The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

September 10, 2013

‘We will get better offensively’

Holgorsen making changes to find a spark on offense

Dana Holgorsen knows a little something about offense. In his two years as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, his teams ranked No. 8 and No. 3 nationally in total offense. During two seasons in the same job at Houston, his team averaged 563 yards of offense per game, and in one season as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, Holgorsen’s Cowboys led the nation in total offense.

Since taking over at West Virginia as the head coach prior to the 2011 season, Holgorsen’s teams have rewritten the offense record books in nearly every category.

So far this season, though, that explosiveness has been missing. Maybe it’s because so are Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, but WVU ranks 107th nationally in scoring offense with just 31 points in two games. That ranks even behind this week’s opponent, Georgia State, which is in its first season at a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision member. In total offense, WVU ranks 73rd with 398 yards per game.

But as the Mountaineers (1-1) prepare to welcome the Panthers (0-2) to Morgantown Saturday at noon, Holgorsen is still confident this year’s group can put up the same type of numbers his teams have produced in the past.

“We have the potential to be better than we were last year, as crazy as that sounds,” said Holgorsen. “Does that mean we are better than last year, or are going to be better than last year? No. It just means we have the potential.”

In fact, Holgorsen said the offense had more opportunities in the passing game this year than it did a year ago against the Sooners, when WVU threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns.

“We had more open guys than we did last year,” he said. “We just didn’t do a good job of getting them the ball on those plays.”

That’s a big reason why the depth chart for this week’s game, released by WVU Monday night, looks a little different than previous weeks.

Mario Alford and Ronald Carswell have moved into starting spots at wide receiver, replacing Ivan McCartney and Dakiel Shorts, who were in those positions a week ago. A now healthy Kevin White has replaced KJ Myers in the lineup.

Senior Pat Eger has also moved into a starting spot at center, ahead of Tyler Orlosky.

“I think we are closer on offense, but I accept full responsibility for seven points,” said Holgorsen. “I don’t care who we are playing, it’s embarrassing.

“A lot of people talk about how talented we are. Even guys on our team talk about how talented we are. We need to prove that. We need to make some plays. You need to make plays when you are put into those situations, and if you don’t we will try and put some other guys in those situations. We will get better offensively.”

With changes being made on the offensive line and at wide receiver, the obvious question is whether there will be a move made at quarterback after junior Paul Millard barely completed 50 percent of his passes against the Sooners, threw an interception and lost a fumble.

“We can’t put two of them out there at once, so someone’s name has to be called,” said Holgorsen, refusing to name a definite starter. “They’ll have to go out, and we’ll see how they do. The difference with where we are at now is that (redshirt-freshman Ford Childress) will have reps. He hasn’t had reps in the past three weeks.”

Childress was ruled out of the competition for the starting spot during the final week of the preseason. Millard won the job over junior Florida State transfer Clint Trickett and started the first two games. Trickett took six snaps in the first half in the opener against William & Mary and hasn’t seen the field since.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Mountaineers beat Buckeyes 4-1 in lefty Vance’s first career start

    In his first career start for the WVU baseball team, sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out 14 en route to a 4-1 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 15, 2014

  • Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage last Saturday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Wesleyan edges CU twice in softball

    The Concord University softball narrowly dropped a pair of games to No. 17 West Virginia Wesleyan, 2-1 and 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Culpepper Field.

    April 14, 2014

  • Concord baseball shuts out Cardinals

    The Concord University baseball team posted two shutout victories on Sunday, extending its winning streak to seven games by beating conference foe Wheeling Jesuit.

    April 14, 2014

  • dana Much still to be answered this fall

    In Saturday’s paper, I compiled a list of five things to watch at West Virginia University’s annual Gold-Blue Spring Game. Now, after watching the football scrimmage that concluded this year’s spring drills and taking some time to process what I saw, it’s time to go back and revisit those five points and how they turned out on Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni speculation now seems to have legs

    Kareem Canty got what he wanted, and Marshall fans should find out this week if they will get what they want.

    April 13, 2014

  • millard Specials teams shine at Gold-Blue Game

    The scoreboard said the Gold (offense) beat the Blue (defense) 37-27 in Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game at Milan Puskar Stadium using a modified scoring system that rewarded the defense for stops and turnovers and the offense for scores.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • syvertson ‘Huey the Punter’ makes transition to LB

    The first reaction of the 10,000 fans in attendance at Milan Puskar Stadium for Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game when No. 42 shot through the offensive line and put junior college transfer quarterback Skyler Howard on the ground in the second half was to ooh and aah.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • crutchfield Crutchfield again named Furfari Award winner

    Already the winningest men’s basketball coach in college history in terms of percentage — yes, better than guys like John Wooden, Adolph Rupp and Roy Williams — West Liberty’s Jim Crutchfield is heading into some lofty territory within the confines of his home state.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Five things to watch at WVU spring game

    Spring practice will come to an end for West Virginia University this afternoon when the Mountaineer football team hosts the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game at 1 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.

    April 11, 2014