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Holgorsen Embarrassed by Offensive Output vs. Sooners

September 12, 2013
By TONY VIOLA , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MORGANTOWN - It seems like if it's not one thing with the West Virginia Mountaineers, it's another.

Just as the defense looked like it had taken the next step as it forced four Oklahoma turnovers and held the Sooners to 16 points last weekend, the wheels fell off the WVU offense.

Quarterback Paul Millard looked out of sync with his receivers, the offense as a whole couldn't hold onto the ball as it gave it away four times and scored only seven points, the lowest since Dana Holgorsen took over the program.

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Shaq Rowell (90) and the West Virginia Mountaineers will try and defend the home turf Saturday when they take on the Georgia State Panthers.

''I think we are closer on offense, but I accept full responsibility for seven points,'' Holgorsen said. ''I don't care who we are playing, it's embarrassing.

"I've got the utmost respect for (Oklahoma coaches) Bob and Mike Stoops, but that being said, seven points is embarrassing, and we need to fix it.''

The Mountaineers will get the chance to Saturday when an 0-2 Georgia State squad enters Milan Puskar Stadium for a noon kickoff.

The Panthers are playing their inaugural FBS season and are looking for their first victory under first-year coach Trent Miles.

''They're a young program,'' (Miles) turned around Indiana State, while being there for four or five years, to the point that they were a pretty good FCS team. He takes the Georgia State job in its seventh year of football, and transitions them to the Sun Belt Conference. I think they will continue to get better. If Miles did it at Indiana State, I assume he can do it at Georgia State.''

Still, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will this young Panthers program, which has been outscored 73-35 and has gained 51 rushing yards per game in its first two contests, numbers that should bode well against a Mountaineers defense that could be playing with a chip on its shoulder after Holgorsen called the unit's play against Oklahoma ''just average.''

''They played all right, it was just average,'' Holgorsen said. ''Coach (Keith) Patterson was explaining our board to them earlier with our goals, and with the goal on the end (the result of the game), we did not meet that goal. We would've had to hold them to six points to meet that goal. As crazy as that sounds, I understand that, but the way I view that and the way I portray that to our defensive guys is, you guys did a great job, your effort was tremendous, you got four turnovers, but you were the second best defense on the field. I think that resonated with them.

"I think Keith is doing a great job, and he will be the first person to tell you that we are far from where we can be defensively.''

The same can be said about the Mountaineers offense, which has had trouble finding its identity early in the season.

WVU had 71 plays against William & Mary in a Week 1 victory, running the ball 44 times and passing it 27.

Those numbers virtually flipped against Oklahoma as the Mountaineers had 65 plays, 41 of which were passing compared to only 24 rushing attempts.

Take out Dreamius Smith's 75-yard touchdown run against the Sooners and West Virginia gained 94 yards on the ground.

''It all depends on what the defense does,'' Holgorsen said about finding balance on offense. ''We ran it so much more against William & Mary, because we had the numbers to do so. Oklahoma had one more guy in the box every time we snapped the ball. So how much sense would it make to run it against unblocked people? Dreamius' one run was great, but he also ran over two people. You aren't going to continuously run over people. Our pass game was better schemed, and we had more open guys than we did last year. We just didn't do a good job of getting them the ball on those plays.''

That's a reason why Holgorsen has re-opened the quarterback competition, not only between Millard and Clint Trickett, but also with Ford Childress in the mix as well.

''We will see how their attitudes are,'' Holgorsen said of the quarterbacks. ''We can't put two of them out there at once so someone's name has to be called, they'll have to go ouBy TONY VIOLA

MORGANTOWN - It seems like if it's not one thing with the West Virginia Mountaineers, it's another.

Just as the defense looked like it had taken the next step as it forced four Oklahoma turnovers and held the Sooners to 16 points last weekend, the wheels fell off the WVU offense.

Quarterback Paul Millard looked out of sync with his receivers, the offense as a whole couldn't hold onto the ball as it gave it away four times and scored only seven points, the lowest since Dana Holgorsen took over the program.

''I think we are closer on offense, but I accept full responsibility for seven points,'' Holgorsen said. ''I don't care who we are playing, it's embarrassing.

"I've got the utmost respect for (Oklahoma coaches) Bob and Mike Stoops, but that being said, seven points is embarrassing, and we need to fix it.''

The Mountaineers will get the chance to Saturday when an 0-2 Georgia State squad enters Milan Puskar Stadium for a noon kickoff.

The Panthers are playing their inaugural FBS season and are looking for their first victory under first-year coach Trent Miles.

''They're a young program,'' (Miles) turned around Indiana State, while being there for four or five years, to the point that they were a pretty good FCS team. He takes the Georgia State job in its seventh year of football, and transitions them to the Sun Belt Conference. I think they will continue to get better. If Miles did it at Indiana State, I assume he can do it at Georgia State.''

Still, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will this young Panthers program, which has been outscored 73-35 and has gained 51 rushing yards per game in its first two contests, numbers that should bode well against a Mountaineers defense that could be playing with a chip on its shoulder after Holgorsen called the unit's play against Oklahoma ''just average.''

''They played all right, it was just average,'' Holgorsen said. ''Coach (Keith) Patterson was explaining our board to them earlier with our goals, and with the goal on the end (the result of the game), we did not meet that goal. We would've had to hold them to six points to meet that goal. As crazy as that sounds, I understand that, but the way I view that and the way I portray that to our defensive guys is, you guys did a great job, your effort was tremendous, you got four turnovers, but you were the second best defense on the field. I think that resonated with them.

"I think Keith is doing a great job, and he will be the first person to tell you that we are far from where we can be defensively.''

The same can be said about the Mountaineers offense, which has had trouble finding its identity early in the season.

WVU had 71 plays against William & Mary in a Week 1 victory, running the ball 44 times and passing it 27.

Those numbers virtually flipped against Oklahoma as the Mountaineers had 65 plays, 41 of which were passing compared to only 24 rushing attempts.

Take out Dreamius Smith's 75-yard touchdown run against the Sooners and West Virginia gained 94 yards on the ground.

''It all depends on what the defense does,'' Holgorsen said about finding balance on offense. ''We ran it so much more against William & Mary, because we had the numbers to do so. Oklahoma had one more guy in the box every time we snapped the ball. So how much sense would it make to run it against unblocked people? Dreamius' one run was great, but he also ran over two people. You aren't going to continuously run over people. Our pass game was better schemed, and we had more open guys than we did last year. We just didn't do a good job of getting them the ball on those plays.''

That's a reason why Holgorsen has re-opened the quarterback competition, not only between Millard and Clint Trickett, but also with Ford Childress in the mix as well.

''We will see how their attitudes are,'' Holgorsen said of the quarterbacks. ''We can't put two of them out there at once so someone's name has to be called, they'll have to go out, and we will see how they do. The difference with where we are at now is that Ford will have reps, and he hasn't had reps in the past three weeks.

''I think (the team is) ready to get back out to work and use this as an opportunity to get better on all three sides of the ball. They're going to be put in that situation again, it may be this week. We are going to be put in that situation again, where we have a chance to go and take the game, whether it's at home or on the road.

"We have a lot of football ahead of us, and our guys are eager and excited about getting better to the point that when they get put into that situation again, they can capitalize on it and get a victory.''

t, and we will see how they do. The difference with where we are at now is that Ford will have reps, and he hasn't had reps in the past three weeks.

''I think (the team is) ready to get back out to work and use this as an opportunity to get better on all three sides of the ball. They're going to be put in that situation again, it may be this week. We are going to be put in that situation again, where we have a chance to go and take the game, whether it's at home or on the road.

"We have a lot of football ahead of us, and our guys are eager and excited about getting better to the point that when they get put into that situation again, they can capitalize on it and get a victory.''

 
 

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