MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — He claims he’s about wins and not about stats, but on Tuesday afternoon Dana Holgorsen couldn’t resist crushing his team’s run-pass ratio because, you see, Holgorsen amassed his coaching cache by exploiting a pass-run ratio.

So once more we mention 44-27, aka WVU’s run-pass breakdown on Saturday’s opener against William & Mary and the second-most important hyphenated number sequence to spring from said game (behind 24-17, of course, because we care primarily about wins and not about stats).

“I’d like to throw the ball a lot more than we did,” the coach said. “Everybody says it’s an ‘Air Raid’ … and we’re talking about throwing the ball 30 percent of the time. That’s embarrassing.”

Actually, WVU threw it 38 percent of the time, which is still far south of Holgorsen’s typical play-calling ratio. (The guy didn’t build an 11-year streak of 4,000-yard passers by being handoff-heavy.) Blame some of the Game 1 disparity on the FCS visitors dropping seven- and eight-man coverages, essentially daring WVU to run the ball, which it did with only moderate success. Yet there’s no denying the staff wasn’t comfortable with Paul Millard airing it out, or comfortable with Clint Trickett to any degree.

“Not putting too much on the quarterbacks was obviously important,” Holgorsen said, sounding more conservative than at any time in his career.

Outside of Millard’s 69-yard home run to Ronald Carswell, WVU averaged just 9.3 yards per completion. To survive in its Big 12 opener, West Virginia presumably needs a quarterback wiling to challenge the secondary downfield.

Not that Charles Sims, Dreamius Smith and frisky freshman Wendell Smallwood don’t warrant carries. It’s just that the  Mountaineers probably can’t line up and run the ball 62 percent of the time against Oklahoma the way they did against William & Mary.

“We’re going to try to correct that—that’s for certain. We have to be more balanced,” Holgorsen said, before hearing himself and pointing out the weirdness. “What the heck’s going on here? I’m talking about balance because we can’t get the ball in the air 50 percent of the time.”

Afforded two days to self-evaluate the Week 1 film, Millard pronounced that he “did all right” against the Tribe, while acknowledging that “I left some things out there.” Now comes the challenge of capitalizing on more explosive plays against a far superior defense, one that trusts its cornerbacks to play man coverage.

“With man coverage that means the (passing) windows are usually a lot tighter,” Millard said. “It’s going to be about getting the ball out on time and getting it in the place it needs to go.”

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Comments

  • Peyton

    Can't we all just get along.. And instead of all these comments basically bad-mouthing our 'eers why not some encouraging topics to discuss.. Why get heated when we're a 21 pt underdog? We upset teams, it's what we do. Go 'eers!

  • WVUTOPSHOT

    I just think we need to be realistic. We do have a very young team. But I'll bet this team stays in the fight, doesn't give up if behind, and won't let their egos get in the way if some of them aren't featured on Sports Illustrated. We don't need any prema dona's. We need guys that will play ss a team and work as hard as they can.

    • BH

      I agree that this team will improve. Lots of underclassmen and new players. However, in last weeks game many of the players on the sidelines looked shell shocked when they were down by 10 points in the first half. Lets hope they don't lose their confidence when their down a score or two, because I think it's going to happen in most games this season.
      Let's go Mountaineers!!!!!!!!!

  • WVU053

    This year is a team, they will begin to shine, some a little brighter, but together view will do great.

    Let's start by leaving no doubt.

    Win by atleast 2 scores.

    • EPR

      Please never post anything that stupid again... Thnx.

  • Dougie

    Everyone needs to realize that half the people on here are Marshall fans. They have always been jealous of WVU and always spend more time in our blogs and comment sections than they do their own. Don't give them the pleasure of even commenting on their posts. They are easy to spot. True fans don't bash our team or coach. And for whatever reason MU fans loved Stew so thats a giveaway too...

  • wvajoker

    Toni Phillips is a girl after my own heart.
    Magic Mike is ridiculous. He just posts on here to instigate. If would be ignored, he would leave.

  • Heinzy

    Would everyone please calm down. We will be fine this year.

  • john

    Dana was left shorthanded by the worst coach and the worst recruiter we ever had in Bill Stewart. It was a good think former Mountaineer Damon Cogdell was the Head Coach at Miramar High otherwise we had no chance at recruiting Geno and Stedman. Stewart gave scholorships to undeserving players and left this team thin. In a year or two this team will be back in the top tier of this conference which isn't as bad as this board thinks.

  • steve

    Dana is on the hot seat..... now.

  • jlee

    The past is the past and leave it there. It is a new day at WVU, no rivalries, no stars, and no meaningful bowl games. But the price of tickets just keeps going up to feed the sinking ships of football and basketball at mighty WVU!

  • Jason

    Be patient. Too many people are ready to fire the coach every time they lose or don't play at top potential. You just stepped up to a much bigger conference and it is going to take awhile to play consistently in the Big 12, especially just a few year into a new head coach. Rome wasn't built in a day.

    • Magic Mike

      If the team improved but every year it has declined.

  • joe

    Sign "MountainMover" up. You should take that job Luck had lined up for Stew. You sound like you have passion and love for WV and WVU. And I agree totally!

    • MountainMover

      Seriously, think about all these teams that have big names but they don't win anything. Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia, Clemson, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oregon, etc. We've won far more than all these programs over the past ten years, we need to do a better sales job.

  • MountainMover

    Disagree that WVU has been overrated. I think we've been underrated. How many other athletic programs in the last decade have won three BCS games against three different conference champions, and have gone to a Final Four in basketball. Two: Florida and Ohio State. That's it. If I were recruiting players that would be the first thing out of my mouth, and then I'd say "son, if you're not committed to Florida or Ohio State then you should be coming to Morgantown." I'm not a recruiting expert, but I think a lot of other programs are overrated and we could probably do a better selling job on ourselves.

  • Toni Phillips

    Some of you guys who comment on here about wv football have no love in your heart for anything wvu. Thats fine, you evidently have other teams that mean more to you. But as for me, when I was in third grade I sat in the car listening to jack fleming while my mom and siblings went school shopping (by the way I am female) . I love college football, its just so much fun. Negativity has ruined it. The eers lost some talented players and we are not going to be favored in all of our games but I will not let a big larry or joey cool or any hater dampen my love of any player, coach on my favorite team .go eers!

    • Maxxajay

      Way to go Toni... I like it...

    • WVAtty

      Very well said.

    • Justin

      U sound sexy ; )

      • EPR

        You sound like a douche.

        • Brenda

          You're one sick idiot. Leave her alone. You want to say bad things to someone, then just look in the mirror.

        • Dougie

          I think everyone who reads your posts on here knows who the douche is...

          • EPR

            You can go kill yourself... Wasn't talking to you.

        • Justin

          So do the girls know your listening to them douche or is more of a creepy stalker type of thing? Being you know what a douche sounds like.

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    When we played Oklahoma in 2005 we were the best team on the field because we had heart. After all the QB for the Sooners is an NFL playmaker at the moment. He was very good back then. We wanted it more and we were very inergetic.
    If we play with as much desire this week end as we did then we will win. Oklahoma does not have a better team now. In fact their team is not as good now as it was then.
    Mix up the plays so the defense does not know for sure what you are going to do next. That can be 50-50 or 60-40. Mix up the passes, some short, some long. Just play every down as if it is the most important down of the game.
    One thing is for sure. Pat White did not throw passes 50% of the time.
    LETS GOOOOOOO
    MOUNTAINEERS

  • Florida Boy

    I like Grapes.