Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holgorsen looks to maintain winning momentum for Mountaineers

Tuesday afternoon brought another weekly press conference from Coach Holgorsen. Coach Holgorsen and the Mountaineers are coming off of arguably their best win under the head coach. Saturday, the Mountaineers knocked off the Texas Tech Red Raiders 48-17 in a game that can be seen as one of Coach Holgorsen’s standout games as a head coach. Coming off the win, Coach Holgorsen looks to maintain the winning momentum and hopes to continue the victory streak.

Coach Holgorsen is not one to typically mince words and has definitely been known to speak his mind. When asked how he prepared the team after Saturday’s victory, Coach Holgorsen did not disappoint in his response. “I hammered it on Sunday, ‘It is about preparation and if you guys like the feeling that you are having right now, then you have to prepare. You have to prepare harder this week than you did last week, because we play a better opponent, that’s the bottom line. If you don’t prepare then we are not going to be in the position to be able to win. Then everyone is going to tell you that you suck again. Then you are going to be in a bad mood.’ Its reality.”

Holgorsen sounded excited for this Saturday’s match-up against TCU, as the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 at the same time as the Mountaineers. “This TCU week is always a fun week. I think there’s a little extra incentive in this game just obviously based on the fact that we both came into the league at the same time five years ago. You look back at the games that have been played, typically very competitive, a lot of fun, got a lot of respect for each other, I think just based on the fact that we had a lot of success outside the Big 12, and then once we’ve been in the Big 12 have had some pretty competitive games.” The match-ups between the Mountaineers and the Horned Frogs have always been great games, despite some losses and the Mountaineer head coach sounds ready to continue that tradition.

Coach Holgorsen has been preparing for facing the Horned Frogs as he has noticed that the team looks similar defensively as they have in years past. “Defensively, they look the same as they always have. Their front is good. Pretty much the same guys we played last year. Their linebackers are excellent. The (junior linebacker) (Travin) Howard kid, 32, is all over the place, 30 the (senior safety) (Denzel) Johnson kid is all over the place. Those guys run, cover ground and make tackles. Their d-line has always been extremely disciplined.”

Offensively, TCU has a similar amount of junior college transfers just like the Mountaineers. TCU’s offense has a new leader in Kenny Hill at quarterback this year, playing for the Horned Frogs after sitting out his transfer year. “We’re all familiar with him and what he did at A&M and transfers into TCU, sits a year. He’s a Fort Worth kid, played at Southlake Carroll, one of the most widely recognized high schools in the country, so he’s been well coached for a long time, but they have a couple of receivers.” Kenny Hill has been known as a dynamic quarterback, so the Mountaineer defense will have to be able to stop Hill as he may be running the ball more, similar to what was seen with Texas Tech and Patrick Mahomes.

Everyone obviously prefers the Mountaineers to win, Coach Holgorsen being no exception to that desire. Saying this, maintaining that winning momentum is a vital part of the head coach’s job. Coach Holgorsen is well aware of what the media has said about his team, and teams of the seasons past and is very confident in his current team. “. . . I know you all are thinking 2012, I know you all are. This is a totally different team. There are no similarities between the two teams. I think this team is a good group of kids that like each other and like playing the game, and they didn’t listen to when everyone was saying we sucked and they’re not going to listen when everyone is saying we’re good. It’s pretty much as simple as that, so I’m expecting these guys to show up today and be anxious about their preparation and getting ready for a really, really good TCU team. This is our hardest game yet. It’s not even close, but the challenges that these guys pose and the three phases of the game by far the hardest game of the year.”

The 2012 season left much to be desired for the Mountaineers and this is just another form of motivation for Holgorsen and his team, proving the naysayers wrong with each and every week’s victory. There are still seven games left in the season, with plenty to prove, but Coach Holgorsen has a great amount of confidence in the team and that should instill confidence in fans across the board.

Coach Holgorsen continues to maintain his confidence in the team, and by being so vocal about the team’s improvements, Mountaineer fans should start to get excited for the remaining games this season. If Coach Holgorsen and the Mountaineers can get past TCU, their “biggest challenge yet” as the coach likes to say each week, then the Mountaineers can continue the momentum and will get one game closer to finishing out what is shaping up to be a great season.

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