“What we’ve done to this point really doesn’t matter,” said WVU’s Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson.
Patterson has wiped away all signs of the first eight games of the year - literally.
The defense has decided to start with a clean slate and forget about the wins and losses so far this season. Patterson said the players have to realize what they’ve done wrong and go out and correct it. “Bottom line, it’s down to a four game season,” said the coach.
The defense usually has a white board in the team room filled with statistics from each game - third down conversions, sacks, etc. On Tuesday, that board was erased. The defense is taking a different approach to the rest of the season and forgetting about the negative.
Coach Patterson said the Kansas State game might have been one of the strangest games he’s been associated with. “They were one for six on third downs going into in the second half,” said the coach. “You have to give Kansas State credit. They executed and we didn’t.”
The Kansas State game was yet another game where the team looked so promising in the first half and then suddenly fell apart. Patterson said the execution after halftime boils down to confidence.
“Play to win. Don’t play hoping something good is going to happen.”
That is the message he is sending to his defense, hoping to add more confidence into each player.
He added the players sometimes do too much when it comes to making plays, but he couldn’t really point to what has been going wrong with the defense.
“Sometimes you just get caught up in the moment of the game, and things happen fast,” said the coach. “It just boils down to trying to make sure you focus when the game is on the line.”
As far as the TCU game goes this week, Patterson seems confident in his team and their ability to perform. TCU could potentially be playing both of their quarterbacks this week, and the defense is prepared for that. However, Patterson said the team is expecting senior Casey Pachall to play the majority of the time.
“I think this situation is a little bit different, where you knew last week both of them were going to play,” said the defensive coordinator. “I’m not sure both of them are going to play this week.”
On Pachall, Patterson said he is more of a passer than a runner because of his size. “He plays with his arms,” added the coach.
Patterson is looking forward to the rest of the season and seems confident in the Mountaineers.
“You can still finish the season with a winning record, go to a bowl game, and be a bowl game champion,” said the coach. “There is still a lot to play for and to build upon, not only for the seniors but for next season as well.”
Those are some bold statements from the defensive coordinator, but if he believes in the team, it helps the fans believe, too. Hopefully the clean slate boosts the teams confidence, and helps them come out and win the rest of the season