The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

September 25, 2013

Holgorsen explains his decisions at quarterback

MORGANTOWN — I asked a couple questions at Dana Holgorsen’s weekly press conference on Tuesday in Milan Puskar Center.

West Virginia’s young third-year head football coach had a ready reply for a guy who’s been reporting on Mountaineer sports events for 68 years.

My first question was why has Clint Trickett, the Florida State transfer with the most actual previous game experience, has been given just six snaps in a game (the season opener) with a third of the 2013 campaign already behind us?

Holgorsen’s reply was: “Because I evaluate our quarterbacks every day AND YOU DON’T!”

I then asked Holgorsen, who’s paid $2.3 million plus incentives annually, why he recruited Trickett, a Morgantown area native with a college degree.

His response was, “I have 120 players on the team. You never know what the finished product is going to be.”

But he hastened to add that, “I’ve got complete confidence in our guys, offensively, and we will work hard in preparation for Saturday’s noon game against Oklahoma State (3-0, ranked No. 11 in the polls).”

I asked those two questions (which I thought were certainly fair) because a growing number of TV viewers felt it was a mistake not to change quarterbacks at halftime in both the then-still-winnable 16-7 Big 12 loss at Oklahoma and last Saturday’s totally unacceptable 37-0 embarrassing blowout by Maryland (a 6-point favorite) in Baltimore.

After the defeat at Oklahoma, Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson reportedly told the media they talked about replacing junior Paul Millard, the game’s starting QB, but decided against that.

Holgorsen continues to be quoted as saying the miserable ineptness against Maryland was 100 percent his fault.

However, there are people that suspect — if not think — that it goes back to bad recruiting as well as coaching.

Incidentally, you may recall that Coach Holgorsen opened his fall training camp to the media representatives for just the first 30 minutes on only five of the Mountaineers’ 15 days of practice. And I’m told there was only brief scrimmaging open to them one day.

How can anyone gain any idea of how that team would fair in the upcoming season?

His predecessors always allowed reporters to see fall preseason and spring scrimmages. That way, each observer could leave with his own feeling of how good — or bad — he or she thought it might be.

This is a much different era in college football, though. And this old guy blames those presidents of the best known, biggest football powers for allowing it to get out of control financially.

Million dollar annual contracts and 10-man coaching staffs (plus graduate assistants) were mere dreams back in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and as recent as the 70s and early 80s.

If memory serves, the late Gentleman Gene Corum’s meager salary was about $15,000 a year when he gave up the head football coach’s position in 1965. And he also taught a class in physical education.

What’s more, you could count the number of his assistants on the fingers of one hand.

Times have changed greatly, and in my opinion not nearly all for the better..

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