The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

September 25, 2013

Holgorsen finds positives in blowout loss

MORGANTOWN — Honest to badness, Dana Holgorsen saw the same football game you saw Saturday when Maryland humiliated West Virginia, 37-0.

As he watched it, his reaction was much the same as yours, especially on the offensive side, which he said made him sick to his stomach.

But eight times through the film since returning to Morgantown has not had him send off for a lifetime supply of Pepto-Bismol, but instead given him a different outlook on what transpired.

No, during his Tuesday afternoon press briefing in advance of Saturday’s noon home meeting with Oklahoma State, he did not back off from the blame he placed on himself, but it has made him realize that the situation may be desperate but not hopeless.

“Our guys have done everything I’ve asked them to do for eight months,” he noted. “It goes back to January, after the sick feeling in my stomach from Syracuse. We came back here and met and went to work.”

And, he says, his team, his players have responded as well as they could, right up and through Saturday’s debacle.

“They had an opportunity in this game Saturday to quit. You’re down 30-0 at halftime, whatever the reasons,” he said, about to go through many of them.

“If you look back at it, the punt hits Ronnie (Carswell) and three of their guys were there to jump on it. Shoot, five or six plays later we punted and it hit their guy and we were two, three steps from jumping on it. They caught a break and we didn’t catch a break, but you got to make your own break.

“Then they intercept a ball — a heckuva play by that kid, an outside linebacker snatches it out of the air and runs 30 yards for a touchdown. But Jared Barber missed one by about an inch that could have been returned for a touchdown,” Holgorsen continued.

“Why is that happening to them and not to us? Fine, it happens. The point is, make your own breaks. They made their breaks and we didn’t, and we’re down 30 points and the kids could have quit, but they didn’t.”

And that was important.

“So if I’m sitting here in front of you saying they quit, we’re not getting the effort we want, we got attitude problems ... but none of that is existing. So I’m comfortable standing here saying whatever we’re missing, I think we’re that close to being a damn good football team.”

With that, Holgorsen held his fingers about 37-34 apart, not 37-0 apart.

“But right now, we have to change it and I’m the one who has to change it.”

Don’t mistake this for Holgorsen crying about breaks going against him or for overrating what his team has done or is capable of doing.

It isn’t that.

He knows his quarterback has a lot of growing up to do, that his offensive line isn’t playing as it should and that his receivers have been terribly disappointing.

But he saw something in that film he probably didn’t ever expect to see, and he is hoping a change in approach can bring it out.

“It’s a challenge. It is,” he said. “I’ve watched that film probably eight times since we got back Saturday night and there’s some things that resemble football. I know that’s hard to believe, but there is. Our guys are trying. We have quality running backs. We have experience on the offensive line.

“We have receivers who can run and catch, although I thought about changing their title on the depth chart to blockers, because that’s what we’re asking them to do so much.

“We have guys who can do it and they’re trying. If we can get just a little bit better and they can gain some confidence, then maybe it will steamroll and we can start scoring some points and win some games.”

Probably not this week, with the nation’s No. 11 team in town, and probably not even the week after that when Baylor and the nation’s top offense is the opponent, but Holgorsen is hopeful that he can create a change in attitude that will allow slow progress to take place.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos