Holgorsen Takeaways: Focus Key to Victory Over Virginia Tech
Coach Dana Holgorsen spoke with the media Tuesday.
Tuesday afternoon head coach Dana Holgorsen spent the lunch hour conducting his weekly press conference. The difference in this week’s conference is that the first game of the season is now days away, with a great amount of focus being put on the first opponent.
Holgorsen made it clear that his team respects the traditions and rivalry that is playing Virginia Tech Sunday.
“Getting the rivalry started back up, we’re all excited about that. I know you guys are and we are, the fan bases are, the players are,” he said. “There’s not going to be anything that is more important than trying to keep everybody grounded a little bit to play this game.”
The head coach pointed out the primary concern in taking on this familiar will be staying level-headed and staying focused at the task at hand.
“We’re not going to have to give them a whole lot of pep talks. We’re not going to have to go into the ins and outs of this being the 52nd game and have the Black Diamond Trophy that we’re playing for. Everybody understands all this stuff,” he said. “Not only that, but you couple it with being the first game, and there’s going to be a lot of excitement. We’re looking forward to getting back into a routine this week.”
Having a calm outlook is a difficult feat in any line of work during stressful times, but especially when trying to lead a team of young student-athletes and the team will look to their coach for guidance this week.
Coach Holgorsen is excited to lead his team into such a big game to start the season, showcasing how hard his players have worked and the effort they can put forth in a non-conference game.
“Having this one right out of the gate is good; I think everybody gets excited about their first game,” he said. “So, whether it’s a big, neutral site first game or a home big game, or just a FCS game, I think you’re going to be ready to play that first one no matter what. I have no problems with the first game that’s a neutral site game that’s a big game. That’s fine with me.”
In keeping with a level head, respect was another topic Holgorsen focused on Tuesday. Holgorsen made it very clear that he has a great amount of respect for Hokies head coach Justin Fuente, his stall and Virginia Tech football of years past.
“I have a lot of respect for Justin Fuente. I watched him play growing up as a great quarterback at Tulsa Union and we’ve talked about that,” Holgorsen said. “It’s not surprising that he was the ACC Coach of the Year last year and got those guys to 10 wins and won a bowl game. He had a chance in the last couple minutes of the ACC (Championship) Game; they were a drive away from going down and beating Clemson. So, it’s impressive. He’s a great offensive mind that does a lot of good things on offense”
In order to overcome an opponent, one may say the best way to do so is to maintain a level of respect for the opponent. Coach Holgorsen is leading the way for his team in doing just that.
Another topic that seems to be on repeat is the future performance of quarterback Will Grier. Hologorsen touched on his starting quarterback and definitely stated the obvious; he is excited to see Grier out on the field.
“He’s ready to go . . . He likes to play the game, he likes to practice and prepare, likes to get out there and compete. I’ve never seen him in a live situation,” the coach said. “I’ve seen him in plenty of practices and watched him on video as far as the live stuff goes, so I’m anxious to finally see him in a live setting to where he can cut it loose a little bit.”
The first matchup of the season is now just days away and the first clear message coming from the head coach is one of staying calm and collected from now until the clock reads zero Sunday night. That, and of course, the importance of winning the game.