WVU Head Coach Neal Brown said what most Mountaineer fans were thinking at his weekly news conference: “it’s not that we lost, but how we lost” in West Virginia’s 30-24 defeat to Maryland in the season opener. WVU turned the ball over four times and “miscommunication” in the defensive back field led to a pair of 60-yard touchdown passes for the Terps.
Those costly mistakes were just too much for the Mountaineers to overcome as they now turn their attention to Long Island University and their home opener.
WVU must win the turnover battle against Long Island. Quarterback Jarret Doege was responsible for two of those turnovers, including an interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter. He must find a way to better with the ball and make better decisions, to which Brown agrees: “We have to be more fundamentally sound at the quarterback position,” he said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
The Mountaineers also have to more physical across the offensive line, as the ‘Eers only managed 42 yards rushing. That was a problem they thought they had fixed a year ago, culminating in a 1,000-yard season for Leddie Brown in just 11 games.
The turnovers also limited the Mountaineers to only 62 plays while Maryland ran more than 80, and the Terps had the ball 8 minutes longer. That forced the WVU defense to spend more time on the field.
The defense, however, must sure up it’s back end, but they also need to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Mountaineers did come up with a pair of sacks, but never made Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa feel uncomfortable.
As far as the defensive backfield goes, Coach Brown says it all comes down to each player just “doing their job” — you can’t have guys trying to make plays, all 11 need to work together.