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Louisville 38, WVU 35: That’s Two Bad Losses On Holgorsen’s Watch

Maybe West Virginia should reconsider that lawsuit against the Big East after all.

Dana Holgorsen’s team could really use another year or two in the minor leagues before getting called up to the Big 12.

Saturday afternoon’s 38-35 upset loss at home to Louisville almost assuredly ends WVU’s hopes of a Big East championship this year.

The Mountaineers, who were almost everyone’s favorite to win the conference, are now 6-3 overall and 2-2 in league play. For years, WVU has been clamoring for national respect. What the Mountaineers don’t seem to get is you earn it on the field.

Hey West Virginia, it’s time to stop thinking you are an elite program and start playing like one. Could you ever imagine Alabama losing to Vanderbilt or Ohio State losing to Indiana?

But WVU has now lost to two below average Big East programs this fall.

Here’s a little reality check West Virginia.

 

The Mountaineers’ last outright Big East championship came in 2005. That’s six seasons ago. They shared the championship in 2007 and last season, but this is the worst BCS conference. One outright championship since 1994 is actually embarrassing.

So was Saturday’s performance.

Yes, Geno Smith had a big day again with 410 passing yards, but West Virginia has major issues.

 

It starts with special teams. The punting game was atrocious, but the biggest play was a blocked punt field goal that Andrew Johnson returned 82 yards for a 31-21 Louisville advantage. WVU kicker Tyler Bitancurt had missed a 33-yard field goal earlier in the third quarter.

The other big issue with WVU is the defense.

After the offense cut the game to three points with a little more than nine minutes to play, the defense couldn’t get Louisville off the field. They had chances, but freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater navigated a seven-minute, 76-yard drive that saw Dominique Brown score on a 3-yard run.

WVU added a late score to make the score look more respectable, but this was a huge Louisville win. The Cardinals hadn’t won in Morgantown since 1990 and Charlie Strong is proving to be one of the best hires in Big East history.

The Mountaineers had chances to put this game away, but couldn’t. The season has certainly gone from one of promise to disappointment.

About a month ago, Holgorsen ripped WVU’s fans for not packing Milan Puskar Stadium one week after the LSU loss. He said big-time programs pack the place every week.

Hey coach, big-time programs don’t consistently get beat by inferior opponents. You’ve got two of those on your record now.

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