Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

WVU Buck linebacker Eric Kinsey pressures Georgia State quarterback Ronnie Bell.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s defense was sufficient for much of Saturday, albeit against an over-matched opponent.

The Mountaineers held Georgia State to 3-of-13 on third-down conversions, surrendered only 220 yards and forced five three-and-outs.

Yet three big gainers by Georgia State offered teaching moments for West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson:

1. Ronnie Bell’s 31-yard pass to Robert Davis.
The GSU quarterback was flushed from the pocket and pursued toward the sideline, where he took a sternum shot from WVU defensive end Dontrill Hyman. But before the hit, Bell tossed a downfield prayer that Davis caught over two back-pedalling defensive backs, Travis Bell and Ricky Rumph.

Said Patterson: “We should have had him sacked on the long throw, and what happens is guys get to watching the play. They think they’ve got him sacked and they let their guard down.”

2. Georgia State converts a third-and-13 from its own 23 when Bell finds Keith Rucker for 19 yards.
With WVU trying to force a punt before the half, GSU’s freshman tight end got depth on his route behind the linebackers and made an easy catch in front of safety Darwin Cook.

“That was my fault,” Patterson said, giving himself a teaching moment. “With so many new people on the field (due to injuries), I was just trying to keep from giving up something cheap. I probably could’ve been more aggressive.”

Patterson knew coming into Saturday he would be without linebacker Doug Rigg (concussion) and nickelback K.J. Dillon (leg). But Spur linebacker Isaiah Bruce (leg) showed in warmups that he was unable to play also, and backup nose guard Christian Brown went down in the second quarter.

“I was probably a little bit too conservative in the first half,” Patterson said. “I probably should have forced the issue more.”

3. Travis Evans rips off a 65-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Georgia State averaged 51 yards rushing in its first two games (against FCS teams), and got more than that on Evans’ breakaway jaunt.

“Like you guys have heard me say over and over: 70 percent of all big plays in football is about getting lined up,” Patterson said.

And West Virginia likely was misaligned on that run, with two Buck linebackers on the field—Brandon Golson and Eric Kinsey—each apparently making shifts on their respective sides that left WVU a man short when GSU went unbalanced left.

“Oh, man that gap was from here to that pole,” said Patterson.

Still, the play probably should have produced no more than a 20-yard gain until cornerback Icky Banks took a poor angle inside, allowing Evans a path down the boundary.

“Yeah, Icky gets sealed inside,” Patterson said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be a positive play, but I was shocked that it went all the way. You have to be able to get that ball down.

“Other than the long run. I could live with the rest of it.”

Photos from the Mountaineers’ victory.

Postgame highlights: Childress, Holgorsen, Dawson & more

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  • Justin

    The defense showed up in Norman we just wore them out with 3 and outs and special team screw ups but they kept us in the game for sure they will get better every week.

  • tw eagle

    WVU got a lot of players some good experience against GaSt . . .good for the
    players and good for the coaching staff . . .
    the coaches got a good look at how the
    3's handled themselves during "gametime"
    not garbage time , blended in with the
    1's & 2's to learn for the future . . .now they
    have film to watch and learn from . . .

  • Allan

    Appears we played down to the level of our opponent and that's why GS was able to hang with us till Childress got cranking and receivers started to catch the ball instead of dropping it.
    I look forward to see if Childress can improve, throwing the ball a little low..maybe worried about interceptions? Maryland may prove to be tough, will be happy to see Riggs back.

  • Outdoor Man

    Good win today....Sometimes you play to the level of your opponent (example Oklahoma) Can't wait till next week!

    • Ben Dover

      News flash: Oklahomer is just that bad...seriously. This lasat game, we scored almost all of our points in the 4th quarter when GS was worn slap out. Our special-ed teams need serious work and Holgy can't seem to decide on who is gonna be our starting QB for the rest of this unpredictable season. Can't wait? Wait for what?

  • derek

    This team will improve as time goes by each week they do something better. If we can get the ball caught on big plays we will be ok. CHILDRESS is the real deal time for him to take over.

  • Grant

    I know they have played two opponents who are not very good, but I still am impressed just how much better the D is this year.

    • Daniel

      They had no where to go but up! Yes, it is a great improvement. Unfortunately, it will take awhile for them to grow and "jell" together as one unit. By seasons' end they should be a rock!