The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 9, 2012

Texas Tech is just more of the same

Holgorsen is familiar with Lubbock

Playing in the Big 12 may be a new experience for West Virginia fans, administrators and players, but for the WVU coaching staff, it’s actually much more familiar than was the 2011 season spent in the Big East.

The upcoming game against Texas Tech is a perfect example.

Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen spent eight seasons in Lubbock, Texas, as an assistant under Mike Leach — five as the wide receivers coach and then the final three as an offensive coordinator. He knows the city — and the school — inside and out.

“I’m not going to think twice about it,” said Holgorsen, who left Texas Tech in 2008 to become the offensive coordinator at Houston — assuming full play-calling duties, something he never had under Leach. “I’m over that. I had eight great years there, but I faced Texas Tech when I was at Houston and faced a road game at Texas Tech when I was at Oklahoma State. So it’s nothing new to me. I’m five years removed and have been at three different places since then, so all those feelings and emotions have gone away a long time ago.

“I’m excited about the trip, and, as we do each and every week, we’ll be able to tell the guys what it’s like in Lubbock, Texas.”

Holgorsen also knows a great deal about the Red Raiders’ quarterback, Seth Doege. The 6-foot-1 senior was a high school star in Texas, where his father, Randy Doege, was a well-known high school coach.

As a freshman in 2004, Doege led Crane High School into the Texas state playoffs, where it lost to a team quarterbacked by future University of Texas star Colt McCoy.

That put Doege on the recruiting radar throughout the Lone Star State, and his name grew when he led his team to a 13-0 record as a sophomore.

Holgorsen was well aware of Doege at that point, but the recruiting process slowed down after Doege, who had transferred to Frenship High School, injured his knee the summer before his junior year and then the other knee before his senior season.

While some schools backed off, Texas Tech stuck with him, honoring the scholarship offer, and Doege became a Red Raider, just as Holgorsen was leaving.

“He was a midterm guy and was enrolled at Texas Tech in January when I left to go to Houston,” Holgorsen remembered. “So I never met with him as a Red Raider, never coached him, just followed his high school career. He overcame some injuries and had a great sophomore year. But I didn’t get to see him play, because he tore up the knee two years in a row.”

The Red Raiders’ loyalty paid off. Doege threw for 2,004 yards and 28 touchdowns last year, and he’s already tossed 15 touchdown passes in five games this season, throwing for nearly 1,400 yards.

“You talk about a determined kid that never gave up, and that’s how he plays the game,” said Holgorsen. “He’s stayed the course and made the most of his opportunity to play.”

WVU’s familiarity with the opponent, though, won’t necessarily be an advantage, because Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville also knows plenty about the Mountaineers.

The 2012 season is Tuberville’s third at Texas Tech, and it will be the second time his Red Raiders have faced a Holgorsen-coached team.

In his first season, Texas Tech hosted Oklahoma State, where Holgorsen was offensive coordinator, and learned plenty about a Holgorsen offense in a 34-17 defeat.

“He did a very good job with (Brandon) Weeden, (Justin) Blackmon and those guys,” Tuberville remembered. “He knows what he wants to do. He has a system, and he runs it and sticks with it. He’s got a good running game to go along with it, and he takes advantage of it. They score and they score quickly.”

The running game — which was huge last week, as Andrew Buie rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-45 win over Texas — Tuberville said, is a big thing that sets Holgorsen’s attack apart from other spread offenses.

“Dana understands running the ball,” said the Texas Tech coach. “That takes the pressure off your quarterback. It’s hard to execute every time throwing it down the field. They do a great job of that, but they also do a very good, sneaky job of running the football. They’re very physical with their running game.”

n n n

The Big 12 Conference announced Monday that WVU’s Oct. 20 game with Kansas State in Morgantown will begin at 7 p.m. and be aired on FOX. If both teams win this weekend, it will likely be a battle of top 5 teams. WVU was No. 4 in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll, while Kansas State was one spot behind at No. 5. The teams were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Associated Press Poll.

The Wildcats are at Iowa State this weekend.

n n n

WVU won two of the three Big 12 individual awards this week, and all of the honorees came from the Mountaineers’ meeting with Texas. Tavon Austin was named the special teams player of the week for the second time, while Buie was the offensive player of the week. Texas defensive end Alex Okafor was the defensive player of the week.

— E-mail: chuffman@

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