When Dana Holgorsen arrived in Morgantown, fans expected to see his highwire act carry over from Oklahoma State to West Virginia. His offense help lead the Mountaineers to a Big East Championship and a Discover Bowl win over Clemson in 2011.
In 2012, Holgorsen led the West Virginia into the Big 12 with hype and talk of competing for a national championship.
WVU was fast out of the gate with wins against Baylor at home and Texas on the road.
Then the wheels fell off.
The Mountaineers limped the rest of the way and finished 2013 with a loss to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl. Last year wasn’t any better with WVU finishing 4-8 with Holgorsen sitting on the hot seat.
Fair or not, many felt Holgorsen was coaching for his job in 2014. And if he was, that talk has quickly ended with West Virginia sitting at 6-2 with No. 10 TCU coming to Milan Puskar Stadium, and the Mountaineers battling for a Big 12 title.
How much has the offense turned around since 2013?
- WVU leads the nation with 223 first downs
- WVU has converted on 70 third downs this season, most in the nation
- West Virginia has scored on its opening possession six of eight times this season.
- WVU is ranked No. 9 in the nation in passing – 346.3 yards per game
- WVU is ranked No. 10 in the nation in total offense – 527.1 yards per game
- Clint Trickett is averaging 345 yards per game, ranking him No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 6 nationally. He leads the Big 12 in completion percentage, completions per game, passing yards and passing yards per game.
- Trickett ranks No. 5 nationally in passing yards (2,763), No. 6 in passing yards per game (345) and No. 9 in total offense (336),
- Kevin White is averaging 9 catches a game, good enough for No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 3 nationally
- White ranks N0. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 3 in receiving yards – 1,047
- Rushel Shell leads the team in rushing with 503 yards. Wendell Smallwood is second with 476 yards.
Not a bad turnaround for a program that wasn’t expected to do much this season. Most expected another long season in Morgantown, but to his credit, Holgorsen has turned the program around.
Holgorsen has led the Mountaineers to bowl eligibility for the third time in four years, and landed on the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year watch list.
Like the defense, Holgorsen and his offense will need to get going early and often this Saturday.
If this season is any indication of how the Mountaineers will play, it should be a good ticket in Morgantown.