The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

September 24, 2013

Holgorsen takes the blame

MORGANTOWN — He didn’t throw an interception, drop a pass or miss a block, yet in the end, Dana Holgorsen says if you’re looking for someone to blame for the disaster that occurred over the weekend against Maryland in Baltimore, come looking for him.

“I’m not pointing the finger at anyone but myself,” the West Virginia coach said during Monday’s Big 12 coaches’ conference call in the wake of an embarrassing 37-0 defeat.

He understands that no one he put out there on the offensive side of the ball did anything to take him off the hook.

His redshirt freshman quarterback, Ford Childress, played like a redshirt freshman quarterback.

He completed but 11 of 22 passes, gaining just 62 yards. He played as if he were mad at his wide receivers, Ronald Carswell being the only one to make a catch, that for just 12 yards on a third-down play when 13 were needed.

He threw two more passes toward Carswell, one toward Kevin White and one toward Mario Alford.

Two of his passes were intercepted and he lost a fumble, but Holgorsen preferred not to hang his young quarterback out to dry.

“I see bigger issues,” he said. “There’s obviously some things that Ford can do to improve on his performance. The bigger issue is me. I have to do a better job of getting these guys prepared to play, of calling plays, of all three sides of the ball getting motivated. I didn’t do a very good job of that last week.”

It was the same with his wide receivers.

One catch?

Surely Holgorsen could not accept that.

“It would be nice to get wide receivers the ball. That’s why they call them receivers, so they can catch a ball every now and then. We’re pretty inept at that,” he admitted.

But again, he was giving them a pass, at least in public, to let the blame fall on himself.

“That’s nothing on them. They’re working hard,” he said. “We got guys in position, guys that want to play. We’re just not clicking and that falls 100 percent on me.”

In truth, when you are the highest paid employee in the state, when you have taken over a football program that was riding so high three consecutive 9-4 seasons weren’t good enough to keep your job, a lot is expected of you, and 0-37 losses to Maryland are not among those expectations.

“There’s plenty of blame to go around,” Holgorsen said. “The one that can be blamed more than anyone is me. That’s for danged sure. That’s not an acceptable performance.

“You have to give Maryland some credit. I thing they are a really good team on defense. They gave us fits last year,” he continued. “With that said, I got to do a better job of coaching them. We have to get guys in position to execute what we’re asking them to do. That’s not happening very much.”

Just what is it Holgorsen believes he must do to change things? He is not about to make a quarterback change, saying Childress is his guy, and he is in a rebuilding phase at wide receiver, offensive line and running back, depending a great deal on junior college transfers, which normally brings either great rewards or heartaches ... and far too often the latter.

“We’re going to coach them harder this week. We’re going to get them prepared to play,” Holgorsen said. “I just got to do a better job. If I do a better job, the rest of the guys will do a better job as well.”

And just what is the goal with this team?

“I got to get these guys to where they are playing a little looser. I think they are playing a little uptight. You can’t go out there and be scared to make a mistake. If it exists with me and that’s what the majority of the team feels, then the finger comes pointing right back at me,” Holgorsen said.

How you get a team to loosen up after a debacle like that with the nation’s No. 11 team in Oklahoma State ahead is a difficult question to answer, but it’s why Holgorsen gets the big bucks.

NOTES: WVU is a 21-point underdog at home to Oklahoma State. They have not been that big a home dog in two decades, since Miami in 1994 ... Maryland had eight tackles for loss against WVU on Saturday ... West Virginia’s trip to Baylor on Oct. 5 will be shown on FoxSports TV at 7 p.m. ... This week’s game against Oklahoma State is at noon.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • 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

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