West Virginia notebook: Holgorsen admits mistake in bypassing field goal
By Bob Hertzel
Published: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 8:24 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen left himself open for second guessing with a rather startling decision he made in the first quarter of the Mountaineers' 37-27 loss Saturday afternoon to No. 16 Texas Tech.
First, the situation.
It was the closing minute of the first quarter, Texas Tech leading 10-0.
WVU had driven to the Red Raiders' 17, then two penalties — a 15-yard penalty and a 10-yard penalty — surrounded an incomplete pass, making it third and 30 at the Texas Tech 42.
Holgorsen, ranting and raving on the sidelines about the penalties, called a running play to Charles Sims, who broke loose for 16 yards, making it fourth and 14 at the 26.
Instead of sending out the field goal unit — WVU kicker Josh Lambert made 30-yard and 33-yard field goals during the game — Holgorsen opted to gamble and go for it.
Quarterback Clint Trickett threw a long pass near the goal line that fell incomplete.
Had the field goal been kicked, West Virginia would have trailed 10-3.
Holgorsen admitted it was a mistake to bypass the field goal attempt.
“We were moving the ball. At the time, we were moving the ball, but the penalties just kept backing us up,” Holgorsen said. “It was about a 45-yard field goal. I should have kicked it.”
What was his thinking then?
“My thinking at that point was we were moving the ball, and they had just taken it down and scored two times (a TD and field goal) in a row, so I figured touchdowns would be important,” Holgorsen said. “I should have kicked a field goal, but it was fourth and 2 or whatever it was, and I felt good about going for it, but it was not the right decision.”
Fourth and 2? Could Holgorsen have looked up and mistaken the down and distance?
No, said WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, who discussed the play with Holgorsen. Dawson said the coaches felt they needed a touchdown and were going for a play that would get them at least 12 yards.
Better than advertised
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury is the first coach in Big 12 history to start his career 7-0.
“I saw ESPN College GameDay and the ones who picked against us,” he said. “I hope they give us that locker room material. The players are aware of where they were picked (to finish) at the beginning of the year. We want to show everyone that we're not that bad. Let's put it that way.”
Around the Mountaineers
Texas Tech was without injured receiver Jakeem Grant, who is a force despite being 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds. He is among the fastest players in the Big 12. ... Former West Virginia coach Frank Cignetti, who is going to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame for his coaching at Indiana (Pa.), was honored at the game. ... Texas Tech, ranked 16th, was the fourth ranked team played by WVU in its first seven games. ... West Virginia had four first downs by penalty.
— Bob Hertzel
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.
- Mountaineers earn share of Big 12 crown
- WVU hitting road to get fans more involved
- West Virginia among Big 12 teams with a lot left to play for
- Clark paces No. 23 Oklahoma past West Virginia