West Virginia Football: 5 Biggest Changes Needed on "D" to Contend for BCS

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIOctober 1, 2012

West Virginia Football: 5 Biggest Changes Needed on "D" to Contend for BCS

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    Watching the Baylor-West Virginia game on Saturday was tough for those defensive-minded coaches out there. 

    Is it because the two teams combined for a mere 136 points on offense?

    Was it due to the fact that a team seemed to score about every two minutes?

    Well, those two assumptions are probably accurate, but in all seriousness, the Mountaineers defense must improve quickly.

    There needs to be a quick rebound for the Texas Longhorns this upcoming weekend.

    The defense must also improve for West Virginia to get its ultimate goal to become a reality. What is that you ask? Well, another trip to a BCS game would be nice for a team with such high expectations. 

    Here are five keys to improving the WVU defense in order to contend for the BCS. 

Blown Coverage

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    One of the worst things to view as a Defensive Coordinator is blown coverage.

    Not saying that could happen in the Big 12 Conference or anything.

    Nick Florence made touchdowns look too easy in the loss against West Virginia. There's absolutely no excuse for giving up a touchdown at the the end of the first half in that fashion. 

    The Mountaineers' secondary had trouble covering some of the Bears' most dangerous weapons; especially against Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese.

    Yes, Baylor does have a very good offense that gets points, but neither team's defense was rather impressive in this one.

    West Virginia's Pat Miller had fits covering Williams, and a lot of the time, he gave the star Baylor receiver a lot of room to make plays.

    In fact, Williams had over 300 yards receiving. 

    West Virginia must improve in the secondary as the season goes on. 


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    The defense has had issues in tackling throughout the season.

    Opposing offenses have gotten a ton of yards after the catch due to poor tackling.

    WVU needs to be able to stop a first down from being a touchdown (Think Stefon Diggs from Maryland).

    The Mountaineers must improve tackling this weekend as they see a decent rushing attack for the first time this season.

    After all, if a defense can't tackle, there will be problems as the season gets into the heart of the conference.

    The Big 12 doesn't lack poor offenses so this issue will need to be adjusted quickly. 

Extra Help/Different Schemes

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    It's tough for the guys to get adjusted to Co-Defensive Coordinator Joe DeForest's new schemes right off the bat.

    Still, there were clear problems for the WVU secondary in terms of man coverage.

    Did West Virginia rely too heavily on man coverage?  Should it have thrown in more zone?  Was Baylor's Williams just too good?

    All valid questions, but one thing is for sure, the West Virginia secondary needed extra help. 

    The Mountaineers defense looked one-dimensional.

Get to the Quarterback

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    Remember how intimidating the West Virginia defense was two years ago?

    That team was able to get to the quarterback in an easy fashion.

    Granted, a lot of that was due to Bruuuuce Irvin. Still, there were positives to come from the Maryland game two weeks ago.

    First, it was the first sign of the WVU Defensive Line getting to the cornerback. Guys were able to get to freshman Maryland quarterback Perry Hills.

    This will be important when the Mountaineers' defense faces guys like David Ash, Collin Klein and Casey Pachall. Defensive pressure is always key in these type of games. 

Capitalizing on Turnovers

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    Senior Baylor quarterback Nick Florence threw an interception on his first drive in the loss against West Virginia on Saturday.

    WVU was unable to put points on the scoreboard.

    The Mountaineers were able to capitalize on a fumble from Hills in the game against Maryland.

    If the Mountaineers want to be at the top of the Big 12, they will need to capitalize on the defensive turnovers. 

    West Virginia will need to force turnovers as it has done with fumbles thus far in the season.