Column by MICKEY FURFARI
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
MORGANTOWN — West Virginia defensive coordinator Joe DeForest sounded even more unhappy about his unit’s poor performance in the 70-63 win against Baylor than Mountaineer fans.
So much so, he assumed some of the blame himself and vowed that some changes in personnel are probably going to happen before Saturday’s Big 12 game at Texas (4-0).
DeForest admitted that defense was bad for both teams in the greatest high-scoring shootout in WVU (4-0) history.
“I did a poor job of preparing them,” he stated. “I did a poor job of calling the game. We’ve got to make some personnel changes.
“We’ve got to do a better job of making better calls. We’ve got to do a better job of tacking. We’ve got to do a better job of attacking the ball.
“The bottom line is they executed better than we did. We did play some good defense at times and then give up.”
“We have to adjust and will before Saturday,” Deforest said.
Baylor (3-1) managed 34 first downs, 92 offensive plays, and 700 yards in total offense. The Bears averaged 7.6 yards per play.
The Bears’ 67-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the second quarter was a major concern. That tied the score at 35-all. Young players in the WVU secondary were cited as the reason.
West Virginia has moved up one notch to No. 8 in this week’s rankings by The Associated Press.
Texas, which hosts the Mountaineers Saturday night in Austin, is ranked No. 11. The Longhorns (4-0) edged Oklahoma State 41-36 on Saturday.
Texas has been installed as a seven-point favorite against WVU.
Geno Smith certainly has the numbers, a third of the way through this season, to be considered the top Heisman Trophy contender.
West Virginia’s incredible senior quarterback is No. 1 in the nation in passing yards per game (432), touchdowns (20), and completions percentage (83.4).
What’s more, Smith has no interceptions.
In the 70-63 win against Baylor, he also set single-game WVU records with 45 completions, 51 attempts, 656 yards and eight touchdowns.
Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are also building records as the top two receivers. Both are solid leaders in receiving yardage per game and in touchdowns.
But Smith, Austin, and Bailey all are handling their accolades very well. They insist that they are only interested in team victories.
The ultimate goals are a Big 12 Championship and a national title.