West Virginia notebook: Holgorsen, Mountaineers not looking too far ahead
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As big as West Virginia's win at Texas was for perception, recruiting and the conference race, coach Dana Holgorsen doesn't want himself, his coaches or his players to talk about it anymore.
The team is focused solely on Texas Tech and not looking ahead to Kansas State.
“I don't understand what a trap game means,” Holgorsen said. “You play the same every week. If you don't have the ability to understand that every week is the same, you get beat. Whether it's a trap game or ‘big' game, it's a game.”
• Senior quarterback Geno Smith has thrown 24 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season. He hasn't thrown an interception since last December on the road against South Florida. “He's probably going to throw an interception at some point,” Holgorsen said. “Hopefully, that one interception doesn't hurt us from winning the game because winning the game is a whole lot more important to Geno Smith than some little old streak.”
• Despite running back Andrew Buie's breakout performance against Texas, Holgorsen is still focused on getting senior Shawne Alston (thigh) and sophomore Dustin Garrison (knee) healthy to prevent Buie from being injured. “He carried it 31 times, and he got hit 31 times,” Holgorsen said. “He blocks, which is hard, and he runs routes, which is taxing. The wear and tear is something to be concerned with, which is why we need to get Dustin healthy and Shawne healthy.”
• Texas Tech's change to Art Kaufman at defensive coordinator has been a good one. The Red Raiders rank second nationally in total defense and first in passing defense. However, Holgorsen said the defense isn't tricky. It only blitzes 8 percent of the time but is extremely sound and plays hard. “By not (blitzing), they are covering more ground,” Holgorsen said. “They have more people in coverage, and if you happen to complete the (pass), they have more people going to (the ball). They're in position to make plays.”
• Last season, Holgorsen called out his team for not creating enough energy on the sidelines during a home loss to Louisville. Since then, he's been happy with the liveliness and urgency of West Virginia's sidelines. That includes last week against Texas, and he said it needs to continue at Texas Tech.
— Josh Sickles