Don't get me wrong, WVU did look good. That is for most of the time. Fact is, WVU played a Conference USA school and gave up 34 points on defense. The thing is, if you can't even hold Marshall to under 30 points, just imagine what Big 12 schools are going to put up on the EER's defense come time for conference play.
As I said in my preview, WVU needed to run man coverage against this Marshall offense. In all honesty, the majority of receivers for Marshall cannot matchup one on one with the WVU secondary. What did WVU do? They ran zone coverage the majority of the time. As you can see, in zone coverage there are holes. If you run good zone coverage, the holes are small. The holes were pretty big against the Herd.
I get criticized by many WVU fans when I say we should have kept the 3-3-5 defense Casteel imprinted into WVU. The 3-3-5 is meant for having designed blitzes with excellent pass coverage. What does the Big 12 do a lot? O yeah, pass a lot! These defensive players were recruited to play in a 3-3-5, not a 3-4. There is a difference. Criticize me all you want, but being able to keep Jeff Casteel and his defense would have been a major advantage going into the pass happy Big 12.
If you paid attention to WVU's secondary, you notice they were in zone coverage. Two or three players were in the general area of the receivers, which is good, but aren't up on the receivers like in man coverage. Yes it stops the yards after catch, but you can still give up many, many passing yards.
What Casteel did with the 3-3-5 was he ran man coverage across the board, and had zone coverage across the top. He had five to eight players dropping back every play ready for anything everything that came their way whether it be pass or run.
Now, I'm not saying this 3-4 defense is a total bust here. Gives these players a few weeks, and maybe they'll come around. Remember, it's only the first week of the season. But also, remember this; Casteel recruited these players to play in a 3-3-5 defense. For example, Jared Barber. The sophomore tank of a linebacker could meet you at the line, or drop back in coverage in a split second. Don't let talent like that go to waste.
It'll be interesting to see if this defense will show up in time for conference play. Yes, you could say this offense could outscore anybody in the country, but most of these teams already know how Holgorsen ran his offense at Oklahoma State. Not saying this offense can't produce in the Big 12, but the defense needs to hold down other offenses if WVU wants to compete for the Big 12 title in their inaugural season.