Holgorsen Takeaways: Ready to Bring on the Mountaineers
Dana Holgorsen opened up regular-season preparation with a conversation with the media.
Tuesday at noon marked the return of Dana Holgorsen’s weekly media addresses, showcasing just how close the Mountaineers are to starting the 2017 football season.
The Mountaineers are a week away from their first game and the excitement from the coach is palpable. After listening to the head coach Tuesday, it is clear to anyone that this coach is ready to see his team in action. Holgorsen is ready for real play and is clearly done watching his players play against each other in practice.
This week, the head coach opened up the conference pointing out how ready his team is to play some real ball.
“I like where our team is at; I’m incredibly sick of practicing against each other,” he said. “I’m ready to switch gears, which we have.”
Fall practices started a little early this season, and it is clear these players are ready for some action.
Now that the season is days away, it is time for the head coach and his team to focus solely on their first opponent, the familiar foe Virginia Tech. Holgorsen has been happy with the work in practice, but is now ready to shift the team’s focus over to the Hokies.
“Today, when we get in here, we’ll start talking about Virginia Tech a little bit,” he said. “Then, a week from now, we can full-go practice against Virginia Tech, which when we meet next week I’ll have a little bit more information as far as what we think we need to do in order to be successful.”
When asked what his team’s strengths and weaknesses were, he could not give a concrete answer without first playing another team.
“We’ll have answers 13 days from now when we’re sitting here on Monday and evaluate the video and see what it looks like,” he said. “So, I’ll tell you two weeks from today, or you can tell me.”
Receivers were a topic of conversation for the coach. The coach said Kennedy McCoy is one of the team’s top four receivers, and will be play both receiver and running back.
“He’s been our best H since last spring. He has shown versatility to be able to do things in the backfield, much like we did with Wendell (Smallwood) a couple of years ago before he was the main guy at running back. Right now, Kennedy is capable of being the main guy but (senior running back Justin) Crawford is pretty good,” he said. “So, we’ll use McKoy in a lot of different ways, which he did in the spring. In my opinion, he’s one of our top four guys right now.”
Holgorsen did not discuss or bring up the departure of Jovon Durante to Florida Atlantic in Tuesday’s conference, but that is expected as the coach does not often bring up players leaving the team.
It seems that even the head coach of the Mountaineers was able to take a day of fun when the team went back to school last week, heading out to see his first NFL scrimmage.
“I went down to see the Texans and Patriots last week. It was the first day of school on Wednesday and that was our day off, so I shot down there for a day and watched them practice against each other. That’s the first time I’ve seen an NFL practice like that. I’ve been to plenty of camps and have seen plenty of practices, but I’ve never seen two teams practicing against each other. It’s unbelievable how much work you can get done.”
Finally, the head coach touched on the topic of the make-up of the Big 12, pointing out how Oklahoma and Oklahoma State should be considered as two of the top teams in the country, especially with Oklahoma beating Auburn in the Sugar Bowl last season, saying “. . . based on what Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have done in the last couple of years, that’s who I’d put up there. They both looked really good in their bowl games last year and finished the season strong. Oklahoma State beat Colorado, which was a 12-1 team and I think Oklahoma beat Auburn, which people said Auburn was a top 10 team and Oklahoma beat them pretty good. So, I don’t know how you couldn’t consider them two of the top teams in the country based on how they finished the year last year and what they have coming back.”
With the team less than two weeks away from the first game of the season, it is evident that Holgorsen and the team are ready to get the season started. This time next week, there will be plenty more questions asked about the readiness of the team to take on the old, familiar foe of Virginia Tech.