football Edit

West Virginia offense strives for more discipline

The West Virginia Mountaineers football team must avoid self-inflicted mistakes.
The West Virginia Mountaineers football team must avoid self-inflicted mistakes.

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West Virginia offensive coordinator Graham Harrell highlights three principles when it comes to becoming the type of football team they want to be on that side of the ball.

The Mountaineers want to be selfless, tough and disciplined.

Two of the three have gone fairly well through the first two games of the season as the Mountaineers have been committed to the plan as a team and battled through multiple instances of adversity.

The discipline side of things? Well, that’s very much a work in progress and that’s putting it nicely.

"It was just too much dumb (stuff) from us," quarterback JT Daniels said after the 55-42 overtime loss to Kansas.

The offense cut down on penalties against the Jayhawks, but two critical false starts on the same series proved costly forcing the Mountaineers to settle for a field goal.

It kept the team in the game at the time, but had West Virginia been able to punch the ball into the end zone they might have been going for the win on the final drive instead of an opportunity to simply tie the game.

The first miscue was a false start on a first and goal from the five, which kicked the ball back and eliminated a potential scoring opportunity given what was dialed up.

“We had a good play. I thought we would have been down to the one or the two if we didn’t score on the play we had the first procedure,” Harrell said.

The second was even more costly after the Mountaineers had moved the ball right outside the goal line and another false start eliminated the opportunity to go for it on fourth down.

“Week one we had five or six procedure penalties, some we addressed and got it down to two, but the two we had this week were in critical situations that really cost you points,” Harrell said.

Penalties played a key role in the outcome with a personal foul on the defensive side allowing Kansas to convert a third down when they were stopped in overtime. It was a play that head coach Neal Brown simply called not smart football, but it’s the procedural items that must be cleaned up.

There is simply no excuse for those type of mistakes in key situations. Even more so when there were no reason for them as the blocker wasn’t trying to beat a guy to a point or weren’t even at the point of contact on the play. Those type of issues can’t occur, especially at home.

"It’s just discipline and focus in on the snap counts," center Zach Frazier said.

The offensive performances are held to a high standard and when you meet those good things will occur. It’s been an early season schedule full of trying to overcome adversity but the offense has had chances to alter the outcome in both games and discipline such as a dropped pass and those penalties loomed large.

“The discipline part is where we have to continue to improve and if we do that’s how you win football games,” Harrell said.

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