Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Changed?

I've been biting my tongue for a while now about why West Virginia should be ranked as highly as they are, and I can't take it anymore. So here it is: What has really changed about this team from last year? The offense has been doing the same thing to practically everyone this year that they did to everyone last year from the Louisville game to the Georgia game.

That is the exact same offense that was on the field in the Sugar Bowl last year running for 382 yards against the number four defense in the country. I don't think the Sugar Bowl has anything to do with how this years team is performing, but if everyone was in agreement that we were the number five team in the country last year after the bowl, and were doing the same thing this year we were doing last year, what changed?

Is our defense really that much worse than last year? I don't think so. We were decent against the run last year, but Louisville and Georgia both lit up our defense. I wonder if it really matters. I like our chances in a shootout with anyone in the country. The only thing that worries me about our defense is if they are getting beat deep. It goes against the philosophy of making an offense have to work the ball down the field, waiting for them to make a mistake. Most passing teams will make a mistake if you give them enough chances. It would be nice if they could force a few more mistakes, but you can't have everything.

Here's a comparison to last year from MSN:

Charting WVU's Defense

20052005 CatCategoryegory 220062006
109.7 (19th) Rushing 88.3 (18th)
201.1 (34th) Passing 193.3 (51st)
310.8 (15th) Total Defense 281.7 (23rd)
31 Turnovers 13
66 of 179 (37%) 3rd Down Defense 35 of 82 (43%)
10 of 22 (45%) 4th Down Defense 5 of 10 (50%)
29 (2.41 pg.) Sacks 11 (1.83 pg.)
17.8 (13th) Points Allowed Per Game 13.0 (10th)

Take out the sacks and turnovers because those are totals for the year not to this point. Everything is more or less the same. Third down conversions are awful, though.

So what changed? Did everyone else get better?

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