Holgorsen Takeaways: Mountaineers Ready To Play For Homecoming
Coach Holgorsen and his team are ready for a much-needed home game as Homecoming week is here.
Head coach Dana Holgorsen spoke to the media Tuesday afternoon following West Virginia’s heartbreak of a loss to TCU Saturday night. This coming week brings the Mountaineers back home, for the Homecoming weekend festivities, to take on the newly ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. It was evident Tuesday that both coach and team are ready to come home and play in front of their fans.
“We are ready to get back home and play a game – probably more than anything after the way we lost that game last week,” Holgorsen said. “There is a lot of excitement on our end about being able to play at home for the first time in a month. It’s homecoming. It truly is a homecoming when you have been gone for a month. It’s nice to be back home. It’s sold out. There is a lot of excitement for it. It’s ‘Stripe the Stadium.’ It’ll be a good time for everyone involved.”
Coach Holgorsen dove right into what the Mountaineers will face against the Red Raiders, highlighting both their offense and defense and what has improved since last season.
“The one thing that stands out is that their quarterback has really improved. We just saw him briefly in a few of the games last year when (Patrick) Mahomes was kind of nursing the shoulder or whatever he had. (QB Nic) Shimonek went in there and played,” Holgorsen pointed out. “He is a big kid that has a great arm. I see a lot of improvement fundamentally and how he is running the offense. They have improved up front. They are really doing a good job with their o-linemen, as far as the pass protection aspect of it. The thing that is different is (that they are) running the ball.”
On Texas Tech’s defense, Holgorsen remarked on the team’s improvement and how far they have come over the past few years. Holgorsen said he knows defensive coordinator David Gibbs and is impressed with what they have done in Lubbock over the past several years.
“They do a great job against the run, but they pressure the quarterback and go sideline-to-sideline as well. They are playing a lot better. It’s not surprising because I know (Texas Tech defensive coordinator) coach (David) Gibbs, and they are going to play hard for him,” Holgorsen commented. “He has always done a great job at creating turnovers, so that is going to be a big thing moving forward.”
Holgorsen pointed out that his team was ‘locked in and ready to go” this past weekend in Fort Worth, and that despite disappointment in the loss, his team was fresh and attentive to prepare for Texas Tech and the Homecoming game.
” I think we have good leadership with some older guys. It means a lot to them, and they have been around here for a while . . . I stood right here in front of the group on Sunday and gave them my two cents. They were attentive. We watched video. We went down stairs and lifted weights. We went outside, and we were bouncing around pretty good. They are excited about playing football,” Holgorsen said. “That’s all you can ask for. The effort has been good. I thought we prepared for that game as hard as any group I’ve been around with the way we practiced and the way the meetings went, especially later in the week on Friday. You could tell with the way the meetings went, how we traveled and how they acted at the hotel. I can kind of sense disinterest sometimes, and it was nothing but locked in and ready to go. I couldn’t be happier with the way they prepared, and I couldn’t be happier with the effort that they played with.”
Overall, despite his team being 3-2 going into the final seven games of the season, Holgorsen is still optimistic and sees success for his team. It is evident that Holgorsen and his team are happy to be home, to celebrate Homecoming week and to play in front of their fans. The Mountaineers and their head coach are embracing being home as the prepare to take on the Red Raiders.