The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 27, 2011

Offense in spotlight in Gold-Blue Game

As excited as West Virginia fans are to see new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen’s offense unleashed, nobody is more excited than the man himself.

The unofficial unveiling will be at about 7:40 p.m. Friday during the Mountaineers’ annual Gold-Blue Game at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Tickets are $10. There will be an alumni flag football game prior to the Gold-Blue game. Gates open at 6 p.m.

And, like any OC, he is a little pessimistic before seeing the finished product.

“I hope it looks all right,” Holgorsen said. “We don’t want to have 18 penalties and 18 sacks. We don’t want to have to punt. Coach Stewart had done a great job with our punt team, but the fans aren’t coming to see them kick the ball 20 times. Hopefully, it looks good.”

The simulated game under the lights is expected to draw the interest of fans eager to see Holgorsen’s high-octane offense, which has been consistently ranked among the best in the nation the last six years.

For the team, it’s a chance to show how much they have picked up this spring, including incumbent starting quarterback Geno Smith, who is feeling some pressure from freshman Paul Millard.

That means Holgorsen may be bending a little from the norm, adapting to what his quarterbacks do well.

“We start every series in a huddle,” Holgorsen said. “We’ve been talking about how much we need to huddle, but we need to get comfortable at something, and right now we’re more comfortable when we don’t huddle and play up-tempo. The two times we did the two-minute drill, we got things going a little bit, and they seemed to be comfortable with no-huddle. Paul Millard did it in high school, and so did Geno, and I think it’s something they’re comfortable with.”

For the defense, it’s all about fundamentals as defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel deals with replacing some key elements to a WVU defense that was ranked among the nation’s best last season.

And that includes tackling, something that often isn’t done at full speed in the spring, when players aren’t going 100 percent.

“I think that’s a problem nationwide,” Casteel said. “You don’t want to get guys hurt. It makes it tough. You really have to stay on the kids to get them to put their hips and feet in a position to make a play even when they aren’t. It’s really a tough situation, and you have to get them to focus. When we’re allowed to tackle, you have to make sure their fundamentals are there. That’s just the way the game has been, from the NFL level all the way down.”

For both sides, and their coaches, it’s something to look forward to at the conclusion of a four-week practice schedule.

“I’m sure the guys are pretty excited,” Holgorsen said. “The guys get tired of practicing, which is just the nature, but when you get a live event with people in the stands, they’ll probably get pretty cranked up for it.”

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Can summit of bigwigs really solve college athletics issues?

    I see where the Big 12 Conference is going to host in New York City what will be titled “A State of College Athletics Forum.”

    July 22, 2014

Saints Training Camp