West Virginia football notebook: WVU still has long journey ahead
By John Harris
Published: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, 9:22 p.m.
STILLWATER, Okla. — A 5-0 start to the contrary — including a 2-0 start in the Big 12 — West Virginia has a long way to go before becoming a force in the conference.
In its first year in the Big 12, the Mountaineers (5-4, 2-4) have lost four consecutive conference games while making the transition from the Big East.
“To win on the road in this league is tough. To win at home in this league is tough. I think as a team we're finding that out,” said WVU coach Dana Holgorsen, whose team has been outscored, 152-93, in three road conference games.
“It's uncharted territory for a lot of people that are involved.”
Holgorsen said West Virginia's first year in the Big 12 has been spent acclimating his players to the difference in talent from when the Mountaineers won the Big East in their final year in the league.
“It's going to take some time for everybody to truly understand what this conference is all about. There's a lot of good quality teams,” Holgorsen said. “We consider ourselves to be a good quality team, but I think there's some things that we need to obviously get better at.
“It's not just one glaring position, one glaring side of the ball. It's all parties involved.''
Austin likes WVU
Asked about the talent disparity between the Big 12 and Big East, senior wide receiver Tavon Austin replied, “It's not that much higher. Every game we had a chance to win. Little things stopped us from winning. It's not like we're not putting up points.”
Lineup changes coming
Holgorsen promised to make lineup changes if players don't buy into his program.
“We're watching tape and dissecting it very carefully,” Holgorsen said. “See if guys are 100 percent bought in and see if guys want to get back to work next week. If they're improving, we'll play them. If they're not, we'll move on to somebody else.”
Crunch time blues
When WVU opened the season with five straight wins, players made plays in clutch situations. During the team's four game losing streak, some of those same players are breaking down in crunch time.
Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson doesn't know how else to explain the Mountaineers' slump.
“It's attention to detail when times get tough — in my opinion,” Dawson said. “Got to be able to keep our head in a chaotic situation. Right now, we're not doing a very good job of that.”
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.