Analyze and overanalyze MU's problems to your heart's content, but don't sleep on this nerdy little stat. The message: Herd rebounders can't just be tough on the offensive glass; they must be tough enough to finish.
Still, we are on the verge of having the sport's first-ever grid-o-rama with $10 beer. Wow.
There were good reasons. Marshall missed a zillion close-in shots, that season-long malady. Deniz Kilicli, considered an underachiever by some WVU followers, dominated. Robert Goff's kick to Juwan Staten's undercarriage was bush-league. DeAndre Kane lost his cool at game's end - again.
A bigger factor might be the game's proximity to the end of that bitterly disappointing football season, in which the Herd started by giving up 69 points to the Mountaineers and ended by scoring 59 and losing at East Carolina.
(Scary symmetry here. On Wednesday, MU gave up 69 to WVU in basketball. It also scored 59 and lost.)
This MU fan base is down in the mouth, it seems. I received a tweet the day after Wednesday's game from somebody declaring he was giving up on the season.
That coming after game No. 9, a full 34 days before the start of C-USA play. On that timeline, Herd fans would have bailed out on the 2012 football season about Aug. 18.
It hasn't helped that Marshall has trailed 56.4 percent of the time over the last four games, including 33 minutes, 40 seconds Saturday night against Coppin State. No disrespect to the Eagles ... wait, I am disrespecting the Eagles. The Herd should have clubbed them like a baby seal.
But in the interest of positivity - is that me saying that? - I must point out that the Herd won its sixth game of the season Wednesday. If you have forgotten, this program went 6-22 in 2004-05 - that, my friends, was an appropriate year to keep your ticket money in your pocket.
But you know what they say: When the going gets tough ... quit!
As a citizen of West Virginia, I want Jonathan Kimble to hunt with the university's rifle. Furthermore, I want Kimble transported to Kanawha County in a university vehicle, permitted to pick off as many deer as he can stand, and provided with university-paid personnel to help with removal and processing of the remains.
All who have had one of those overabundant varmints bounce off the hood of their car should be nodding in agreement. Get off Kimble's back!
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, by e-mail at dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.