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.”

Text Only
College Sports
  • Herd lands ‘Other D’Antoni’

    Danny D’Antoni hasn’t been a West Virginia resident in nearly 40 years. That will soon change, and his family could not be happier.
    D’Antoni will be introduced as Marshall’s new head men’s basketball coach at a press conference at 2 p.m. today. Athletic director Mike Hamrick announced the hiring via Twitter Thursday afternoon.

    April 24, 2014

  • WVU baseball begins series with Kansas State in Morgantown today

    The West Virginia University baseball team will host Kansas State in a key Big 12 Conference series this weekend at Hawley Field. Game one begins at 6 p.m. today. Game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, and the first pitch for game three is set for noon on Sunday.

    April 24, 2014

  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like and stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014