Watching the West Virginia defense shredded every Saturday, you could only figure there would be fallout.
Here it is: Joe DeForest, former Cowboys assistant and first-year defensive coordinator at WVU, has been demoted.
On the surface, the trading of positions between DeForest and Keith Patterson, defensive coordinator and co-defensive coordinator, appears to be subtle.
In reality, it’s not. Only one guy runs the show and determines the unit’s personality and calls the plays. That guy now is Patterson, a Marlow native whose coaching stops in the state include Altus High, Edmond Memorial, Edmond Santa Fe, Ardmore and Tulsa University.
It’s an unfortunate development for DeForest, who waited a long time for his chance to be a coordinator, only to inherit a shell of a defense at WVU when he moved fromStillwaterlast year. The Mountaineers lacked speed and defensive playmakers and were ill-fit, from a personnel standpoint, for the program’s move to the Big 12. And DeForest had no control over that in his first season.
Still, when things go sideways – and it happened regularly for the Mountaineers defense in 2012 – someone must be held responsible, even when there are extenuating circumstances.
And that someone is DeForest, after WVU allowed more than 400 yards in eight games surrendered an average of 469.6. The pass defense ranked last in FBS for much of the season and enters the Pinstripe Bowl up just one tick, at No. 119 in the rankings.