Holgorsen Takeaways: Mountaineers Look For Momentum To Carry To Victory

Holgorsen Takeaways: Mountaineers Look For Momentum To Carry To Victory

West Virginia

Holgorsen Takeaways: Mountaineers Look For Momentum To Carry To Victory

Holgorsen Takeaways: Mountaineers Look For Momentum To Carry To Victory

Holgorsen Takeaways: Mountaineers Look For Momentum To Carry To Victory

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Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen addressed the West Virginia media Tuesday afternoon after the team fell to Oklahoma State 50-39 at home Saturday. The Mountaineers are now 5-3, with all three losses coming from Top- 25 teams, and the head coach looks to bounce back with another Top-15 team coming to town Saturday as the Iowa State Cyclones come to Morgantown.

“There’s nothing like facing another Top-15 team opponent. We’re really excited about that. Iowa State is playing well, it’s very well-documented,” Holgorsen said. “They’re playing well as a whole, not just one side.”

Iowa State notoriously beat the Oklahoma Sooners earlier in the season, with a new quarterback starting that game. This matchup showcased the Cyclones as a team to take seriously this season, with their momentum continuing to build. The Cyclones offense is not one for the Mountaineers head coach to take lightly at all coming into Saturday afternoon’s game.

“If you look offensively, nobody takes care of the ball better than they are,” Holgorsen points out. “That (Trever) Ryan kid, No. 19, is an interesting story. That guy makes all kinds of plays and is their best special teams player. He’s their best punt returner I’ve seen since Wes Welker.”

Coach Holgorsen is known for highlighting his opponent’s strong suits, but it sounds as if the head coach is truly aware of what a dynamic team the Cyclones have become as the Mountaineers prepare to welcome them into Morgantown. The Mountaineers, and their head coach will have to bounce back from last week’s loss and use that momentum to attempt to beat this highly-ranked Iowa State team while at the same time getting the coveted sixth win for post-season bowl eligibility.

Coach Holgorsen pointed out just how good Iowa State’s specials teams really are. The Mountaineers have again this season struggled on special teams, and this is clearly an area the Cyclones are consistently excelling at.

“Special teams-wise, it’s collectively the best specialists we’ve faced. Their punters hits it exactly where they want him to hit it, his operation time is unbelievable. The place-kicker is almost perfect, he’s missed a couple field goals that missed by this much, so he’s solid,” Holgorsen said. “The kickoff guy kicks it into the end zone, I mentioned the punt returner, the kickoff guys and their coverage units are as good as can be. They’ve very sound, very smart, very tough. They are just overall a very good football team.”

One thing the head coach consistently remarks on after a loss is his team’s mentality going into a game, both prior to loss and heading into the next game. This week was no different, and in true Holgorsen fashion, the coach did not sugar coat his remarks when asked about his team’s mentality this week.

“I would think determined. If you can’t be determined to get out there and coach harder and play harder and practice harder and get to a point where you play harder, then why do you do it? We got beat; they beat us. My assessment of not having the right mentality – and I always pinpoint the run game just because that’s where you can see it on the stat sheet – but there are examples everywhere for every position of not having the right mentality that you need to win,” Holgorsen stated. “The first thing back there on that thing is “toughness”. I don’t care what program you’re talking about, I could argue that it probably doesn’t even matter what sport you talk about. If you don’t have that, then you’re going to have a hard time being successful.”

Coach Holgorsen knows just how hard this game will be for his team come Saturday afternoon. Coming off a home loss, the Mountaineers looks to expound off that experience and play all four quarters to the best of their ability. Keeping up momentum from the very first snap, the team will need to give it all they’ve got in order to upset a Top-15 team in Morgantown. If West Virginia can manage to win over Iowa State at home, not only will they be bowl eligible for the post-season, but they will also have upset a Top-25 team for the second time at home this season. Magic happens in Milan Puskar, one can just hope magic and momentum carry this team to victory Saturday.


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