What We’ve Learned: Week Thirteen
A lot of points and a lot of viewers, too.
After West Virginia and Oklahoma combined for 115 points and over 1,300 yards of total offense, ESPN turned in its highest-rated Friday night game in eight years.
Unfortunately, with seemingly the entire country watching, the Mountaineers couldn’t outlast the Sooners, falling 59-56 on senior night.
Here’s what we’ve learned after week thirteen:
Changes are a Coming
In the aftermath of West Virginia’s second loss in just as many games, Mountaineer fans wasted no time taking to Twitter to voice their frustration. And if the rumors created by social media are true, a collection of assistant coaches’ jobs are on the line. More alarming, Dana Holgorsen’s position has been called into question. The only question worth a damn, however, is whether or not Jake Spavital will return as offensive coordinator in 2019. Spavital came back to Morgantown for two reasons — full control of the offense and the opportunity to coach Will Grier. And he’s done an admirable job in both categories. But with Grier graduating, Spavital will most likely pay more attention to other coordinator jobs as they come available.
Salute to the Seniors
William Crest Jr. – a five year veteran and former four-star quarterback turned receiver – stood at mid-field at the conclusion of the game, visibly shaken by the thought that Friday night was his last game in Morgantown . He, and 17 other senior members of the 2018 West Virginia team, deserved so much more than the program’s eighth-straight loss to Oklahoma. The loss kept the Mountaineers from competing for its first-ever Big 12 crown and relegated West Virginia to an even more mediocre bowl game. For fans, losing a game (any game) brings with it an unenviable type of pain. But it’s nothing compared to what the players endure when they finally realize it’s all over. Like 98% of the roster, Crest isn’t from the Mountain State, but he’ll forever be a West Virginian.
Where do we go from here?
By his own admission, this was Holgorsen’s most experienced and talented team he’s had at West Virginia. Yet that didn’t keep the Mountaineers from losing three games and falling back into the second tier of the conference. For a defense that looked serviceable all year long, it underwhelmed and under-performed during the program’s biggest game in years. West Virginia has consistently been a fun team to watch. Yet it hasn’t asserted itself as front-runner for a conference title. If we couldn’t get it done this year, when will we?