The Mountaineers and Coach Holgorsen are in their second and final bye week of the 2016 season. The Mountaineers head coach took to the podium Tuesday afternoon again addressing the media in his weekly conference. As the Mountaineers came back in a last-quarter nail biter against Kansas State, finally beating Coach Snyder and the Wildcats, the head coach is still seemingly enjoying life as an undefeated team.
Coach Holgorsen started his conference out by making sure that it was clear this bye week would be similarly laid out as the week prior to BYU. Holgorsen always gives the players a few days off, Friday and Saturday, coming back Sunday so that the players have a bit of a break. “I’m going to have to talk to the guys who were planning on going south, there’s a hurricane going down there, so we’ll have to address that. I always give them Friday off, Saturday off and come back Sunday night. I just think it’s good for their psyche a little bit to be able to get away. You have to find a good balance for getting ahead on an opponent and not over killing an opponent.”
After this bye week, the team has a difficult eight-week nonstop schedule. Time for the players to reset and re-focus is exactly what they need after several close games to start the season. “The mental health aspect of it probably is every bit as important as the physical aspect of it, and then get back to work on Sunday. We talked a lot last Sunday, a couple of days ago, about doing the right thing this week but getting ready to embrace the grind for the next eight, which is not uncommon in football.”
In his conference, Coach Holgorsen also spoke about winning big on the road, as the Mountaineers look to do next week in Lubbock, as well as the big wins at home; which are great for the crowd and the fans watching from afar. Coach Holgorsen has prepared his team to want, and attempt, to win wherever they are. ” One, we finally gave them something to cheer about, but I think, especially when our defense was out there and they were loud, that may of had something to do with them having to burn some timeouts. I don’t want to take anything away from what was a great atmosphere on Saturday, but there’s a lot of teams winning on the road. Oklahoma won on the road last week. Baylor won on the road last week. So, that’s the way we’re going to approach it. We don’t care where we play.”
Coach Holgorsen discussed the victory over the Wildcats Tuesday afternoon, praising his team for their ability to come back from behind and win; which is a very important capability in today’s college football world. “I think this team is tough. I think they play with a lot of grit. They just fight. They don’t give up. They’re passionate about what we do. We have a couple of terms that our team picked that describes this team and it was kind of that. They’re a group that likes to fight, feel like they’re pretty tough and feel like they have a lot of grit to them to where if they get down they’re not going to panic.”
Now that the Mountaineers are playing straight conference games to finish out the season, Holgorsen and his team will play familiar foes week after week. Coach Holgorsen pointed out there are only so many ‘tricks’ to come out on the field with, as after several years everyone starts to know how to prepare for one another. “You’re not going to be able to come up with a whole new offense or a whole new defense. There’s always wrinkles to it, but you’ll be able to see early on, then after those wrinkles are exposed, everyone pretty much just settles in and they are who they are and you play ball.”
Coach Holgorsen will use this last remaining bye week to continue to prepare for the remaining games with Coach Tony Gibson, while several other coaches get out and do a little recruiting. Coach Holgorsen plans to offer support to the coaches recruiting, then watching some of the games on Saturday, before starting to prepare for game week come Sunday.
A week from now, the Mountaineers will be days away from their first true road game of the season. The team travels to Lubbock, Texas to take on Texas Tech with the hopes of continuing the win streak. As the team takes a break for the next few days, they will likely be ready to come back and get to work come Sunday night.