Holgorsen Takeaways: Learning Experiences To Move Forward To Next Challenge
Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen plans to use experiences from last week’s slim victory to push the team forward for the next game.
Coach Dana Holgorsen met with the Mountaineers media Tuesday afternoon after his team just narrowly escaped Waco with a victory over the Baylor Bears. The Mountaineers quite literally survived and advanced, wining 38-36 with seconds left to spare after giving up their strong lead. Now the head coach looks to move onto the team’s next, and biggest to date, challenge as the Oklahoma State Cowboys travel to Morgantown Saturday afternoon.
Coach Holgorsen is known for always looking ahead to the next opponent once the game is over, regardless of the outcome, and there is no change in that this week as he expressed his and the team’s excitement for the game ahead.
“The series between us and them has been a fun one. We probably know as much about Oklahoma State as we do anybody on our schedule. Oklahoma State probably knows as much about us as anybody on their schedule, so our job as coaches is to put our guys in the best situation that we possibly can, which we will do for this Saturday at noon,” Holgorsen commented. “They’re a good team; they’re an outstanding program. There have been very few teams that’ve won as much as they have over the last 10 years, so they’re going to come in in a good place and it should be a fun Saturday.”
Coach Holgorsen reminded the media of what is already known about this Oklahoma State team thus far in the season, reminding all just how good they are; going so far as to joke that he is excited Mason Rudolph is graduating.
“Offensively, they’re as good as you’re going to see . . . (Mason) Rudolph throws the deep ball as good as anybody. He runs the offense, he’s a big, strong, good-looking, smart guy. He’s been there forever; I’m glad he’s graduating,” Holgorsen quipped. “They have as good of a receiving corps that exists, some guys on the outside that scare you that can get behind you and score quick like they did against Baylor. It was like routes on air, it seemed like, with one-on-one routes on air, nobody deep, just go deep and throw it as far as you can.”
The Mountaineers head coach was asked about the last half of last week’s Baylor game, specifically if that momentum or energy of going down, losing the lead, would be carried over into this week’s home game. This momentum or ‘losing mentality’ that some may refer to it as is a dreaded concept that team, coaches and fans alike hope to not see Saturday. The head coach instead remarked that the team would use this as a learning experience moving forward.
“So, there are some things that happened right towards the very end of the third quarter. That was probably the best third quarter that we’ve had since I’ve been here on all three sides. We dominated. They got one play on us on offense, but other than that, we were in a really good place. Everything we did offensively worked, our return units were good, our coverage units were good, defensively we were playing well, stopping the run,” Holgorsen commented. “You go to that point up 25 to being in the situation that we were in will teach you a lot on the fact that you can never be complacent, you can never relax. I don’t care what happened on the previous play, the previous series, the previous quarter, the previous game, you better keep moving forward and play how you’re able to play.”
The last several minutes, or quarter really, of the Baylor game is a great teaching tool for Coach Holgorsen and the rest of his coaches to use as the team pushes through the last several games of the season. Holgorsen has said for years that the team must play all 60 minutes of the game, and not a second less. The head coach was proud of his offensive line’s improvements from two weeks ago to last week, showing that they are focusing on playing the whole game going forward.
“I thought we took a step in the right direction on having that mentality that I discussed last week that needs to exist to be able to run the ball the way that we want to be able to run the ball. They’re still young and inexperienced, and we need to continue to improve,” Holgorsen said. “We’re not anywhere close to where I want us to be. Hopefully, we get there quick. I thought we took a step in the right direction and we need to continue to head in that direction if we want to win here moving forward.”
As of right now, it looks like the Mountaineers are learning and growing from week to week, making adjustments and improvements after each game. With a big game in Morgantown this week, one of the biggest thus far this season, the Mountaineers and their head coach will need to put last week behind them; learn from it, adjust accordingly and plan for victory. Coach Holgorsesn and his team will look to make a statement as to why the Mountaineers could and should be considered as contenders in the Big 12.