Holgorsen Takeaways: Mountaineers Prepare For Familiar Foes At Kansas State
Mountaineers head coach Dana Hologrsen prepares his team for the ever-famliar Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan on Saturday.
Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen spoke with the media Tuesday coming off the team’s 20-16 victory over ranked Iowa State Saturday in Morgantown. This week, the head coach and his team take their talents on the road to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Kansas State Wildcats. Coach Holgorsen looks to keep the winning going as his 6-3 team makes their second-to-last raod trip of the season. Coach Holgorsen knows that playing at Kansas State is a difficult feat for any team, based on coaching under long standing head coach Bill Snyder and the crowd the Wildcats bring to their stadium.
The head ball coach for West Virginia knows that any game in the Big 12 brings challenges and is never a simple feat. Holgorsen pointed out to the media that Kansas State’s offense brings familiarity when looking back on years past.
“They’re tough, they’re really good up front, they’re big, they’re physical, they have a lot of experience. It doesn’t matter who their quarterback is,” Hologrsen said. “All three are really good and really capable of running the offense that they want to be able to run, and that includes running the quarterback. They’ll get in a lot of wildcat.”
On defense, Holgorsen points out that Coach Snyder’s team still brings the same similarity they see on the offense. Kansas State’s defense has been known to be a tough team to go up against, and Coach Holgorsen therefore expects more of the same come Saturday.
“They haven’t changed a whole lot over the years. They’re giving up a few more points and a few more yards than they probably like, but they lost some really good players last year,” Holgorsen remarked. “Two or three of those guys were just really, really fantastic football players. They have guys coming that have been getting better over the course of nine games and going into their 10th game. Their front is big; they’re built to stop the run, as we all know.”
Following the head coach’s introduction of West Virginia’s opponent for the week, Coach Holgorsen treated the media to another one of his weekly anecdotes as he is known for being quite jovial when in the right mood.
“Does anyone have questions or am I done for the day? That was a lot of information; there was a lot of good stuff there. I don’t know what kind of questions you would have after all that information,” Holgorsen joked. “I’m not talking about injuries and neither is Coach Snyder, so you guys can just hold that question.”
Coach Holgorsen was asked whether there was any concern about the amount of physicality that can go on during practice leading up to a big game. All fans know that practice is a time for learning and improvement, but taht it can also be a time for potential season-ending injuries; everyon’e’s worst fears.
“If you have an answer, then let me know, because it’s a fine line between continuing to that. We’ve practiced the same way around here for a long time, and I think we have a pretty good formula on how we do that to get guys ready to go from a preparation point of view. We cranked it up a little bit last week; I think it needed to be done. I don’t know if you can continue to do that. We know we’re banged up, especially on the defensive side, so you have to gauge it a little bit. It’s raining and it’s 40 (degrees) out there today, and it’s going to be rainy and 50 (degrees) on Saturday, so that doesn’t impact anything,” Holgorsen said. “But you’re right, we’re a little banged up, but so is everybody else. That’s probably the thing I was most proud of last week, especially with our defense because that’s where the injury bug has hit a little bit. We had guys step in and play well. You lose four starters, and you have four guys step in that are younger guys, and they played well. They gave effort and were physical and knew what to do. That’s something to be proud of.”
The head coach always faces a wide variety of questions each week in his conference and this week was nothing short of the same. Coach Holgorsen was asked about the occasionally mundane topic of the weather, and how a head coach and team prepare for certain weather situations as well as practice through inclement weather.
“If the weather is bad, there’s a preparation aspect of it. We’ll start indoor to do a lot of teaching, and then we’ll go out. We’re not scared to go outside in any of the elements. If the elements are so bad that you can’t get your teaching done, your preparation done, then it can affect that aspect of it,” Holgorsen said. “If you can balance it and get outside and practice, which is what you’re going to play in, that’s probably an advantage as long as it doesn’t disrupt the preparation. You have to be able to balance that as well. Tomorrow is going to be sunny and 50 (degrees), so we’ll get really good work in tomorrow as well.”
Coach Holgorsen is well-settled into his coaching groove going into West Virginia’s tenth game of the season. The head coach is focused as always on the task at hand, looking forward and not back on last week’s victory. Coach Holgorsen looks to travel to Kansas on Friday, and bring home the seventh win of the season for the Mountaineers and it is clear that he is not alone in those hopes.