Mountaineer News and Notes


Another busy week of Mountaineer Athletics is in the books, and we break it all down here.

Dana Holgorsen Teleconference

On distractions last week (Big 12)
Well you’d have to ask them. We were focused on Rutgers last week. We just got done with practice. We didn’t have any Big 12 thoughts, and we didn’t have any next year thoughts. We had a whole bunch of what we have to do to correct some things that happened at Rutgers, and what we have to do to move forward and beat Louisville.

On Nose Guards
Shaq Rowell played about 11 snaps, which is about 11 more than he has played in the last month. He is still learning and he is still young and inexperienced. Coach Kirelawich said he went in there and did a couple of good things. We need someone to back up Jorge Wright. Jorge plays good early and gets tired. We need more guys that can go in there and help him out with some of the snaps, and Shaq was able to do it when Josh Taylor when out.

On correcting mistakes
There are specific things on every play that happen that you didn’t catch in person, so break it down and you tell your guys don’t take that step take this step one, your pad level is to high, you step slow on this, your technique on blocking bad on that, you were in the wrong gap on this thing . There are small things everywhere, and that’s why you watch the tape regardless if you win or lose. You study the tape and you try to get a week better at it. There is a lot of things that happen that we can correct. A lot of the stuff too is just because you did something right one week you may do something wrong the next week. There is a lot of constant reinforcement from week to week you have to do to stay on top of things.

On the Louisville Rivalry
You know I don’t remember specifics. I remember when I first came here the runs that specific team had. I remember the runs West Virginia had for a year or two or the runs that Rutgers and Cincinnati had. I remember watching that stuff and seeing the game and how competitive they were, but I really honestly don’t remember specifics, like I don’t remember what happened last year. I assume it has been very competitive like this year has been. This year in the Big East it’s competitive. Each week you have to line up and get ready to go. I don’t really know what Louisville’s record is. It doesn’t really matter. It’s about figuring out who they are and what specific schemes are and situationally, what they are going to do, and practice it and get your guys motivated and ready to play.

On the defense
We are an inconsistent football team right now. We are still learning to play together, which the second half of that game last night was about playing together on all three sides of the ball. That’s what we are trying to get to. We didn’t want to be there on game one. Your goal is to get better, and try to get there towards the end of the season. Hopefully, what we saw in the second half there is something we can build on, and again, try and reach that as much as we can throughout the whole course leading up to the last game of the year.

On being motivated to play
There is no magic formula, there just isn’t. If you had a magic formula then there would be even more parody in college football due to the fact that everyone would be following the same formula. Look across the country, you just mentioned it. You know, we went up to Syracuse and didn’t play very good and they played great. You turn it around and Syracuse goes up to Louisville and they didn’t play very good and got beat. Look at the Big 12 with Texas Tech going to OU last week and beating them soundly, and turn it around and OU beats Kansas State soundly, and Iowa State goes to Texas Tech and beats the pants off of them. It happens all across the country every week, throughout the whole season. I don’t know a magic formula to prevent that from happening.

On Shawne Alston
He played well and he played hard. He was the fastest guy on the football field, but I think the conditions set him up. Where it slowed everyone down it sped him up for whatever reason. He played well. He is a tough kid and you know you’re able to hand it to him, and he’s able to grind it out and become kind of a power back. He also took the spot of Ryan Clarke and went in there and did a fantastic job blocking in a specific situation. It was his best game by far. He has been getting better over the last couple a weeks. He has played well. There is a reason we named him a captain last week prior to the game, and then he went in and played like one.

On Alston’s Improvement
He is the slowest running back we have. He hasn’t changed, and he hasn’t figured out how to be the fastest guy on our team. Also, due to the weather conditions, weather neutralizes everything and there are a lot of guys that are fast and that slows them down. He is the type of player that is able to plow through some of that stuff due to him being a different kind of back.

On using trick plays
We don’t have a bunch of trick plays. You haven’t seen many trick plays out of us. We have run reverses before. I ran a lot of them last year and the year before. We do our best not to call them in specific situations, because that can become a negative play if you run it at the wrong time. If you run it at the right time, then it’s a sound play. It’s half for half. You’re not rolling the dice with it as long as you get the proper look. We don’t do a bunch of trick plays. We try to do everything to the point where we get positive plays. I have talked a lot about negative plays, and part of why we aren’t a very efficient offense right now is because we have too many negative plays. We get into too many third and long situations. That is why I try to stay away from that stuff. We have gone in with a reverse in pretty much every game, but we haven’t had the proper look and feel to do it.

On the tough playing conditions
No, you can’t prepare for that. You just have to deal with it. I’m proud of the way everyone dealt with it. No one really complained about it. It was cold and the footing was terrible. It could have been a distraction if we allowed it to be a distraction, which we didn’t. We fought through it, which I was proud of the guys for that. Hopefully, we get better weather to the point that we get proper footing and we can continue to get better.

On the snow
I thought you were going to tell me we are going to get more snow. That’s why we have an indoor facility, so we can go inside and practice where we are comfortable. If you do happen to get into some weather, which I think we have had weather in four of our eight games, you have to learn to deal with it, and we are not going to use it as an excuse. I think we have done a pretty good job.


WVU (6-2, 2-1) faces Louisville (4-4, 2-1) this weekend in Morgantown at noon. The game will be televised live on the Big East Network.

Rutgers Award Winners

Offensive Champion –  Tavon Austin; Defensive Champion – Julian Miller; Special Teams Champion – Cody Nutter; Offensive Scout Champion – K.J. Myers; Defensive Scout Champion – Ishmail Showell.

Men’s Soccer

No. 18 WVU received a No. 2 seed in the Blue Division and a first round bye in the 2011 Big East Championship. Opponent to be determined this weekend.

Women’s Soccer

No. 13-ranked West Virginia women’s soccer team opened Big East Championship play with a 5-0 win overSeton Hall in quarterfinal action. WVU will face Georgetown, the No. 2 seed in the National Division, on Friday, Nov. 4, at 5:30 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Stadium. The Hoyas defeated Syracuse, 3-1.


The No. 1-ranked West Virginia rifle team continued its undefeated season and triumphed over No. 9 Murray State, 4688-4615, in today’s match at the WVU Rifle Range. WVU is now 5-0.

Men’s Basketball

WVU will play Northern Kentucky on Nov. 4th at 7pm in the season’s first exhibition.

Big 12

WVU and Big 12 held a teleconference last week announcing the move to the Big 12. Wouldn’t be suprised if a news conference is held this week.