MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Some 72 hours removed from an embarrassing defeat at Kansas, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen admitted “the Texas game beat us twice.”

The 31-19 loss—which marked the Jayhawks’ first Big 12 win in 28 games and only their second in 40 games—assured WVU of a losing record and eliminated any talk of bowl contention. The fact it came seven days after a 47-40 overtime loss to Texas was not a coincidence, and the fact Holgorsen was unable to put a hungry team on the field means he’ll face an offseason of hot-seat speculation.

“I talked about (a Texas hangover) not happening, and it did,” Holgorsen said. “Why? You guys can keep pointing the finger at me. That’s what my job is.”

WVU’s third-year coach said he “didn’t reach them, didn’t get them back”—referencing players who didn’t approach the Kansas game with anywhere near the same intensity as they did Texas. The staff’s film study revealed a going-through-the-motions effort that wasn’t sufficient to beat a historically bad Kansas team.

“If we lose because of effort, that’s where I get in a bad spot, and I saw it for the first time on Saturday,” Holgorsen said. “It’s frustrating, but you’ve just got to keep coaching.”

If Holgorsen keeps coaching at WVU—and almost certainly he will be afforded a chance to right the team in 2014—the return of athletics director Oliver Luck looms as a perk. After all, Luck brought in Holgorsen to replace Bill Stewart in 2011, and had the AD won the Texas job this month, Luck’s replacement wouldn’t have been as personally invested in Holgorsen.

Yet even after the debacle in Lawrence, and with WVU having lost five of its last six games, Holgorsen said he and Luck remain of like minds on how to turn around the program.

“We visit a lot. He’s my boss, so we’re going to talk a good bit,” Holgorsen said. “He understands where we’re at, understands where the program’s at and understands what it takes to be able to get it better.

“He’s a football guy. He understands what it takes to win. He understands what it takes to get better and he knows we’re on the right track.”

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  • Jim

    To think we could of had Butch Jones as a HC!

  • Josh

    You better hope the three stooges are not our only QB choices next year. Otherwise, another 3-5 wins will be it for next season and probably 5-7 years of fallout mediocrity to repair this train wreck. Running back will be a mess next year. Receivers are average. Offensive line is below average. Defense should over achieve, hopefully.

    Team gets worse as year goes on. Holgerson had a whole season to coach and could not even implement anything close to a no huddle offense. Every week was an excuse about coaching errors, not reaching the kids, not being prepared, hangovers from losses. Give everyone their blue participation ribbon this year, because that the type of team we field these days.

    I wish I could blow it every week at my job and still get paid.

    Don't give Luck any credit. He should have made an ACC or SEC deal happen. The Big 12 is a horrible fit. There is a reason he got passed over on the Texas job.

  • 1olewvufan

    When Holgorsen arrived at WVU, recruiting had been down for 2 or more years. If any of you remember, when Holgorsen arrived at WVU, he only had one QB - Geno Smith. He brought Paul Millard in from Texas to work with Geno and pass to the 2nd Team. Holgorsen even invited any male student attending WVU to QB Try-Outs. The following year he went back to Texas and got Ford Childress who played for a HS Coach who was his friend. Millard had 2-seasons under Geno and Childress had one and neither took advantage of this opportunity. Then Holgosen brought in. Jordan Thompson to be Tevon Austin's back-up and replacement, and needing a Kicker he brought in Josh Lambert from Texas, and he never kicked once in 2012, even with all the kicking and punting problems WVU was having, and Lambert didn't do all that well in 2013. And he brought in Chavas Rawlins who could cut the academic along with football practice and who left WVU after one semister.

    If any of you can remember, it was under Rich Rod that WVU failed to produce talented Special Teams. WVU lost twice to LSU primarily due to the lack of play of Special Teams.

    Beginning with Rich Rod and continuing through Bill Stewart many scholarships went unused.

    Thus, when Holgorsen arrived at WVU he had a Terrible Special Team, a lack of talented Kickers and Punters, and only one QB. He had to bring in an offensive coaching staff, and after one year he had to hire a defensive coaching staff. Holgorsen did a much better job at bringing in an Offensive Coaching Staff than a Defensive Coaching Staff. At the end of his second year Holgorsen was again out recruiting coaches for both offense and defense. Many of the WVU players in 2013, had played for 3 different coaches and 3 different Head Coaches. The revolving Coaching door not had a negative affect on the existing players, but also had a negative affect on recruiting. The half dozen or so players that left for the NFL were not recruited by Holgorsen or his coaches. WVU lacked Receivers when Holgorsen arrived, for they had become primarily a running team under Rich Rod, and the OL was primarily a run blocking OL, but due the type of plays and speed of the RBs, they didn't have to hold or maintain blocks. Thus under the Air Raid they barely could do either.

    The DL was the most talented group of the team when Holgorsen arrived and has remained the strength of the team under Holgorsen.

    Now that WVU is in the Big XII, WVU needs to recruit smart, talented, skilled, and athletic players at ever position. By having a stable coaching staff, WVU will or should be able to fill scholarships with these types of players. Come 2014, WVU will have one quality QB on scholarship - William Crest, but unless Holgorsen can find a quality back-up QB for 2014, WVU could possibly face simular QB woes as he did in 2013.

    Holgorsen needs to fill the remaining scholarships with DBs, LBs, a Kicker, Receivers, a RB, and a couple for the DL. Holgorsen and his staff need players at every position that are fast, smart, athletic, and talented. The coaches can no longer recruit bodies to fill positions, as Holgorsen did when he recruited, Jordan Thompson, Paul Millard, Josh Lampert, and Ford Childress. WVU needs more players like Charles Sims, Cody Clay who has been under used, Karl Joseph, Isaiah Bruce, both Shaqs, and receivers who can make tough catches.

    Go EERs!!!

  • Truthteller

    I guess you are if your goal is to be like Kansas.
    Then I guess you are on the right track. Having a losing record every year must be the goal then.

  • Greg

    Why does this guy keep losing coaches sounds like they are seeing something we are not, guy must be hard to work for or they don't believe in what he is doing

  • 1OleWVUFan

    While some are ready to toss Holgorsen out with the bath water, I actually have some empathy for him.

    When Holgorsen arrived at WVU, he was be the interim Head Coach. He walked into a buzz saw in more than one way. First, he arrived at a team where recruiting was down, and many scholarships left unfilled by Rich Rod and Bill Stewart. Then there was the Stewart scandal.

    Holgorsen had to hire an Offensive Coaching Staff, because the prior coaching staff went off with Rich Rod. After one season at WVU the Defensive Coaching Staff, joined Rich Rod.

    Holgorsen did OK with the hiring of the Offensive Coaching Staff, and did a terrible job of not only hiring a Defensive Coaching Staff but placing them at the right positions. Before the 1st season was over with the Defensive Coaching Staff: The DB Coach was fired; the LB coach was moved to an office job, the DC was moved to Special Teams Coach and the Co-DC took over as DC. After coaching two years on WVU Offense, the OL Coach and the QB Coach left.

    Holgorsen again was in a rush to hire new coaches, and this time I think he did a pretty good job with bringing in Crook, Seider, Mitchell, and Gibson.

    Some of the WVU players played for Rich Rod and his staff, Bill Steward and his Staff, and Holgoren and his revolving door staff.

    This turmoil hurt the team as a whole, for it hurt recruiting, for Holgorsen found himself recruiting bodies to fill positions and in many cases these recruits just didn't have the talent, skills and athleticism to play.

    To build a quality team, a Head Coach needs stability on his coaching staff and he needs quality coaches. He and his coaching staff need to recruit Smart, Athletic, Talented and Skilled players. If you remember, Holgorsen didn't bring on Paul Millard as a QB because of his talent he brought him in because he needed a QB - period. The same can be said for Ford Childress, for he played HS ball for a friend of Holgorsen. Then there was Chavas Rawlins who couldn't cut the academics, and moved on.

    In 2014, the only logical QB is William Crest, but Holgorsen needs to find a 2nd quality QB, he has got stop only bringing in 1 QB a season. Right now he needs two good Freshmen QBs, and he needs Offensive Linemen and Corner Backs, Safeties.

    I actually believe WVU has a pretty good DL, LBs, WRs and Running Backs. These should be WVU's strength going into 2014.

    If Holgorsen can stabilize his coaching staff and they can recruit quality players with skills, talent, athleticism, and who are smart, we could see a big improvement in WVU over the next two years.

  • eyeIZ

    I'm sticking with Holgerson. He's had two years to recruit players (the 3rd year players were recruited when Stewart was HC). Holgerson had to rebuild the Defense last year and remake the Offense this year. We can start being critical next year if things don't turn around. YES I'm disappointed but I'm looking forward ----> How 'bout them 'EERS!!!


    You can't convince me Hogey is on the right track with his recruiting, which higher than the TOP40 in all of the ranking services. Maybe I'm missing something, because I know you do not need to have top 15 classes to be competitive; but higher that the TOP40 to me doesn't speak well for WVU in recruiting to compete year in and year out in the BIG12.

  • Shadow

    If WVU Coaching is on the "right track", I would like to know where the track is headed?

  • Matt M

    Anybody who doesn't think that a Luck is a good AD, knows nothing about sports or business. They guy is bringing in much more revenue to our program. Look what he's done with our baseball program.

    As for Holgorson. I don't believe he will develop into a good coach. Watching him on the side lines during the Kansas loss convinced me of that. Other than the absolutely poor coaching, his demeanor on the sideline was that of somebody who gave up. Not once did I see him running around trying to teach and coach up the players. He just stood there with a dumb look on his face. Good coaches keep coaching and teaching even during bad losses.

  • Maury Franklin

    Right track, my a--! The program is going in exactly the wrong direction. How can anybody that remembers Rich Rod not be ashamed and embarrassed? I'm tired of Holgie's excuses. If he and his staff can't get the boys up after a tough loss, no matter who we play the following week, shame on all of them. Holgs is never going to man-up, so it's time for Ollie to show him the door.

  • H.

    Are Oliver & Dana looking at the same football team that the rest of us are? Because they clearly are not on the right track! You can't have a winning program when the coaching staff can't connect with the players. WVU needs to do what USC did & find a replacement quickly.

  • busgriffith

    I started out in Dana's corner, but then, he brought in $500,000 a year Joe DeWorthless to be Co-Defensive Coordinator, which ran off Jeff Casteel to Arizona for less money. How could he do that to Geno for his Senior year? Next thing you know, Assistant Coaches Jake Spatival and Bill Bedenbaugh are gone and Steve Dunlap is relegated to an office job. Dana's eye for talented Players and Assistant Coaches is suspect. If the 3 QBs Dana brought to Morgantown are any indication of the future, Ollie will see plenty of empty seats...

  • wvu fan

    Looks like the coaching staff needs to rethink both their coaching and recruiting. An instate recruit
    is close to setting a national record as a freshman for an out of state school. I guess that the staff thought he wasn't good enough to be a mountaineer because he is from WV//////. That is two in the past few years they let get away.

  • MountieFan1948

    As you all know, we've been close to beating some of the best in the Big 12 all year long. The games were we got our tails handed to us was Maryland and Baylor. I know, I know, close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades; however, did anyone notice how much firepower we lost from our offense last year? Trickett has shown some life this year, Ford is too inexperienced (and having a torn pectoral didn't help), which left us with poor ol Paul. I really wanted him to "be the man" this year, but, sadly, he just doesn't have the skill set to make our offense work. How about the defense? They've played pretty well except for Maryland and Baylor. (I won't count Kansas, as the offense put them in extremely difficult situations the whole game - same for Texas, but they overcame it in that game. Has anyone looked at the injury list for the defense? Holy crap, our linebacker corps has been decimated; and key players on the backend are out. If we had had a few breaks, we would have been sitting at 8-4 or at least 7-5; without the injuries. But, the fact(s) remain, we currently don't have the experienced depth per position to replace players like Riggs, Tonkery, Barber and Trickett and others like our competition. Should we criticize the Coaching staff - yes, they are culpable in the mix. Could we have better prepared our players for games like Maryland and Kansas? I think so. But, like in playing cards, you have what you're dealt. Maybe, you can bluff your way out of a poor hand, but when called, you lay down what you have. This season, our hand(s) were pretty good through the first 2/3 of the season, not great, but winnable. Currently, our had is pretty weak. Now is not the time to abandon our team or our Coaches. With a good recruiting effort, another year of experience for our players, and development, next year will be a good year.