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3 Takeaways from WVU Football’s Chaotic Day, Loss to Kansas State

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The loss to Kansas State was different than the defeats this season for West Virginia. It finally ended any remaining hope about at leas finishing the roller coaster season of 2022 with postseason play in a bowl game. A win over Oklahoma State on the road to close the year will only be WVU’s fifth. But with all of that said, the news after the game stemmed just as much from what the public learned before kickoff as what happened throughout the game.

There’s chaos

Not that it’s surprising when a school is looking for a new athletic director and the future of the head coach is in doubt, but the chaos surrounding the WVU football program was never more evident than before, during and after the loss to Kansas State.

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A player once viewed as a team leader throws up a post on social media to announce he’s transferring.  That’s bad right there, but gasoline was thrown on that fire by head coach Neal Brown when he told the media that Charles Woods “shut it down” weeks ago and that he’s barely talked his veteran cornerback in weeks. This was a different tone than earlier in the season when Brown and other coaches raved about Woods’ leadership and what his return means to the team on and off the field.

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What happened? Well, we don’t all the details yet, but Woods is not the first and certainly won’t be the last player to decide the uncertainty around the Mountaineers means he has to look elsewhere.

Crowning Garrett Greene was premature

“He made some good throws. He made some bad throws,” Brown said of Garrett Greene’s first start. And that’s true, he had some moments that really impress, especially as a thrower like the touchdowns to Sam James, which was the concern and why he hadn’t played much before recently. But there were also moments like the two interceptions, both of which led to Kansas State scores, that aren’t acceptable from a starter and are what eventually cost JT Daniels his job.

The point is that Greene could be the next great WVU dual threat quarterback. And he still has years left to prove it if given an opportunity, but the takes that he should’ve been starting all along or that he’s who will lead the Mountaineers back on track were coming way too soon. One good game over a bad Oklahoma defense, especially against the run, and then a mediocre showing in a loss to Kansas State is not close to enough evidence to crown him yet.

The once improving defense can be exposed at any time

Conversely to earlier in the season, it’s been the WVU offense letting the defense down at times in recent losses. But that wasn’t the case on Saturday. The Wildcats can score with anyone when they’re on, and it was evident a banged up West Virginia defense couldn’t stop them.

The strangest part is KSU running back Deuce Vaughn was mostly held in check after a big run to start the game. That was a key for WVU to have a chance. But it didn’t matter because the secondary, the weakest unit for the Mountaineers, allowed Will Howard to throw for 294 yards and the Wildcats to score 48 points on the day.

In all honesty, nothing that occurred at Milan Puskar Stadium on a miserable senior day should be surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention. But unfortunately many of the problems this West Virginia team has suffered through this season culminated in another loss. And while it was to a Wildcats team that will likely be ranked inside the top 15, if not 10, in the country now, it doesn’t sting any less since now the hope of a bowl game to try to show something for next year is officially gone.

 

 

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Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti now serves as the Managing Editor of WV Sports Now, manages and serves as the lead host for Pittsburgh Sports Live and contributes to Steelers Now, Pittsburgh Sports Now and Nittany Sports Now. He also contributes to West Virginia's Metro News among other outlets.

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