Tuesday afternoons with Coach Holgorsen are a routine in the fall and by this time, the head football coach has put the team’s last game (win or loss) behind him as he prepares for the team’s second-to-last home game of the season. The Mountaineers face the TCU Horned Frogs at noon Saturday in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers are coming off the heels of what can arguably be called on of the biggest, if not the biggest, win since joining the Big 12 and are on a path toward desired success over the next three weeks. Head Coach Dana Holgorsen is ready for his team to take on the Horned Frogs in a series that is often highly contested.
“The history with us and TCU is pretty good, obviously, with us coming in together at the same time and playing each other now for the seventh time. These have been great games,” Holgorsen said. “If you look at the history with us and them, there’s been a couple of overtime games, there’s been some last-second field goal games, they’ve been wars.”
Since the Mountaineers outlasted the Longhorns Saturday in Austin, the post-season has been a hot topic of conversation from fans to media and back, but it has not been the topic of conversation for the Mountaineers. Coach Holgorsen, his team and coaching staff are focused on TCU and on not falling into the pattern of the Iowa State loss (which Holgorsen is explicitly tired of talking about).
“We don’t talk about playoff stuff. I don’t know if you’re referring to the CFP stuff, which we pay no attention to, or the Big 12 Championship, which that’s our goal. You can say that’s a lofty goal if you want to, but that’s everybody’s goal in the Big 12 is to play in that game, so that’s what we’re striving for,” Hologorsen remarked. “The only way you remain in that conversation is if you play well the next week. The only thing we talk about in here is TCU, that’s it. We don’t talk about scenarios, we don’t talk about who would be in that game, we certainly don’t talk about what happens after that game. It’s 100 percent TCU and what we can do to be able to win that game.”
The Horned Frogs may be facing a season full of multiple injuries, but Coach Holgorsen has his eyes on the work his opponent puts in on defense year in, year out; and this injury-ridden season is no different.
“They’re still first or second in near every defensive category that exists in the Big 12. They’re really good up front even though they’ve lost some guys due to injuries, whether it’s to the (defensive) line or safety or linebacker, they’re still replacing those guys with good, quality players. It’s the same scheme, same coaches, continuity,” Holgorsen stated. “They’re doing a really good job of playing defense, and it’s always been hard to move the ball on them, it’s always been hard to scheme them up and play against them.”
Coach Holgorsen is preparing for this Saturday’s game to be a tough test for his offense, one he knows will be one of the toughest thus far.
“It doesn’t matter who the bodies are, they’re going to be coached up, they’re going to be sound with their technique, they’re going to play hard, they’re going to be where they’re supposed to be, and they’re going to play sound defense,” Holgorsen points out. “This will probably be the stiffest test that we’ve had to date for our offense. They just do a really good job on that side, and we know that, we respect that, and we’re looking forward to playing against it.”
It’s well known that Coach Holgorsen was excited and pleased with his team following Saturday’s victory over the Longhorns in Austin. Now the head coach has his eyes focused directly on this coming Saturday’s home matchup against TCU. The Mountaineers need this week’s home game to be a win in order to keep on track for their post-season goals. The season is sadly winding down, but it seems as if the Mountaineers have hit their second wind and are just getting started.