The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 26, 2012

WVU coaches, players share blame for losses

MORGANTOWN — Quarterback Geno Smith assumed most of the blame for West Virginia’s two lopsided football losses.

But head coach Dana Holgorsen has said Smith was wrong in accepting responsibility. He believes the blame belongs to everyone in the program, including the coaches as well as the players.

The Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) were outscored by 104-28 in bowing to Texas Tech and No. 4-ranked Kansas State in back-to-back blowouts.

Holgorsen stated, “Geno and I have talked. He doesn’t need to say that. He is one of many positions that play football here. If he thinks that all of this falls on his shoulders, then he is sadly mistaken.

“He is one of our leaders, and he is one tremendous football player. He cares more than anybody. He is responsible for a lot of points and a lot of wins.”

Holgorsen repeated that this mess doesn’t fall on the senior signal-caller’s shoulders. It falls on “all of our shoulders.”

He went on to mention “all of our coaches and all of our players” are included. “Smith is only one piece to everything.

“For him to be at his best, he needs to understand that the only thing he can do is take the snaps and go where we want him to go with the ball.”

If that is all Smith worries about, the second-year head coach believes he’s going to be more productive.

“He needs to relax a bit and not bear that burden. We are going to get Geno back on track,” he said.

After last Saturday night’s 55-14 rout by Kansas State, Smith told the media:

“We didn’t run many plays in the first half. Part of that was on us.

“We need to do a better job of staying on the field and putting ourselves in better manageable downs.

“I take full responsibility for that.

“The ball is in my hands on every play and I need to do a better job of getting the ball in guys’ hands so they can make plays.

“And I need to be a better playmaker myself. I did a poor job of that (last Saturday).”

In defense of Smith, Holgorsen said the fault starts with him and spreads out to all others involved.

He assured everyone that “nobody’s pointing fingers at any particular place.

“Nobody’s doing that.”

More time is being spent on an individual basis during this open date on the schedule. WVU’s next game is Saturday, Nov. 3, at home against TCU (5-2, 2-2).

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