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Holgorsen calls out WVU fans

| Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011

A week after playing in front of one of the biggest crowd's in Milan Puskar Stadium history, West Virginia beat Bowling Green in front of 46,603 fans on a rainy and cold Saturday afternoon.

Coach Dana Holgorsen wasn't happy by the turnout, and he expressed his disappointment in the West Virginia fan base Tuesday.

"Whatever our expectations are with our players as far as preparing every week and going to the game and playing our best, I'd highly encourage our students and our support to take the same approach," Holgorsen said.

"You only get seven opportunities a year. What's so hard about it• Was it too cold• It wasn't too cold for our players. It wasn't too cold for our coaches or managers or trainers. So, why'd we have 20,000 people less to this one than we did last week?"

Two weeks ago, Holgorsen and players talked about the advantage of having a huge crowd at Mountaineer Field when West Virginia played LSU in front of a national television audience

West Virginia (4-1) had 62,056 fans at its loss to LSU. It was the most fans at a WVU home game since construction near the North end zone was completed in 2004.

"LSU played well in front of 62,000 of our people, then turned around, went home and played a 1-4 Kentucky team at noon and had 95,000 people there," Holgorsen said. "You want to talk about an elite program, that's one. I don't know about this place."

West Virginia sold out its first home game, against Marshall, with 60,758 fans in attendance. Its second home game, against Norfolk State, had 51,911 people. Milan Puskar Stadium's listed capacity is 60,000.

Holgorsen campaigned all summer to the West Virginia faithful, encouraging fans to support the team and athletic department, but so far, he's been underwhelmed.

"I saw the level of support and how much we mean to the state of West Virginia," he said. "This is the NFL team here in town and hearing, 'We're going to be there to support you.' Well, having 40,000 people at the game isn't doing that.

"The only thing we can do about it is fix it. We do our best every week to fix what the problems are offensively, defensively and special teams-wise. Well, what's everyone across the state of West Virginia, including the student body, doing to fix the fact that our players had to show up in the cold in front of 40,000 people."

The Mountaineers host Connecticut (2-3) at noon Saturday. Holgorsen is hoping for a better turnout.

"I can give you some excuses," Holgorsen said. "We're playing a team that's 2-3 but should be 5-0. We're playing at noon. Who cares• Get up. The Mantrip (pep rally) is at 9:45 a.m. Are we going to have a good crowd, or are we going to have nobody there• Is the weather going to be 85 degrees and sunny, or will it be 25 degrees and snowy?

"It doesn't matter, because coaches and players and trainers and everyone else will be there. That's what our job is, so what's the support people's job?"

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