MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — What to make of this shape-shifting West Virginia football team? Puny prey one week, fiercesome predators the next.

Jared Barber sounded almost laughable on Tuesday when the WVU linebacker said, “We can still win the Big 12.” Then, against all odds (not to mention odds-makers), the Mountaineers took down the team picked to win the Big 12.

Last week’s 37-0 loss at Maryland made for a seething fan base, one that equated zero points in Baltimore to zero chance of WVU reaching a bowl game. Then came Saturday’s 30-21 upset of No. 11 Oklahoma State, the mother of all U-turns in a season that could literally lead anywhere.

“There has been a bunch of emotions over the past week—embarrassment and disappointment,” said WVU coach Dana Holgorsen, his eyes noticeably reddened after an impassioned few minutes in the postgame locker room.

“Tough week. The whole week was challenging and you guys know that.”

So tough, in fact, that for the first time in his two-plus years at West Virginia, Holgorsen encountered a public referendum on whether he is the right man for the post. One caller to Thursday night’s radio show had referred to him as “Mr. Holgorsen,” saying he didn’t deserve to be called “coach.”

Such is the cheer/jeer nature of the fan/coach partnership, but Holgorsen kept his cool with that caller and—most importantly—kept his team energized for a bounce-back victory that proves WVU isn’t the god-awful outfit we witnessed a week ago.

Holgorsen doesn’t typically address outside influences, but there was no side-stepping the downturn of eight losses in his last 12 games, no avoiding the mounting doubt that engulfed his program. After a satisfying turn of events Saturday, the coach thanked the 57,280 fans who provided the 19-point underdogs with a home-field advantage.

“There was a lot of talk about people giving up on this team, and that they were going to get blown out,” he said. “But I did not sense that out on Mountaineer Field. The fans were as good as I’ve seen them.”

And Holgorsen’s team certainly was as good as we’ve seen it this season. It’s a winning form he’d like to see the Mountaineers maintain for a while.

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  • susanf

    You are half right - I am a female, ergo my screen name susanf, but your condescending remarks and assumption that because I haven't played football and therefore I don't "understand", is insulting. I have two boys who played football in high school, so Yes, I DO know, at least indirectly, what it means to give your heart and soul for the sake of the game. And as a mom, to sit in the stands and watch your son getting hit and praying every time that he is o.k. and knowing that he would absolutely say it is worth it - yeah, I would say I understand what it means!!

    • Allan Taylor

      @Susanf: Nice retort. Hope your boys had—or are having—a good time playing the game.

  • Wow

    As for my o-line comments, I stand by them, but Clint does have better pocket movement
    And keeps his cool under a heavy rush and should be the starter, but shame on o-line for MD game. At some point Clint may not be able to go and the back up needs to know the o-line will block for them period!!!!!

  • Allan

    I apologize, game ball Offensive Line too. Have concerns about the center though, the ball is all over the place.

  • Allan

    That Trickett is one tough hombre!!! My only concern is how many games can he play getting beat up like that. Game ball Defense & Trickett!

  • Hoffy

    I have a question about WVU's offensive line play. After reading all the usual positive plugs before the season started, and weighing it against results to this point, is this unit getting any better?
    Guys, because of my work schedule, I don't get to watch the games, so please give me your insights.
    BTW, what a surprise today compared to a week ago!
    Proud of our Mountaineers!

  • Big Larry

    Why do the Holgorsen trolls and relatives read my comments? I don't get it...I don't read any of theirs.....

    One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.

    • Hoffy

      And you never lose an argument...

  • Devan

    I said the good guys had no chance and wouldn't score more than 6 points.

    I was wrong, obviously. Good game. Great effort. Glad to eat crow.

    Deforest still needs to go. Defense did a 180 with a coaching change, and now the special teams is clueless.


  • GoEers

    Poor William..he wanted to go over to Big larry's house after the game to be consoled, but his mommy wouldn't let him go

  • Jason

    I agree with Big Larry on the O Line. They aren't doing their job and that is part of the reason the running game is suffering because they aren't creating the lanes like they are supposed to.

  • richard

    captain Q're an idiot! get a life. trickett is one tough SOB. the receivers need to catch some of the passes they are dropping. the O-line needs to block better and give the QB'S some time. and this defense is a complete turn around from last year.....oh yea, fire deforest because if he is one of the best special teams coaches in the country----wooo weee, give me that money because i can do a better job teaching than he does. the mistakes the sp, teams make are all coachable and correctable things but they are getting worse each week. .........with that said, o'toole you the man because you can boom that ball----don't let deforest mess with your mechanics or your head.

  • Big Larry

    This win was a shock for everyone who viewed it. It wasn't just me, the entire Metro News staff along with every bookie in Vegas picked Oklahoma State to win this one.

    It's football...its why they play the happens...

    I am happy and thrilled that the Mountaineers won...the worst part about however is that all the Holgorsen trolls and relatives will run their yappers for a week.

    My prediction was based upon Ford Childress and the comedy of errors repeating what we saw at Maryland...and so was everyone elses...Get over it...

    Only the trolls & relatives picked WVU to win.

    So, with that being said, here are my observations...

    1. Tricket is a gutsy kid.
    2. The offensive line is slow, weak and has yet to block anyone.
    3. Holgorsen was his usual self throwing at least three (3) temper tantrums on National TV.
    4. Holgorsen did shave this week but forgot to comb his hair.
    5. The defense is much improved over last season and is playing with a lot of heart.
    6. Good to see the freshman kicker knocking a few through and gaining confidence...
    7. Toni Caridi does not seem to broadcast with the same enthusiasm that he has in the past...What up with that?
    8. Did you think I wouldn't show up?...only in your dreams!
    9. That's all I got...

    • GoEers

      Larry we all knew you would show up. That's what trolls do. Hey by the way great prediction on OSU to win by 45. You have no credibility and are nothing but a typical jealous Marshall fan who can't stand the fact that WVU wins big time games while marshall loses to teams like Ohio U.

    • GoEers

      Big larry you are a pathetic excuse for a humsn being. I thought WVU was going to lose 52-7 as you predicted. I thought WVU's program was done for the next 5 years as you had predicted as well this week. You are nothing but a no good jealous marshall fan who hates the fact that WVU beats top ranked teams while you're beloved herd loses to MAC schools. I bet you cried in your mommy's arms after WVU won. Big larry = Big bladder of hot air

      • Truth Teller

        LoL!!!! Crying from laughing so hard!!!!

      • GoEers

        Speaking of Trolls...Big larry you are the biggest troll there is...all you do is get on here and bash WVU coaches, players and predicted wvu to lose 52-7...this isn't marshall big larry...we're WVU...we win big time games against big time teams...go cry to your mommy now Big larry you welfare bum you.

        • Big Larry

          "we win big time games against big time teams..."

          You mean like the 37-0 butt kickin at Maryland?

          Cha Ching!!!

    • J the C

      Big Larry. The O Line looked good on a number of plays. (Trickets mobility helped too.)

  • Little Bill

    OK you are wrong. Sounds like to me it's the quarterback you don't like.

    • Wow

      Open your eyes no blocking for one, blocking for the other. I dont care who the QB is nor should the O-line. The team should play to win, no matter who is in the game at any position.

  • Toadman

    It was a very good game today. Let the Mtnr. Nation celebrate today for tomorrow we have to start getting ready for Baylor ... at Baylor. That will probably be the toughest game of the year for us. Let's stay focused and not get cocky. It will all depend on what team steps off the plane next week. Oh yea Holgy, did you ever hear of time management? What was the reason for utilizing the hurry-up offense when we were ahead and only 4 minutes to go. On most of those plays the ball was centered with 14-15 seconds left on the play clock. I know we are not use to playing with a lead but most of the time the game of football is just plain, good, common sense! Come on Man!

  • Wow

    I heard ford say before the MD game, i hope the O-line blocks for me. I thought he was joking around, but now i'm not sure. MD game looks like a clasic lay down and don't block for the QB you don't like. Some one tell me i'm wrong????

    • Teddy

      Trikkett is the ticket Baby!!!That there boy can play the feet ball and should be our qb for the next 5 years. Mallard and Chevy Chillybean can sniff his jock after the game to find out what a real QB does!!

  • william

    oh well, I am an idiot

    • Jay

      You're not an idiot. You're just extremely negative. Brighten up, man!