ShareThis Page

WVU football notebook: Holgorsen focused on own plight

| Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dan Holgorsen has maintained his sense of humor throughout the Mountaineers' four-game losing streak — longest at the school since 2001.

Asked if he's offered encouragement to Washington State coach Mike Leach, who has struggled in his first season, Holgorsen didn't mince words prior to the Mountaineers' game Saturday night against No. 12 Oklahoma.

“I'm more concerned about what I'm going through,'' said Holgorsen, who is in his second season. “It's a little bit more about me than it is him.''

Smith on track for 4,000 yards

Holgorsen has produced 4,000-yard passers in his each of the past seven seasons. West Virginia senior quarterback Geno Smith, who threw for 4,385 yards a year ago, is on pace to reach the 4,000-yard milestone again this year. He had thrown for 3,041 yards entering Saturday night's game for an average of nearly 340 yards per outing with three regular season games and perhaps a bowl game left on the schedule.

Breaking new ground

Oklahoma senior wide receiver Justin Brown may be a familiar name to some area college football fans. Brown played his first three seasons at Penn State before transferring to Oklahoma prior to the season.

Brown entered Saturday night's game ranked second on the team in receptions (41), receiving yards (537) and touchdown receptions (four). More important, he ranked second in the Big 12 and fifth in the country averaging 16.2 yards per punt return.

“They (Sooners) hit two home runs on transfers,'' Holgorsen said. “The Brown kid from Penn State and the (Jalen) Saunders kid from Fresno State are special.''

Saunders caught a 76 yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

New look for offense

West Virginia unveiled a new offensive look against Oklahoma. Senior receiver Tavon Austin lined up as a running back and bolted for a nine-yard gain on WVU's first series.

Oklahoma immediately called timeout to adjust its defense. On WVU's next drive, Austin carried the ball three consecutive times up the middle, including a 31-yard run that led to a field goal.

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.