The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

September 27, 2011

WVU looks to get by loss to LSU

MORGANTOWN — Now that the main event is in the books, and it didn’t go West Virginia’s way, the concern is to not let a bad night avalanche into something worse.

First-year coach Dana Holgorsen said he can’t let the Mouintaineers’ 47-21 nationally televised loss to now No. 1 LSU hang around.

“You always have to be worried after a loss,” Holgorsen said. “We would have had the same feelings had we won the game. There was a lot of energy and anticipation. As a coach, I talked last week you don’t really have to get your guys up when playing in a game like that because they are going to be up anyway.

“There is a natural little hangover that comes with that whether you win or lose.”

The first chance to put the game in the rearview mirror comes Saturday when No. 22 WVU hosts Bowling Green at 3:30 p.m. on ROOT Sports (Ch. 28 Suddenlink). It is the Mountaineers’ final nonconference game and fourth home game.

There were positives drawn from the loss to LSU, and it was more than the 463 yards from quarterback Geno Smith.

“I thought our effort was good,” Holgorsen said. “Our effort and energy were as good as they could be. Our physicality was really good, and we knew it had to be in order to compete against those guys. From an effort and play hard standpoint it was good.”

He was still upset by penalties.

And the four turnovers LSU created and the zero his team came up with in the game. It was the third game in which WVU has not created a turnover.

“I give those guys credit,” Holgorsen said of LSU. “They are a really good football team, and they are good on all three sides of the ball. They outperformed us on special teams, clearly. They had something to do with the turnovers that we made.

“(Cornerback) Tyrann Mathieu made two defensive plays that were as good as I have seen in a long time. Defensively, we need to have that kind of effort and playmaking ability in order to create those plays. It is frustrating, but we have to make plays like they did.”

Holgorsen was impressed by what he has seen from Bowling Green (3-1).

The Falcons are coming off a 37-23 win over Miami (Ohio) Saturday.

“They do a good job of throwing the ball around and their backs had a couple of 100-yard games,” Holgorsen said. “You look at all their stats and they’re a Top 20 team offensively.

Quarterback Matt Schilz is 88 of 134 passing for 1,169 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Anthon Samuel, a freshman, has 442 yards rushing and three touchdowns and Jordan Hopgood has 208 yards and three scores.

Jordan Kamar has 26 catches for 266 yards and four touchdowns and Eugene Cooper has 21 for 374 and six scores.

The Falcons are averaging 38.5 ppg while giving up 19.8 in wins over Idaho, Morgan State and Miami. The one loss was to Wyoming, 28-27.

BG is giving up 199 yards through the air and 95 on the ground.

 “Defensively, the guy who sticks out is Chris Jones. He’s a big old dude (6-foot-1, 295) in the middle there that is kind of a load.”

Jones has 5.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks.

Holgorsen also brought up special teams.

“They are No. 1 in the country in net punting and we’re No. 120,” Holgorsen said.

Brian Schmiedebusch is averaging 49.1 on 17 punts, including an 81 yarder. Corey Smith is averaging 40.5 for WVU, but he has had a couple of 14 yarders this year.

“It’s going to be interesting to see that battle. I don’t know if we can win that punting battle. They’re No. 1 for a reason. But it’s going to go along the same lines as what I’m talking about all week due to the fact that we got outplayed on special teams (by LSU) I can assure you we’re going to talk about it.”

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