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WVU football notebook: Mountaineers clear heads after 2-game skid

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen (right) and Ivan McCartney (5) take the field before a game against Texas on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, in Austin, Texas. AP Photo

About John Harris
Picture John Harris
Sports Reporter
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

John Harris is a sports writer for the Tribune-Review.

By John Harris

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, 7:18 p.m.

• West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen believes his team has recovered mentally from its two-game losing streak. “Our mentality is good and our body language is good,” Holgorsen said Tuesday. “Our confidence is back up, and our players are excited about playing. If 5-2 teams that are coming off a loss pout, they are probably not going to finish the year well. How you handle those losses comprises what you are going to be made of.” The Mountaineers returned to practice Sunday following two off days. “They were physical and played with effort,” Holgorsen said. “We wanted them to get away from it and be 18- to 22-year-old kids. They came back Sunday ready to go.”

• The Mountaineers likely will practice outdoors this week with cold weather and a recent snowfall in mind. The forecast for Saturday's 3 p.m. game against TCU at Milan Stadium calls for a high of 48 degrees. “I figured we were preparing for Rutgers with this weather. We had the same stuff this time last year,” said Holgorsen, referring to last year's 41-31 win at Rutgers. “We managed to go outside in a very tough environment at Rutgers and be successful. There was rain, sleet, snow and wind. We will probably go outside and throw snowballs to get used to the weather. The weather is settling in, so maybe the weather will be like this Saturday. We played in conditions like this last year and were able to win.”

• TCU ranks No. 63 nationally in pass defense, but Holgorsen is concerned with the different looks his offense will face. “Sometimes, I get confused if it is man or zone because there are a lot of matching routes that look like man,” Holgorsen said. “It is 50 percent man or 50 percent zone pressure. There aren't a lot of blown coverages. They don't beat themselves on defense. We have got to execute and know what they are doing.”

— John Harris




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