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You Probably Shouldn't Even Say The Word Turnover This Week

Let's face it, plenty of other people are going to be saying it for you.

Like Bill Stewart, head coach of West Virginia.  The guy who Dave Rahme called "one of the nicest guys in the college football coaching profession" is just sick to his stomach over the turnovers the Mountaineers have been coughing up.

"I’m pleased without our effort. I’m pleased with how hard we are playing and how we have guys straining to make plays," Stewart said. "What frustrates me as the CEO of this football program is we’re sloppy. We’re sloppy because you try to get an extra yard here or there and sometimes you stretch the ball out and you lose it. That’s frustrating for a coach and it’s frustrating for our players. Our players are frustrated."

The thing is, take away the turnovers and the West Virginia offense is working about as well as it was supposed to.  At least, that's what the stats say:

  • No. 13 in the country in total offense (465.25 yards per game).
  • No. 18 in the country in rushing (208.5).
  • No. 31 in the nation in passing yardage (256.75) and No. 24 in passing efficiency.
  • Jarrett Brown is bringing something to the table that even Pat White couldn't...a strong passing attack.  And that's opening the door for Noel Devine, who is averaging 135 yards rushing per game, third in the nation.

    So how will the Orange shut down the Mountaineers?  Hard to say.  The numbers say the Orange should be able to limit Devine on the ground but passing-wise, they could be in trouble:

    The Syracuse football team that West Virginia plays this weekend is giving up just 91 yards per game rushing, good enough to rank No. 15 in the country. But this is also a team that gives up an average of 290 yards passing. Only four teams in the nation are worse.

    Of course, all of this is moot if either team falls into the turnover trap.  Expect both teams to work hard on stopping the trend.  Marrone for his part, doesn't want the Orange to be "that team."

    "I think I can speak for everyone in college football – there’s not a program that wants to be known for turning the football over," Marrone said. "I think we all want to be known for, taking the ball and creating these turnovers."

    Tremendous though, coach.