Monday News and Notes


WVU is coming off a loss at Syracuse on Friday night that has Mountaineer fans scratching their heads. In today’s news and notes, Dana Holgorsen shares his thoughts on the game, and how the team has reacted since. Anything else you need to know, you can find it here.

Dana Holgorsen Teleconference

On why the team looked unprepared
We were outcoached and outplayed. They played with more effort, more energy and more excitement. If I could figure out why that was the case then I would be writing books. I don’t have an answer as to why that’s the case, but clearly we were out coached and out played.

On credit to Syracuse for a good game and blame to WVU for the loss
Well, first and foremost, I give them a tremendous amount of credit. We knew what we were getting ourselves into from the atmosphere – they were going to be excited. It’s the same thing talking with the defensive guys last year, they hit the field here in Morgantown and played harder than West Virginia did – I don’t know why. But they did the same thing up there, and I give them a bunch of credit schematically on all three sides of the ball. Schematically, they had stuff that was good, not to say that we didn’t have stuff that was good on all three sides of the ball, they just did a better job of executing it.

On getting WVU to play as hard as Syracuse team did
You tell them exactly what happened, which is why you coach and that’s what we did. We showed them exactly what happened. It doesn’t take kids very long to figure it out as far as what’s on tape. You look at what’s on tape and you see yourself get outplayed by your opponent, and it typically motivates you. We’re not going to change how we do anything around here. We have a weekly schedule that we’re going to abide by, and we’re going to do everything we possibly can to get them motivated to play on Saturday afternoon.

On coaching differently after a loss like that
We do the same thing every week. We’ve done the same thing for seven weeks. I’ve done the same thing for 20 years, coach Casteel has done the same thing for 20 years. We didn’t forget how to coach, we have a plan, and we’ll stick to it and do everything that we possibly can to get our guys more motivated to play.

On offensive line
We were padded up a lot of the time. Some of the guys that were coming free we have to do a better job as far as a quarterback receiver standpoint, as far as understanding when guys are free and adjusting routes quicker, and Geno getting the ball out of his hands. As far as o-line, we were id pretty good but that doesn’t mean that we did a great job of pass protecting, the pocket got collapsed a lot and that has everything to do with one on one matchups and not doing a great job of winning those matchups. I thought coach Bedenbaugh did a good job of padding the stuff up. Sixteen of Syracuses first 24 blitzes were different blitzes. That’s something I’ve never seen in college football and that’s a tribute to Syracuse doing some good stuff defensively but we padded it up for the most part, but we have to keep getting better at making sure we get the ball out of our hands and keep doing a better job of one on one pass protecting.

On Brad Starks and Devon Brown doing kickoff return
Starks did a great job with it, DB did okay with it. Tavon’s a great returner. We weren’t doing the best job of blocking but again, it all boils down to the same thing. We’re an exposed o-line and d-line as far as the physical nature and the effort the opponent is playing with. Their kickoff team was doing a better job of getting down the field than our kickoff team was, and there wasn’t a whole lot to work with so we decided that we wanted to use Tavon a little bit more on offense.

On running backs and pass protection
We had some two back stuff like we always do, we’ll probably throughout the course of this season 33% two back. When we’re in two back, those guys are going to be required to pass protect, just like they’re required to run block- it’s just part of the offense.

On the discussion with officials after Syracuse had extra players on the field
I was trying to get a challenge. I was under the impression that you could challenge that, and they told me that you couldn’t. I knew that there was anywhere from 13 to 15 guys on the field when the ball was snapped, and that was a key second down play where they gave us the first down, so I wanted to challenge it, and I was told that I couldn’t. You learn something new every day.

On Geno Smith and the two interceptions
He made a poor decision and if you look at seven games and how many times we’ve thrown the ball, I think he’s made three poor decisions that have turned into interceptions so you can say he made a really, really bad decision- and he did- but that’s naturally going to happen, and we’re going to do everything we can to correct him.

On a personal level of dealing with defeat
It’s obviously no fun. It’s our job, and we only get 12 opportunities a year. So you put so much into it, and when it doesn’t work out it’s discouraging. So our job as coaches, and players as well, regardless of whether you win or lose, you have to move on the next day. There is no time to start feeling sorry for yourself. We’ll be up here all night preparing for Rutgers, and it’s going to be a big challenge this week. We got to move on and do the best that we possibly can to put ourselves in position to win the game this Saturday.

On where the team is and it being a work in progress
I’ve been saying all along that we’re a work in progress, and that we’re not very efficient offensively. I’ve got my hands on the offense more than I do the other two sides of the ball, and what we focused on today was why we didn’t score 49 points, and we showed them exactly what they could’ve done to be able to do that.

On body language during the game
Their body language was a lot better than ours, and you can see it during the play and you can see it after the play. So, yes that was pointed out.

On pulling positive things out of the film
Yeah, you learn something new about kids, and scheme and where you’re at every time you play. We carefully critiqued every single snap of every single person, and we showed them what they did right and what they did wrong and what we have to do to get better.

On Bruce Irvin’s personal foul and his glove getting stuck
Yeah, it’s what he did prior to that that got him the flag.

On injuries during the game
Ryan Clarke only played two snaps, he got a stinger so we’re going to evaluate him as far as where he’s at. Today’s a non-contact day and tomorrow’s a school day so we’ll re-evaluate him on Tuesday.

WVU Women’s Soccer

The #17 ranked Mountaineers earned their fifth division title, earning the No.1 seed in the American Division for next week’s conference championship after defeating Pitt 1-0, and earning a Big East Division Championship. The Mountaineers have now qualified for the Big East tournament in 12 straight years

WVU Rifle Team 

The #2 ranked West Virginia rifle team opened its 2011-12 home season at the WVU Rifle Range today with a victory over No. 6 Army. WVU is now 3-0.


It was reported last week that Chaz Whittaker made the commitment to WVU. We said then that was not the case after speaking to various people who handle recruiting news. That report holds true today. Could he commit, yes. As of now, that is not the case.

The men’s basketball team could be on the verge of landing another commit. Stay tuned.

Conference Talk

Could it all be over soon? After weeks of discussion over WVU and it’s final landing place, it “appears” it could be over soon. Reports have Missouri leaving the BigXII today, and WVU would fill the void left my MU. I know, we’ve all heard this before and here we sit, still waiting. Wouldn’t be suprised if something came down this week. We’ll see.

WVU Football

WVU fell to #25 in the BCS standings after the loss to Syracuse. WVU travels this weekend to face Rutgers, a game that will be televised at 3:30 on ABC.