Blowout losses have West Virginia readjusting to life in Big 12
College Football Videos
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia battled out of a midseason slump last season to win its final four games. The finale for the Mountaineers was a 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
During that difficult stretch, WVU lost 49-23 at Syracuse, won 41-31 at Rutgers, and lost to Louisville 38-35 at home.
The Mountaineers this year entered their second bye week following consecutive losses to Kansas State and Texas Tech by a combined 104-28 score.
Coach Dana Holgorsen is hopeful for a similar turnaround, but he realizes circumstances may be different.
“Whenever you put up two losses like that back-to-back, it is a little different,'' he said of the Mountaineers, who are 5-2 and 2-2 in their first Big 12 season. “There are some challenges this year that didn't exist with last year's team, and there were some challenges last year that don't exist with this team.''
While acknowledging those differences, Holgorsen admits there also are similarities.
Playing an improved schedule with essentially the same roster that won the Big East in 2011 may be the biggest challenge.
“Basically, it boils down to having to bounce back, and that doesn't happen overnight,'' said Holgorsen, who is 15-5 at WVU. “We bounced back last season. This is different because of who we are playing. We just played the No. 3 team in the country (Kansas State). It is going to take a whole year of going through the Big 12 for everyone to understand the Big 12.''
Until then, Holgorsen wants to put the focus on his team.
On defense, the plan is to simplify things for as many as nine freshmen who already have received playing time.
“We have to make things more manageable,'' Holgorsen said. “We can't try to manufacture plays or people. We can't come up with tricks because that is not the solution. We are going to focus on trying to get better at things we are already good at.''
Offensively, the Mountaineers have gotten away from doing some of the things they do best. For instance, look for a return to the short passing game that was effective early.
“We should have done a better job of completing the ball underneath,'' Holgorsen said following the 55-14 loss to Kansas State.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Woman shot outside Kennywood Park in West Mifflin
- Innovation enhances Philadelphia’s history as Democrats convene, Pope Francis visits
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents
- Pakistani military says it achieved major victory over Islamist terrorists
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia