With just days left in 2018, the West Virginia Mountaineers have been spending their time in sunny Orlando, Florida in preparation for Friday’s Camping World Bowl versus a familiar foe; they Syracuse Orange. Earlier in the week, head coach Dana Holgorsen addressed the media to talk briefly on what he expects from Friday evening’s game.
The head coach dove right in on Christmas Eve to the hot button topic everyone around Mountaineer Nation wants information on; the quarterback situation now that Grier’s days are done. Holgorsen has faith in his two quarterbacks, Jack Allison and Trey Lowe, and did not shy away from speaking highly of the two.
“These guys have done a good job for us; I think Jack has been outstanding when it comes to a backup quarterback. The time that he’s been able to go in and play, I thought, he went in and played pretty well,” Holgorsen said. “. . . And then Trey is a freshman, he hasn’t had any game snaps. I’m anxious to see how he does when it comes to game snaps. He’s been with us for a whole year now, and he’s taken advantage of his reps as well.”
This year’s bowl game is a time for fans, coaches and players to get a little glimpse into some of the skill set that will be lining up next fall for the 2019 season, allowing the coaches to get some early play time for younger players.
“I’ve been very encouraged with practicing these guys throughout the course of the year, we’ve got more developmental work throughout the course of the year than we ever have based on this new redshirt rule. We can’t ignore guys that are redshirting anymore, and that’s been the case in the past, where you just focus on the guys that are playing and you try to develop them as much as you want to, but that’s really what the offseason is for,” Holgorsen said. “We’ve made a conscious effort this year to really focus on those guys that are redshirting and practice them more.”
The Orange defense will certainly pose a challenge for the Mountaineers offense Friday evening, especially with the added fact that the Mountaineers offense has younger, less experienced players lining up to score.
“They do pressure people, and they take chances with how they play defensively, much like we do. I’m expecting quite a bit of it,” Holgorsen points out. “We’ve studied all of their blitzes, and they like to put a lot of people in the box and pressure people, so that’s what I’m expecting them to do.”
Overall, Friday’s bowl game poses multiple possibilities for the Mountaineers when rounding the 2018 football season. Obviously, it is an opportunity for a post-season win which always add a little extra to round out the season. Maybe more than that this year, a Camping World Bowl win would give Mountaineer fans something to look forward to in the months ahead when college football is not on every Saturday afternoon.
Coach Holgorsen and his team, both seasoned players and the young, have prepared for a defense that will certainly challenge the Mountaineers, but will hopefully not be too much to overcome. Here’s to one more round of “Country Roads” this year.
Let’s go Mountaineers.