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
  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 25, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.

    July 25, 2014

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