Tuesday brought about the last of Coach Holgorsen’s weekly press conferences. With Saturday’s game versus Baylor, the head coach and his team are very close to thinking about the post-season. Coach Holgorsen, as always, is focused on the task at hand; beating a very talked about Baylor team to finish the best season the team has had since conference re-alignment.
Saturday afternoon’s game is not only the last of the season, but is also Senior Day. Rarely does Holgorsen show a great amount of emotion, but spoke on the importance of the game to him. ” . . . the one that I probably like more than anything is, and this really isn’t just coach speak, is the last one, Senior Day. Especially if you’re in a situation where you can do some things that these seniors can really be proud of; us trying to get our 10th win, understanding that that has only happened eight times in the last 125 years of Mountaineer football . . .” If Coach Holgorsen can lead his team to their tenth victory this season, not only will it be the team’s best season, but it will be a special time for the seniors to sing “Country Roads” one last time.
Holgorsen pointed out that Baylor is not a team to be taken lightly, regardless of the losses they have been handed in the back half of the season. “Baylor is a dangerous football team. They’re tough bunch to go against . . . Their offense looks the same, they’re still putting up a bunch of yards, now its not x-box type numbers that it has been in the past, but it’s still pretty dang good, we’re still talking about a Top-10 offense that is coming to town that their rushing attack is as good as there is.” Baylor has always been an opponent that keeps the Mountaineers on their toes, looking at you 2012 and 2014 matchups, so Saturday’s game will sure to be more of the same.
Coach Holgorsen announced permanent team captains for his team Tuesday as well. The captains announced are Justin Arndt, Tyler Orlosky, Daikiel Shorts, Jr. and Noble Nwachukwu. Coach Holgorsen spoke highly of each of these four seniors, saying ” . . . these guys are great Mountaineers. I’m proud of them. This senior group has a chance to do something that will be remembered for a long time, so they can talk about that, and then we’ll get to work and try to win the 10th.”
Holgorsen also spoke about center Tyler Orlosky and the special relationship between coach and player. “Smart, just really smart. He understands things. I talk to him like a coach. He’ll come over on the sidelines, and me and him have a great relationship, and he’ll tell you he hates me and I’ll tell you I hate him, but truth of the matter is, we work together pretty dang good. We’ll be on the sidelines and he’ll say ‘I know’ and I won’t even have to say it because he knows what’s coming out of my mouth.” For a man of few words at times, hearing Holgorsen speak so highly of his players consistently this season has been great insight into the coach’s enjoyment of the game.
As the regular season is just days away from ending, it is evident that Coach Holgorsen’s focus this week is on his seniors and getting his team to ten wins. Mountaineer nation is behind them and will be looking forward to sending these seniors off in West Virginia style, cold weather and a stadium singing “Country Roads.”