MORGANTOWN. W.Va. — Dana Holgorsen warned us he was “going to sound silly” and promptly delivered.
His contention? That West Virginia actually had more passing game opportunities during Saturday’s 16-7 loss to Oklahoma than it did during last year’s 50-49 shootout against the Sooners.
“Our pass game was better schemed and we had more open guys this year than we did last year,” Holgorsen said Tuesday afternoon. “Stedman (Bailey) had a great game last year but he made catches when the guy was right here in his hip pocket.
“We had more open guys (Saturday), and we didn’t do a very good job of hitting those open guys and we didn’t do a very good job of catching the ball when we did have open plays.”
Hey, we’ll defer to the coach on how WVU could have more open receivers while netting 42 fewer points. (After all, Holgorsen was solely referencing the passing game and NOT the night-lightning Tavon Austin provided running the ball.) Yet how does Holgoren feel about all those opportunities adding up to a single touchdown in Norman?
“I feel like crap right now,” he said.
Paul Millard, whose two-game tenure as the starting quarterback is in jeopardy, completed 21-of-41 passes for 218 yards with no touchdowns and one interception Saturday night. (Conversely, Geno Smith was 20-of-35 for 320 yards, four scores and two interceptions last November.)
For a second consecutive week, Holgorsen attached the term “embarrassing” to West Virginia’s output. While new players abound on offense, the learning curve became frustrating when the Mountaineers missed a golden chance to upset Oklahoma.
“I accept full responsibility for seven points—it’s embarrassing,” Holgorsen said. “I’ve got the utmost respect for Bob and Mike Stoops, but with that said, seven points is embarrassing and we need to fix it.”
Watch Holgorsen’s complete Tuesday news conference above.