Well, with that out the window the only thing to do is get better and learn from the smack down at Syracuse. It begins with a Saturday game at Rutgers (5-2, 2-1 Big East), which stumbled itself Friday night losing at Louisville.
"Everyone should be motivated,'' quarterback Geno Smith said. "We took a big loss and we can't come out next week and show the same kind of effort or we'll take another.''
The clock hadn't even run out on West Virginia's loss at Syracuse Friday night when Smith had his entire offense huddled around and giving them an earful.
"I just didn't want them to hang their heads and let this define our season,'' Smith said. "We're better than what we showed and we're going to fight back. We're going to come back from this and it's going to be a stepping stone for us.''
Smith shrugged off the notion that perhaps West Virginia needed a loss like the one on Friday night. Yes, it sent the Mountaineers tumbling in the national polls - they are No. 25 this week in the media poll and No. 24 in the coaches' rankings - and hopefully served as a wake-up call, but Smith maintains a good team shouldn't need any such motivation.
"I don't think it was good for us because I think we're already mature enough to know we have to come out and play every week,'' Smith said. "This is a conference where everybody is pretty much in the same area. That's the way it was last year with the three-way tie [for first place]. But I think we know that.''
So on the Mountaineers go, treading into a remaining schedule that includes Rutgers this week and then Louisville the next before a visit to now-ranked Cincinnati (No. 24) on Nov. 12. All along the way West Virginia has to get better, and the Mountaineers seem to know it.
"Next week we've got to get a whole lot better,'' Goode said. "We've got to get a whole lot better before we play Rutgers.
"If you want to be a championship team, you can't go back. We've already played the worst game we can play. We've got nowhere else to go but up.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.