on the ground, which is second in the nation behind Georgia Southern (who was held by this WVU defense to 195 yards on the ground). Stopping the run is a huge key, not only because the Bears are good at running, but also because the 3-3-5 Stack defense that the Mountaineers run is at it’s best when stopping the run. WVU leads the nation in passes intercepted. WVU’s defensive backs will probably play on an island for the majority of the game, which in my mind, is where the Mountaineers hold the biggest advantage.

For the Mountaineers to slow down an offense that is this prolific, they have to get off the field on third downs. WVU is 14th in the nation at getting teams off the field on third downs, while Baylor is 2nd in the nation at extending drives on third down.

Howard112914Lastly, there has been a lot of talk around the Mountain State that there should be a change at the quarterback spot. Does Skylar Howard need to improve his accuracy, Yes, but the Mountaineer’s young receivers have to make a better effort to go up and high point the ball. There were several times last week in the Oklahoma State game that WVU receivers had the opportunity to go up and take the ball away from defenders yet they waited for the basket catch. You can bet that receivers coach Lonnie Galloway addressed that problem this week.

This would be a monumental win on the road for WVU. Baylor has not played a defense (SMU 126th in total defense, Rice, 109th, Kansas 123rd, Texas Tech 124th) as good as the Mountaineers (40th) and certainly have not faced a secondary like the one WVU will put on the field Saturday afternoon. This is a huge challenge that if a few things go the Mountaineers way, it could do great things for the rest of the season.

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