As the West Virginia University football team tries to put the TCU game in the mirror, one has to wonder about the moral and tone of the team as they prepare to travel to Austin, Texas this weekend to face the Longhorns.
After the TCU loss, WVU head football coach Dana Holgorsen didn’t make the offense available to the media, and they were not allowed to talk about the game when they met with the media on Tuesday.
West Virginia senior quarterback Clint Trickett took several shots on Saturday, but says he’s ready to go.
“I feel good. It was a physical game. I took a couple of shots, but my body is fine. It’s just a typical end of the year type of feeling.” Trickett said.
The team had the opportunity to review the game film, which wasn’t easy, but WVU offense coordinator Shannon Dawson say they need better protection and a better job of trusting the call.
“We have to do a better job protecting, and we have to do a better job of trusting,” Dawson said. “There were times that protection was good, and we were a little antsy in getting out of there. As a quarterback you have to do a better job in trusting the protection, because there were times where we could have sat in there and had open guys, and we didn’t.”
“Protection and comfort with go hand in hand.” Dawson said.
One question after the TCU game was the mindset of the team, but Trickett says his guys are upbeat and ready to play.
“I was worried about it coming in here on Sunday, but it was still positive and upbeat. Everyone was working, and not really complaining. That’s the type of team we have.”
“I am not too worried about it. Maybe last year it might have been a thing. After the Texas game last year, we kind of had a low going into Kansas, but this year we have proven that we are different team. I think we will be fine going to Texas. If you can’t get excited about Texas, and playing in front of a 100,000 people, then there is something wrong with you.”
Running back Wendall Smallwood shared Trickett’s view on preparing for Texas.
“Overall, just play better and focus on our fundamentals and play the next down,” Smallwood said. “We are trying to put that behind us. It’s tough to take, but we are going to stay strong and not let it get to us.”
While the Mountaineers put on a brave face, it’s easy to see that the TCU loss hurts, and still sits with the team. One thing they can’t allow is TCU beating them twice.
Cornerback Terrell Chestnut doesn’t see that happening.
“I am very confident. Everybody was very hurt after this game, so everyone is going to be even hungrier to get out there and redeem themselves. We know that Texas is a very capable team, and they have some playmakers where it is going to be a big challenge. I think we are going to respond well.” Chestnut said.
We will get our first look at the team this Saturday when the Mountaineers and Longhorns do battle on Fox Sports 1.
Kickoff is set for 3:30.