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West Virginia desires to get again to enjoying ‘suitable’ soccer in opposition to UCF

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia defensive finish Sean Martin just isn’t a person of many phrases, however he captured the Mountaineers’ present temper fairly properly chatting with the media on Monday.

“We misplaced two video games in a row, two video games we must always’ve received,” he mentioned. “No one’s actually pleased proper now.”

WVU (4-3, 2-2 Large 12) has misplaced two video games in a row in regardless of holding a fourth-quarter lead in each contests. The Mountaineers began the season 4-1, however now sit at 4-3 and are trending within the flawed route.

“There’s a small margin for error within the Large 12,” head coach Neal Brown mentioned. “We could possibly be 6-1, however we’re sitting right here at 4-3. We’ve had leads within the fourth quarter the final two weeks and we haven’t completed.”

Within the days since shedding 48-34 to Oklahoma State final Saturday, the Mountaineers have identified their issues as being primarily self-inflicted. They’ve decided the treatment is just getting again to enjoying three-phase soccer.

“All we are able to do is stick collectively and ensure we’re all on the identical web page defensively and offensively,” offensive lineman Doug Nester mentioned. “We have to turn out to be a cohesive group, begin enjoying complimentary soccer and simply assist one another out as a lot as we are able to.”

It’s complimentary soccer that WVU has been lacking the final two weeks. Within the 41-39 loss to Houston, WVU’s offense scored a go-ahead landing with 12 seconds left, however the protection gave up a Hail Mary to lose. In opposition to OSU, the protection compelled a punt with WVU main 24-20 within the fourth quarter, however particular groups turned the ball over, establishing the Cowboys’ go-ahead rating.

“We simply should be suitable between offense and protection,” receiver Preston Fox harassed. “If the protection makes a cease, we’ve bought to go down and rating on offense, that’s simply the way it must be.”

“It comes right down to just some key performs,” Nester added. “It’s at all times such an in depth recreation after which it’s who could make the extra vital performs throughout these instances.”

The Mountaineers tackle a workforce going through the same problem this week in UCF (3-4, 0-4) this Saturday in Orlando, Fla. (midday/FS1). The Knights have misplaced 4 video games in a row, the newest being a valiant 31-29 defeat to No. 6 Oklahoma.

“Each groups want a win,” Brown mentioned. “They’re coming off of one among their higher performances.”

UCF has had its personal self-inflicted struggles this season. The Knights blew a 28-point result in Baylor in a 36-35 loss final month after which gave up practically 400 speeding yards to Kansas earlier than falling to the Sooners final week.

The Knights after nonetheless trying to find their first-ever Large 12 win, being one among 4 groups who joined the convention this offseason.

“You knew from high to backside, there have been some actually good groups (within the Large 12) and I believe you’re seeing that,” UCF coach Gus Malzahn mentioned. “You’ve bought to play good soccer to win whether or not you’re on the street or at dwelling.”

UCF was higher in opposition to the run in opposition to Oklahoma, permitting 189 yards, however Malzahn expects they’ll should be even higher in opposition to run-heavy West Virginia.

“They’re quantity seven within the nation on time of possession,” Malzahn said. “They run the soccer, they get off the sphere and so they’re good on third down.

“We’ve bought to only proceed to develop stopping the run with the integrity of our run suits. We did get higher, we took a step up, however we’ve nonetheless bought areas to enhance on, nonetheless bought issues we are able to do higher.”

On the opposite facet, the Mountaineers wish to proceed what they’ve been doing, they simply wish to be sure that they really shut out video games after they’re main.

“We’ve bought to proceed to place ourselves able to win within the fourth quarter and then you definitely’ve bought to have the ability to shut out video games,” Brown mentioned. “That’s what this league comes right down to. That’s what it’s going to be like on Saturday, that’s what it’s going to be like for the remainder of the video games we play this 12 months.”

“We’ve simply bought to give attention to the little issues, give attention to us,” Martin mentioned. “We beat ourselves so if we give attention to us, we’ll achieve success.”