“We were pretty much right on,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said on Sunday evening. “The offense and defense,e down in and down out, played pretty good. It wasn't great, but it was good enough to win if we didn't have the four turnovers or if we had gotten a couple ourselves. The field position thing hurt us, both from what we did on special teams and what their punter did. That was as good a punting performance as I've seen.”
LSU punter Brad Wing averaged 48.7 yards per attempt, and dropped six boots inside West Virginia's 20, but it wasn't just that stellar performance that kept the Mountaineers bottled up. Several questionable decisions punts also contributed to the poor football position, and Holgorsen indicated those problems will have to be addressed, both with punt returners and with different schemes.
“Tavon is fast enough to get there [top catch the ball]”, Holgorsen said. “He has to make a judgment call on either running through traffic to get the ball or calling “Peter Peter” to get everyone away from it.”
The totality of the review, though, left West Virginia frustrated with its errors, many of which were self inflicted.
“[It was more frustrating] that we did it to ourselves,” Holgorsen said. “But give them a lot of credit. They are good on all three sides of the ball and they had something to do with the turnovers. Number seven (Tyrann Mathieu] made two as good of defensive plays as I've seen in a long time to create those turnovers. We have to have that kind of effort and make those kinds of plays ourselves.
“We were a disappointed football team last night and today. When guys do things well we try to build on it, when they do them wrong we tell them you have to do it this way. If we can do that we have the chance to be a good football team.”
WVU next faces Bowling Green, which presents something of a trap situation.
“You always do worry about the aftereffect,” Holgorsen said. “We would have had the same feelings if we had won the game. We had a lot of energy and anticipation, and I talked last week about not having to get guys up for a game like that. It's natural there might be a little hangover this week, and we have to address that.
* * *
Holgorsen had no comment on what officials could do in instances where suspicion of teams faking injuries to slow down play existed. He did not level any such accusations, and said that it was a matter for officials to deal with.
* * *
Likewise, he did not add any comment to reports that the West Virginia locker room was broken into during the game. “It's a matter we will handle internally.”
It was a bad night for security, as on-field control of fans and observers was almost non-existent. So too was crowd control on portions of the Mountaineer Mantrip.
* * *
Fullback Matt Lindamood again did not dress, and offensive lineman Pat Eger left the game with a leg injury and did not return. Stedman Bailey got racked up on a kickoff return, but later returned to action.
“Eger probably could have come back,” Holgorsen said Sunday morning. “Lindamood hasn't practiced in about a month.”