West Virginia football notebook: QB Smith taking blame
• Senior quarterback Geno Smith spent most of Saturday night after West Virginia's 55-14 loss to Kansas State, pointing the finger at himself. However, coach Dana Holgorsen wants his quarterback to relax and not bear that burden. “If he thinks that all of this falls on his shoulders, then he is sadly mistaken,” Holgorsen said Tuesday. “He is one of our leaders, and he is a tremendous football player. He cares more than anybody. He is responsible for a lot of points and a lot of wins. This doesn't fall on his shoulders. This falls on all our shoulders — all of our coaches and all of our players.”
• Following the opener against Marshall, the Mountaineers spent most of the next week scrimmaging and playing football. Now, the team will get back to basics, focusing more on technique with practices having more of a spring practice/fall camp mentality. “Offensively, that will be tempo, our base plays, blocking and keeping the timing,” Holgorsen said. “Defensively, it will be proper alignment, technique, back peddling, breaking on the ball, run fits and making tackles.”
• Holgorsen has defended the defensive schemes but said the coaching staff needs to do a better job teaching techniques and putting players in the right position to be successful. “Defensively, we need to do a better job of getting in the right plays,” Holgorsen said. “We are putting you in a position to be successful. Now the player has to take over, but as coaches, we have something to do with that, too.”
• The coaches will spend this week recruiting. Four are on the road this week, and the entire staff will be out Friday and Saturday at games to evaluate players. There also will be an emphasis on recruiting junior college players, with the coaches visiting hotbed areas.