The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

June 24, 2014

HERTZEL COLUMN: It’s up to WVU coaches to get swagger back

MORGANTOWN — If you can remember back to that night in Miami, Florida, when West Virginia took Clemson apart, 70-33, in the Orange Bowl, and to the 5-0 start on the next season, you remember the swagger the Mountaineers possessed at the time.

Why not?

They had Geno Smith flinging the football all over the lot, and Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey hauling in those passes for long gains, each punching his ticket to the NFL.

Then the losing began, and as each loss mounted over the past season and a half, WVU winning just four times last year, the swagger was worn away.

So on a recent appearance on Bruce Feldman’s radio show, coach Dana Holgorsen was asked how to get the swagger back, and his answer was interesting, for he did not lay it on the players to develop such an attitude alone, but on the coaches to develop it.

“It depends on these guys developing into real players,” Holgorsen said. “It’s coaching, too. We have to feel good about who we have. We have to have confidence in our guys. We have to believe in them and call plays that we feel will work and get our guys to believe in it ... and I think we’re on our way with that.”

By that, Holgorsen was saying that he believes this past offseason has been a fruitful one in having his team begin to feel like winners again, which is developing the same kind of confidence they had back when they were looking almost unbeatable.

“We have a lot of starters coming back,” Holgorsen noted. “We lost just two guys to the NFL ... running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke. We should be more familiar with what we are doing on both sides of the ball.”

In football, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt.

It breeds the confidence you are looking for, but again, Holgorsen stresses, it has to begin with the coaching staff letting it be known that they believe.

“Our coaching staff needs to be more excited about it,” he said. “We have to have the confidence we had with Geno and Tavon on the team. They were tremendous players, and we need to get some guys to go out there and make some plays like they did.

“That will translate into other guys having confidence like they did.”

Text Only
WVU Sports
  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 22, 2014

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU’s Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • Quarterback front and center for WVU

    In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.

    July 22, 2014

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