The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest 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
Latest Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo