By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
I’m sorry West Virginia, but the Baylor Bears and their anemic defense is not a fair representation of the Big 12. No offense to the folks in Waco, who put up points like Family Guy shows re-runs, but their defense is audacious atrocious. Simply sucktastic. Terrifically terrible. Alliteration is fun.
So yes, West Virginia, you put up 70 points and scored touchdowns any time you damn well pleased. Geno Smith slanged the pigskin around the filed for 600+ yards, the Mountaineer wide receivers were running wind sprints up and down the field without breaking a sweat, and head coach Dana Holgorsen had a maniacal look on his face the entire time. Your entrance to the Big 12 has been filled with bombast and fireworks, yet now is the time for you to face an actual blue blood of the southwest. That would be the Texas Longhorns.
You’ve heard of the Longhorns, right? The team with a defense line, in which every starter and bench player will probably play at the next level. Those linebackers run as fast as your wide receivers. Those defensive backs tend to make cameo appearances on olympic track squads. (Okay, I cheated, that’s one of the wide receivers…but trust me, they’re really fast.) Its Texas, where everything’s bigger, even their reputation that has been known to intimidate out-of-towners when they step into Darrell K. Royal stadium.
But do the Texas Longhorns deserve that type of respect?
The Longhorns defense looked sub-standard last week versus the Oklahoma State Cowboys, with a back-up quarterback making his first start of his career. Big time runs, long passing plays, I mean at times Texas looked plain lost out there. Yes, the Cowboys offensive attack is one of the best in the nation, and they did an awesome job of reloading the barrel with another quarterback….but we’re talking about an Oklahoma State team that was at about 50-60% of their full potential, what’s Texas going to do with West Virginia.
Its possible that Texas was caught slipping, looking ahead to their undefeated showdown with the newest members of the conference. Yet, West Virginia’s opportunity for validation comes on Saturday. Beating Texas, however flawed they may be offensively, (inconsistent running game, spotty receiver play, etc.) will mean a lot to people unwilling to give West Virginia the proper praise. Seeing a quarterback put up 600 yards and 8 touchdowns can water down what would seem like an elite performance, unfortunately, we’ve seen these types of performances before. Teams like Hawaii, Houston and Texas Tech have tossed the ball around the yard for a ton of yards and a slew of points, then they play one of the big boys and go down like four flats on a Cadillac.
October will be the month of showing and proving for the Mountaineers, and beating Texas would be a great start at proving that a Heisman candidacy and national championship aspirations are deserved in Morgantown.