Ugly, flat and out of sync. That's the best way to describe West Virginia's overall offensive performance against a less-than average Syracuse defense Saturday at Mountaineer Field.
Yes, it's true the Mountaineers were outgained in total yards by the half-rotted Orange, 222 to 222, but the only thing that really matters was that WVU was able to squeeze out a 'W' in the end.
"Not many people think we're very good, but we found a way to win," said WVU?coach Bill Stewart.
Think of it like this, your team could have lost to Toledo this weekend and be 2-4 on the season, instead of 4-2. See it's not all that bad is it?
Subpar play from backup quarterback Jarrod Brown, who threw for just 53 yards and rushed for only 18 on eight attempts, is perhaps the biggest reason for the offensive woes in the contest.
But considering Brown was making his first start of the season behind center, it could have been much worse. Mistake wise, he did his part by not turning the ball a single time. His timing and decision making seemed to be a little off, which was expected, but others on the offensive side didn't help his cause as numerous penalties helped contribute to stalled drives. And he did complete a solid 14-of-20 passes and had a scoring strike.
Stewart was quick to defend his backup signal caller after the contest. "Anyone that want's to criticize me that's fine, but we have a kid out there that's missing some reads and people are booing him," he said. "He just wasn't on today and I'm not going to throw that guy under the bus. He came back and led us to victory, Jarrod Brown did."
As for starting quarterback Patrick White, who was expected to play, Stewart offered this explanation, "I thought Patrick White would be good, and as of Thursday I thought he was going to start for us," said Stewart. "He practiced Tuesday and his head got a little bit hurting. I looked at him and knew something just didn't seem right.
"We didn't do much Wednesday and on Thursday we tried to go again, and I still thought he as going to be able to play in the football game, and I mean that sincerely. I think Patrick wanted to play and he was very disappointed we didn't let him.
"But when you grade an injury, and one of a concussion, you ask 'No. 1 do you think he has a concussion,' I thought no and so did he. But his equilibrium was out of line and he had a low-grade headache. So there is a neurophysiological test that's about impact and we had that done at my request.
"All of the test said he was good but we felt he hadn't fully recovered as of Friday, when we met and that's when the decision was made. He just wasn't there as of Friday, but he so much better today and he'll be ready to play, scouts honor, as long as we don't get hit in the head, the next time we play."
Because of a bye next weekend and not hosting Auburn until Oct. 23, the Mountaineers will have some extra time to get things ironed out offensively, and in the process get White's head back in working order.