The Mountaineers were marred by offensive miscues in their 27-13 loss to Oklahoma State, and they’re hoping to correct some things as they prepare for their next Big 12 contest against Baylor.
A major focus for the team this week, according to the head coach: avoiding costly penalties.
“Where we’re at right now as a program, we cannot beat ourselves, whether that’s turnovers, missed assignments, penalties, we can’t do that,” head coach Neal Brown said. “We’ve got to get better at it.”
Last season, WVU averaged 7.1 penalties per game for 58.7 yards. They nearly doubled those averages in the loss to Oklahoma State, with 12 penalties for 106 yards.
Some of those penalties, like the fourth quarter delay of game penalty in the red zone, hurt WVU during critical moments in the game.
The Mountaineers also committed a few penalties after the whistle. Starting running back Leddie Brown was culpable in one instance, after he celebrated a first down run by spinning the ball on the turf.
“I didn’t necessarily agree with all of them, but the procedure penalties and the non-aggressive penalties, those gotta be eliminated because they kill yourself,” Brown said. “And then, the selfish penalties, Leddie had one after the whistle was blown, we gotta eliminate those.”
There are some penalties, though, that Brown can live with. He said aggressive penalties, like holding fouls, are bound to happen, and they’re coachable.
“The holding penalties, there’s gonna be some of those,” Brown said. “You just continue to stress technique.”
In its opener against Kansas, Baylor committed eight penalties for 95 yards. The Bears won that game, 47-14.