West Virginia football: Keith Patterson explains role in bowl loss

Jeff Zelevansky

West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson takes full responsibility for the team's lackluster performance against Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl.

On Saturday, the West Virginia Mountaineers' football season ended with a disappointing 38-14 loss to the Syracuse Orange in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

In the loss the Mountaineers most noticeable flaws were exposed. The biggest downfall was West Virginia's defense, which surrendered 500-plus yards of total offense, including 369 yards on the ground.

Days after the season-ending loss, West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson is taking complete blame for the team's performance, according to a report by Mike Casazza of the Daily Mail.

"Apparently I didn't do a good job getting the guys to understand how important it was to stop them," Patterson said.

Patterson, who was promoted to defensive coordinator Dec. 2 after Joe DeForest was demoted, admitted he thought the game plan against the Orange's high-potent offense was good, but Syracuse executed well.

"I thought we had a very good understanding of the game plan and of what to expect," Patterson said. "We knew they were going to run a split zone any time they'd get into a wing or a bunch formation. We knew that they were going to run the split zone. But they executed and we didn't execute defensively.

"The bottom line there is me. I'm the defensive coordinator and I'm responsible for making sure we know how to hit that."

Overall, Patterson's job status as the Mountaineers' defensive coordinator could be in jeopardy after Saturday's disappointing performance. Casazza says, though, that some blame needs to go to WVU's defensive players, who played poorly in the loss.

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