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West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State 2012: Mountaineers had 'defensive breakdowns' in loss

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Once again, West Virginia was undone by a defense that couldn't get off the field.

Justin K. Aller

The West Virginia Mountaineers looked like a title contender after the first five games of their season. Now, they'll be lucky to make an appearance in a respectable bowl game.

West Virginia was hammered once again on Saturday, losing 55-34 to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Boone Pickens Stadium.

Over at The Smoking Musket, it was written that the team broke down in more than one way:

While the offense was able to get somewhat back on track in this game, several defensive breakdowns were still prevalent and three (four if you count the missed downing of the ball deep) huge special teams gaffes proved to be too much to overcome for these Mountaineers. A bobbled kickoff, a crazy bounce on a punt and a kickoff return allowed for a touchdown accounted for the major mistakes on the so-called third side of the ball this afternoon.

The Mountaineers are now 5-4, 2-4 in the Big 12, and in need of beating either the Oklahoma Sooners, Iowa State Cyclones or Kansas Jayhawks to snag a bowl bid. Certainly West Virginia should beat a team or two in there, but the disappointment of this season is incredible considering the early Heisman candidacy of Geno Smith and the 5-0 beginning.

Despite gaining 479 yards, the Mountaineers couldn't find a victory. The defense was once again the culprit in the loss, failing to hold Oklahoma State at any point. West Virginia was also put in an immediate hole, trailing 21-7 after the first quarter.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.