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

  • 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!

    • Justin

      U sound sexy ; )

      • EPR

        You sound like a douche.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • Brenda

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

    • WVAtty

      Very well said.

    • Maxxajay

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

  • 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.

  • Shawn

    Allan,

    I think you guys should should go with what ESPN has done with the comment boards. It should link up with your Facebook account. You'll get rid of this trash talking on here.

    • Stan

      I agree Shawn, but I think they like it, so they will never change.

    • Eugene

      I understand your point Shawn, but not everybody chooses to Facebook. So no Facebook, no commenting? Seems silly to me to leave people out because they don't use Facebook. Maybe some other way of identification could be used?

    • Maxxajay

      Way to go Shawn I like your post I agree 100%

  • tw eagle

    just like the one respondent saw and remembered , coach Holgerson hopes the
    okie defense will respond with the same
    thought , and clay will release over the middle and fly to the endzone with a pass
    reception . . .teams are taught with film
    to react and defend what they have SEEN . . .
    usually you have a half till the D coordinator
    comes up with remedies for what the other
    team is doing that wasn't seen on film . . .

  • JimJim

    The Dude has two years. Make it or he's gone.

    • Chuck

      Agreed. Steward left a mess. After next year, there won't be too many excuses. At the same time, people have to realize that the Big 12 is a huge step up in competition from the the Big East.

      • Big Larry

        Bill Stewart left a mess and Dana "The Man in Black" Holgorsen will leave a mess when he leaves...

        It is what it is. This is WVU.

        • Brenda

          How disgusting your comments are. You have to be from another state. Oh yea, the state of confusion. There are other schools to comment on so get off here and go comment on them. I bet if you have kids, they can never to anything to suit you.

      • Magic Mike

        Stewart left a mess? Holgersen has 3 years of recruiting under his belt. Ya Stewart left a mess alright. NOT.

        • EPR

          Nobody asked for your input. Plz shut your face.

      • bva24

        Damn that Bill Stewart. He left such a mess behind that immediately after he was canned the team he recruited won a BCS bowl.

        Cupboards. Bare. LOL

      • roger

        Chuck, your right, regardless of what happens this year, people have to remember we have a young team and most of the guys will be back next year. I like the changes Holgerson has made in the coaching staff and the recruits he is bringing in. If we are not competitive this year in the Big 12, we will be by next year, just based on the coaching, young talent we have, and the recruiting. I have faith things will get better as this year progresses and it will be a building process for years to come.

      • eliotz

        Guys what really worries me is when I look at the salaries and the experience between he other Big 12 assistants and WVU's coaching staff. Just look up the salaries and resumes of Patterson and Deforest, then look up the same positions of your choice of any 3 Big 12 teams. Other Big 12 assistants get twice what WVU coaches do and SEC coaches get more than 3 times their salaries. I don't see us being consistently competitive in the Big12 till this gets corrected and the WV press only talks about how MUCH they get paid without comparisons, leaving fans complaining that their paid too much.

  • wvrefugee

    HAL MUMME redo!

  • USAFADEC

    Or when we got our a$$es handed to us at the Bowl game by a mediocre Syracuse team on national TV.

  • Bobby M

    Dont you KNOW the real reason he laughed?!???!!!

    He laughed because they plan on throwing LIKE mad against SOONERS! He laughed because THEY were hiding the plays against W&M! He laughed because they only played same SIX plays over and over aginst W&M! He laughed because he WAS thinking - "you people have no idea"

    I'm ready SOONER now OR later!

    Rock N ROLL Rumble!

    • big-johnson

      I don't think he hid anything from anyone...I think that's the best they can play....they will get better as the year progresses but no powerhouse by any means....Average qb, average (or below) o Line and defense)...most impressive was the punter

  • Joe Cool

    No Dana, Embarrassing will be when there's a plane flying around the stadium with a message to fire your butt.

    • WVAtty

      That's probably exactly what you were thinking when we throttled Clemson in the orange bowl, huh? Fair weather fans, you gotta love em.

      • Joe Cool

        Yeah I remember those 70-33 billboards on the interstate. One of the most arrogant things I've ever seen in sports. Funny how Clemson is on top now and WVU will be lucky to even make the New York Bowl this year. Karma.

        • mike

          JoeCool. Believe it or not, South Carolina made even a bigger deal out of our win over Clemson than we did. They even made a shirt with their school colors with nothing but the score of the game on the shirt. WVU was an instant hero in Gamecock land that year. Maybe still are.

        • hailey

          Speaking of funny, funny is a grown "man" referring to himself as joe cool... think about it , pretty pathetic. Keyboard karma

          • Jay

            Amen, Hailey.

            I guess I'm just not cool enough to call myself Jay Cool.

          • WVAtty

            Joe Fool more fitting

          • rtdeco

            could not agree more with your post. these internet tought guys and experts are a laugh riot.

          • Joe Cool

            LOL. Almost as funny as grown men whose lives revolve around 18 year old boys.

      • Justin

        Yea pretty sure Bill Stewart won a bcs game also. Dana has great football IQ which Stewart lacked with that said Dana lacks that West Virginia pride Stewart had. FYI the big 12 isn't the SEC or Pac12...Texas has blown for years, Oklahoma can't win a bowl which leaves who? WVU could easliy be in a BCS bowl with one maybe 2 upsets. I understand why were in the Big12 Money and lack of interest from other conferences.

        • Mdubya

          I agree totally and Sterwart was a great recruiter, lets not forget those were his guys Holgs has had last 2yrs. I feel we can win any given Saturday Go WVU!!!!!!

    • WVAtty

      Or when we beat Texas in Austin last year? Maybe we should have flown the plane around the stadium then, ya think?

      • Joe Cool

        Well, they did fly it for Bill Stewart. Last time I checked, he never had a record as bad as last year.

        • MountainMover

          He didn't beat anyone either.

        • big-johnson

          Bill Stewart was a better coach that Holgerson and had better recruits

          • JayNWV

            Except, Bill Stewart squandered an opportunity to win at Colorado (as a friend told me, he looked like he just pissed his pants), lost at East Carolina, and almost lost at Marshall. BS was a good guy, but a terrible coach.

      • Chuck

        Bill Stewart never played in the Big 12 and he didn't leave Holgy many decent players (other than the Big 3 from last year). Joe Cool is the definition of bandwagon fan. If we win this week, he will be on here talking WVU up.

        • Joe Cool

          I agree with your assessment that WVU has been way overrated in the past decade playing in a crappy conference.

          • BigEerFull

            From where I sit, 3 BCS Bowl championships over an 8 year span gives a program the right to be rated as high as possible. There are plenty of top rated programs that would give plenty to have 1/3 of our resume.

        • David J.

          Seriously? Just who was playing that Orange Bowl game? In fact, this will be first year with most players recruited by D.H.

      • bva24

        Texas sucked last year. The Big 12 was pretty mediocre, actually. A bunch of 5-6 loss teams and the league got absolutely embarrassed in the bowl games. K-State got drilled, OU got smacked by Johnny Football, we got curb-stomped by Syracuse.

        TCU, a former Mt. West school, might be the class of the conference this year. That should tell you that the league isn't that strong.

        The Big 12 is not the AFC North. In all honesty, it's probably the 4th best conference behind the SEC, Pac 12, and Big 10.

    • Bobby M

      YOU probably said same thing about Nehlen!

      Oh and you probably said SAME thing about Rodriguez!

      Oh and YOU probably said SAME thing about Stewart!

      And we should be surprised you are saying SAME thing about Holgs??? HAHA! ha!

    • Little Terry

      No, we only do that to coaches that love our university and our state.

    • westfair518

      Mr. Cool, fire Dana? That will be the day! Never happen. Within 3 years he will be gone to a much bigger opportunity. I predict in the next 3 years WV will defeat OK twice.

    • Joe Wilson

      Come on he'll learn they adjusted well at 1/2 time and W&M didn't score in 2nd 1/2 I'm encouraged

  • Maxxajay

    I noticed when WVU would set up to run the quarterback was under center... When there was a pass the quarterback would set up shotgun... That happened a lot... Maybe to keep it simple .... Coach had to do some things so when you run the no huddle... Everybody can get on the same page...W-M would drop 7 or 8 back ..we would run ...simple...do what it takes to win. ( PLAY TO WIN THE GAME )... As of today we are 1-0 undefeated

    • David J.

      Maybe you noticed it because the TV announcer said it about 100 times during the game?

      • Maxxajay

        I was at the game I haven't seen the TV game yet..

      • Maxxajay

        I was at the game... Haven't seen the TV rerun of it yet..

      • Marky Mark

        ...and, he was wrong at times. Tendencies, that's all they are.