Thursday, December 8, 2016

Holgorsen maintains confidence in team ahead of Oklahoma State

Coach Holgorsen addressed the media Tuesday afternoon in preparation for the team’s trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma where they face off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. In Tuesday’s address of the media, the head coach showed respect for his former team, while at the same time making it known the amount of pride and confidence he has in his Mountaineers as they prepare this week.

Coach Holgorsen started his press conference off by making everyone aware that Stillwater brings a very lively atmosphere, regardless of the early game; an 11:00 am (CST) kickoff during Oklahoma State’s Homecoming weekend. Coach Holgorsen knowns that the crowd in Boone Pickens Stadium is not something to take lightly, nor are they rarely a raucous crowd. The coach basically said it was going be to be quite the environment to be in Saturday. “They have a great fan base, great crowd. It doesn’t matter what time it’s going to be, they’re going to be there. It’s homecoming. It’s going to be full. It’s going to be fun.”

Coach Holgorsen has spent this season singing the praises of the work Coach Tony Gibson has put in with the defense. Going into this week’s game, Holgorsen sounds to have similar respect for the Cowboys defense. “It’s the best safety bunch that we’ve went against. They have good quality corners that can run. They’re backers are always in position and their front have thick kids who plug gaps and do a great job, so it’s a tough group to go against. You have to be very sound with your schemes and you have to identify what they’re doing, then you have to maintain blocks. Probably the best thing that they do is get off of blocks and make tackles.” Oklahoma State’s Coach Glenn Spencer has been with the program since before Holgorsen spent a year there, so the head coach is familiar with what the Cowboys defensive coordinator typically does.

Coach Holgorsen has always praised the amount of competition and talent within the Big 12, and now five years into the conference, he continues to point out what great teams we face. Coach Holgorsen continues to make his team aware of the challenges in this conference, especially when going on the road to a tough location such as Stillwater. “It’s just life in the Big 12, is what it is. This is the fifth year in the Big 12 we have a lot of seniors who understand it. Look around college football, you have to be ready to play every game. Big 12 is obviously no different. We’ve been a part of it for five years now. We have guys who sit in this front row right here who have been a part of it for five years. We have guys who have been around and understand it, so the only way that you win is by getting yourself ready to go and preparing hard for it, going out practicing hard on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s and putting your best efforts forward.” From the sounds of the head coach, it seems as though the team has been consistently preparing for each opponent with increased intensity; especially since the team has consistently found ways to win each week.

Tuesday afternoon the head coach also praised his team when questioned as to whether he would prefer a team with talent or a team with good chemistry. Coach Holgorsen provided a very frank response to the question, saying “Both, which is what we have. I think we have excellent chemistry, the guys like each other. I’ve said this every week since I’ve been there, they like each other, they hang out a lot and have good rapport with each other, fight hard for each other. The coaching staff enjoys coaching them. I like to think that they enjoy being coached by the coaching staff, you would have to ask them, and I think we have players.” This season has been full of Coach Holgorsen singing the praises of his team and coaching staff, showing Mountaineer fans everywhere how much faith and confidence he has in his team.

While Coach Holgorsen has maintained his confidence in the team, he has yet to come across as being entirely over-confident in them. Holgorsen does not look much past the opponent for Saturday, and maintains this behavior week after week. When asked about having a 6-0 undefeated team, the head coach maintained his ever-frank personality in his response, “I can assure you I am not going to respond to a college football playoff question, but the second part of your question is very relevant, and I think we have a group of kids who understands where we are. Our job is the same going into game seven as it was going into game one. You have a week, you prepare all week and you practice hard to get yourself in a position to play on Saturday and then go play. Our guys like where they are, based on what people are saying or the attention, I can assure you has no impact on them whatsoever to how today’s practice is going to be and what they are going to do to prepare to win the game this Saturday. That message has been sent loud and clear, and guess what, it was sent loud and clear August 1. We have goals ahead of us, and we are not anywhere close to being in a position to meet any of them.”

Overall, as the season is at midpoint, Coach Holgorsen has his team well-oiled and ready to play. The Mountaineers will go into Stillwater as if it is any other game, with that same well-known chip on their shoulders to prove everyone wrong. This time though, people are watching and more are starting to realize that Coach Holgorsen has a team that actually IS a team worth watching. Bring it on Cowboys, Coach Holgorsen and the Mountaineers are ready for you.

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