MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The phrase “we didn’t finish” could become the epitaph for this season’s West Virginia defense.

Second-half head-scratchers have become the norm, and there was ample scratching to be done after a 47-40 overtime loss to Texas.

“I don’t even know how to explain it,” defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said.

So resilient throughout the game’s first 35 minutes, West Virginia held Texas to two field goals (and minus-5 yards) on drives that started at the WVU 7. But that resilience eventually disappeared—along with assignment discipline and confidence—as Texas transformed the game into a shootout.

On their first 12 possessions Saturday, the Longhorns netted 16 points and 142 yards. On their final six drives? 31 points and 297 yards.

Coincidentally, Texas started rolling after its leading rusher Johnathan Gray departed for the locker room with a leg injury. That became Case McCoy’s cue to wing it, and offensive coordinator Major Applewhite obliged by letting the senior attempt a career-high 49 passes, resulting three touchdowns and 283 yards.

After starting 1-of-11 on third-down conversions, Texas converted seven straight (all via McCoy’s passing) and nine of its last 12.

“At some point in the second half, you have to make plays,” Patterson said. “We’ve got people in position to make plays and for whatever reason we don’t.”

Patterson sounded more exasperated than usual—the fallout from watching a rerun of his unit losing its backbone late, just as it did against Texas Tech and Kansas State.

“I don’t know how to fix it really,” he said.

Amid a fourth-quarter offensive flurry that saw four lead changes in five minutes, WVU’s Darwin Cook baited McCoy into a midfield interception the safety returned into Texas territory.

The turnover, however, was nullified by a defensive holding call on nickel back K.J. Dillon—not unlike the flag on TCU’s Jason Verrett last week that saved Clint Trickett from a pick-six.

“I tried to get inside and he beat me inside,” Dillon said. “Unnecessary hold—I should have trusted I had inside help. I basically stole one from Darwin.”

Joe Sadlek/All-Pro Photography

Darwin Cook returns a fourth-quarter interception against Texas that was subsequently negated by a defensive holding call.
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  • Shad

    Maybe we should see if we can play in the same conference as Georgia State next season.

  • don

    I agree about the bowl turndown chasmo; we've suffered enough humiliation already without having to be last time by some other bottom dwelling school (notice I didn't say team?) Ole sasquatch is absolutely right, once the opposition sees our game films with wide open sideline routes and no coverage across the middle then who needs a running game to beat this bunch.

  • chasmo

    FBall coaches & Administration : PLEASE , IF BOWL ELIGIBLE @ THE END OF THE SEASON , DO NOT ACCEPT IT -- wt room & academics & conditioning ; this is a season to forget ASAP , along with the last half of the 2012 season. A.D.Luck is going to have an extremely tough " sell " to get season ticket holders to re-up. What a sad sad season . Have to think " thank goodness we did NOT have the HERD on the schedule.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Top of the list of all scouting reports on us: "You can gain separation from all of our pass secondary." You just have to plan for our blitzes and you can consistently get first downs. It is not critical to establish a ground game against us which we put maybe too much emphasis on.
    Allan is correct about covering receivers. I hope the secondary coach reflects hard on what he wrote.

  • Allan

    If the AD would make the coaches accountable then us empty beer addled brains wouldn't have to remind them, not that they read our comments anyway. Maybe that's one of the reasons OL didn't get the Texas job. You are telling us that you (squad) would be paying out of your pocket these coaches for the results they are giving and not be the least troubled by the results. If the coaches would coach then I would be happy to just being a fan.

  • fuz

    on squad you hit the nail on the head.

  • squad

    I love how all you guys have all the answers.. right... whatever makes you feel better. we have good coaches that know what to do..believe me, theres nothing in your empty beer addled brain that the coaches didn't know. I know its hard for you to believe but they don't need your help coaching. be a fan (if you can handle it) and that's YOUR job.

    • Brian

      Thanks....Squid -
      However; I do not drink, smoke, or use drugs and I can PLAINLY see there are "fans" like you that want to excuse their way to dragging WVU football into the level of Kansas football mediocrity. Whether the coaches know ALL we do or not as fans (I have my doubts in some cases) it is thier JOB (you know Squid, that thing you get paid to do with the expectation of at least some level of quality and competency) to drag these young men up to at leasst the level of a "decent" team.
      I don't know who deserves more ridicule; our coaches, players that can't do their job for 60 minutes a week, or our fans that accept losing to an average Texas team that essentially handed us the game until the bottom fell out (and I won't even get into the games with Maryland, TTech and others).
      If this waqs the first time thisd happened, or the third, or even the fourth - I might be more supportive. This has happened (losing a very winnable game) 6 times by my count in the last two years alone!

    • Marcus

      Squad, were you one of those kids that always got a medal even if you lost?? Your quote is what is wrong with WVU Football.

  • wvtd

    there has to be better defensive and special teams coaches out there somewhere. same ole mistakes every week. go mountaineers!

  • Big brother to Larry

    I feel WVU is strong as its weakest link, and it starts at quarterback. I know there is a lot of weaknesses on this team. but I feel the quarterback is the softest spot. It's true there is fault on the OL, quarterbacks, receivers, even on defense, play calling,... Think back in the past of every good team always has a good quarterback...Our quarterbacking needs to be improved.... If West Virginia could just remove one person and insert one person and that is the quarterback position.. Think a Geno Smith,,, Pat White.... Maj. Harris... Jeff Hostetler... Just one player like that... where would we be in wins and losses.... Right now it is what it is.... Love the Mountaineers...

  • Allan

    The defense played a great game, even with some mistakes that always happen, they happen on Texas side too, our offense just couldn't take advantage…two turnovers and no points early on gave Texas some time to get their offense in gear. The defense was out there way too long after 3 and outs by our offense. Do not point fingers at the players, it's coaching it's coaching it's coaching.

    • Stan

      When the offense scores 40, you should not lose. That's on the defense. Those turnovers were good stops. The defense fell apart in the second half like they have all year. The offense started clicking in the second half. The fact is, we don't have a quarterback. Trickett can't throw in the pocket, and Millard can't throw outside the pocket. They both are very mediocre at best for college QBs. But the offense still managed 40 points. That should be enough for any football team to win. I do feel bad for all the players though, it was heartbreaking for me as a fan, so I can't imagine how bad it was for the players.

    • Big Larry

      We have come to the place that when the defense gives up 47 points, The Fans say stupid things like...

      "The defense played a great game...The defense played great and they are awesome."

      That is called "Being used to Mediocrity" and not even realizing it.

  • Allan

    Who missed the coverage on that wide open touchdown pass of Texas? How many points did they score off turnovers and how many did we score off of turnovers? Why go long with Trickett at QB, weak arm and no accuracy. How many times did the left tackle miss his block and our QB got blind sided and fumbled? On and on and on, with better coaching we would have a much better record. We have good talent, we just can't develop it and we can't adjust quickly enough or develop game plans on the run to suit the team we are playing. We start out trying long pass plays that take time to develop and with the pressure Texas was bringing equals QB sacks. How long does it take for a coach to realize that it ain't gonna a work and switch to short passes to take away some of that pressure and run the damn football too. I don't know who calls the plays, Dawson or Dana or both..but someone better take control of that offense and start playing to our strengths not our weakness's.

  • Allan

    Stop playing so soft on receivers, get in their faces, bump them at the line of scrimmage or the first 5 yards off the line of scrimmage, be aggressive or what they now call "ProActive". We had the game won on 4th and long and we let Shipley get the first down…it's not rocket science Patterson. Time for Dana to unload Patterson and get a real DC.

  • Allan

    What a comment??? "I don't know how to fix it"?
    That's what WVU pays you to do and if you can't figure how to fix it, go somewhere else and give lame excuses…the Doc would have fixed it.

    • Big Larry

      Call Huggins...He can "Fix it"...

    • Jason


  • Joe

    Don't want to hit this too hard coaches, but do you think for the rest of the season we can worry less about the uniform combinations and more on the football. Simple home blue and away whites will do just fine.


    • Jason

      True. They do put a lot of emphasis each week on accessorizing.

  • Joe

    ''I don't know how to fix it, really''.


    Here's an idea, and of course I'm just spitballing here....

    A- cover the damn fullback out of the backfield
    B- coach your cb's to quitgivingso much room off the line and then turning their back.
    C- demand from the defense when the other team starts to punch, punch back.

    I am honestly stunned by your quote.