Morgantown, West Virginia – This year, the Mountaineer’s offense has drastically improved from last season. WVU averages 38.7 points per game, has 271 passing yards per game, and 191.3 rushing yards per game. Compared to last year, that is a complete 180.
— The Voice of Morgantown (@voicemorgantown) October 16, 2022
Last year, WVU only averaged around 25.2 points per game (Almost 14 points less than this year), which was one of the worst in all of College Football last season. Somehow, the number of yards per game rushing and passing was very similar with 247.9 yards passing and 123.2 yards rushing per game. Again, those stats have been improved by at least 30 yards per game on both passing and rushing, but what makes this metric more interesting is that WVU has a much higher completion rate, and has a firm belief in both the run and the pass. Something that WVU has NOT had under Neal Brown his tenure in Morgantown.
As for the defense, it has taken a MAJOR step back. Many fans and experts alike thought that WVU would take a small step back on defense, but certainly not the nosedive it has so far. Last year, WVU only gave up 23.8 PPG to their opponents which was 45th in the country. This year, it gives up 31.3 PPG, which is 104th. That is near the bottom of the barrel with there only being 131 FBS teams in College Football. That, along with giving up big explosive plays on most drives against every team they have played this season (minus Virginia Tech and Towson), has cost them games this season.
Now, I know what you are thinking, “but the defense won us the game against Baylor!”. This is true in the fact that the scoop and score late in the second quarter kept WVU in the game and came up clutch after Daniels threw a potentially game-changing interception with a little over three minutes to go in the game, but WVU was still giving up explosive plays on almost EVERY possession. It seems like the defense gave up big 30+ yard bursts multiple times on most possessions, and this isn’t anything new. This happened during the Kansas game (which allowed them to take the lead and end up winning), the Texas game (where we got so far behind that our offense couldn’t even keep up), and the Pitt game (where explosive drives kept them in the game and let them tie the game up after that dumb decision not to go for it on fourth and inches)
There is still PLENTY of football to be played this season and the defense looked better this week (despite giving up 40 points). If they can start to create more turnovers as they did against Baylor, a 7 or 8-win season (even though it’s very unlikely), is still in the realm of possibility for the Mountaineers.