Holgorsen Takeaways: Bye Week A Time To Prepare For Remaining Games
Coach Dana Holgorsen addressed the media Tuesday afternoon and spoke on areas to work on during West Virginia’s bye week.
Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen addressed the media after the team won their first Big 12 game, 56-34, over the Kansas Jayhawks. The head coach made it known that there are areas needing improvement, and that the team will look toward that improvement heading into the buy week and the remainder of the season.
Injuries are something that Holgorsen rarely addresses with the media, but made the exception when discussing Brandon Ferns and his season-ending injury he sustained.
“Obviously two years in a row. He got four games in this year where he didn’t get four games in last year. He was probably our most solid special teams player at this point. He seems to be in good spirits, it’s going to a six-month deal and he should be ready for spring football,” Holgorsen said. “I really liked what I saw out of him for four games. He seems to be in good spirits and I want him to hang in there and get it fixed and hopefully it doesn’t happen to him again.”
Coach Holgorsen was obviously upset about the injury Ferns sustained, and hopes that the redshirt freshman linebacker may be able to acquire a second medical redshirt. Though the injury is a blow to Ferns, it seems as though player and coach both are taking it in good strides. Ferns even went so far as making a joke to his head coach about the situation.
“He did make a sly comment. He was curious if anybody has played football while possessing their doctorate degree. He’s never had a B; if anybody could do it, it’d be him,” Holgorsen said of Ferns.
Holgorsen also spoke about Saturday’s game against Kansas, pointing out that the defense left much to be desired with the exception of Lamonte McDougle.
“Yeah, it wasn’t good. Now, we were happy with (freshman defensive lineman) Lamonte (McDougle). He looked different than the rest of them out there, which is why he was the player of the game,” Holgorsen said. “I’m glad we had one of them that filled gaps and got off blocks and made some plays.”
Holgorsen also made note of how well the Kansas defense did against West Virginia’s offensive line, but also how well the Mountaineers bounced back against that defense.
“The best part of Kansas’ team, and it was not even close, was their (defensive) line. They have good players on their (defensive) line. And our (offensive) line kind of was tired of hearing about it and stepped up to the plate and played pretty well, in my opinion,” Holgorsen said. “We had one sack, which was the second play of the game where (redshirt junior quarterback) Will (Grier) rolled out of there and it should have been an easy completion but they played it pretty well.”
Holgorsen always has at least one or two comments during his media addresses that are bound to leave those listening laughing, and his remarks about the team’s new cryotherapy machine provided just that chuckle. Holgorsen was asked if he had tried out the machine that has been taking the sports world, and exercise aficionados by storm.
“I’ve been in it a couple of times. For an old, fat guy, it speeds your metabolism up. I’ve been in it a few times, it’s good stuff. The players like it. It’s quicker than sitting in a cold tub for 15, 20 minutes – that starts to hurt a little bit, or at least it hurts until it’s numb. The technology is good and a lot of our guys like sitting in that thing,” Holgorsen quipped. “I got in it, I was curious about it for one. I’m not sore, you aren’t going to get sore walking around the block. Even with that, it does speed the metabolism up, which increased blood flow, which if you are sore and beat up, it helps heel you. So, it’s good stuff.”
Holgorsen also made comments on an area Will Grier could look to improve upon, sliding. The redshirt junior quarterback seems to struggle with sliding, with Holgorsen remarking that apparently sliding is something one may actually have to practice and learn.
“I guess I have to bring (WVU baseball coach) (Randy) Mazey over here to teach him how to slide. I haven’t played baseball in a long time. I haven’t attempted to slide in probably 20-some years. I don’t view it as something that is really hard. Evidently it is hard because he is bad at it,” Holgorsen commented. “Step one is, you nailed it, he is competitive so he is always trying to get an extra yard and I’m like, ‘If you already have the first down who cares about a yard?’ If you have to strain for the extra yard to get the first down, sometimes that’s important, sometimes it’s not. If it is at the end of the game, if it is fourth down, yeah, by all means do what you have to do to keep it alive like he did against Virginia Tech.”
The Mountaineers have a buy this week before traveling to Fort Worth to take on TCU. This will be a time for the players to reset, recover if needed and work on any areas of improvement that may set them up for success in the last eight games of the season.