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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Comments

  • Billy

    Where is the over glorified luck? I guess the guru is talking for him now that he is MIA. How luck, holgy or anyone else could think that WVU football is on the right track is beyond any sense of reason and cannot be backed up. Any reasonable person would have a hard time finding anything that points to that statement being a true fact. It is what it is and it is not pretty. It is ugly and getting uglier every week.

    • jase

      You think you can coach a decimated defense from injuries and an offense that has one healthy QB that makes poor decision s, better than holgorson, I'd like to see it.

      • Billy

        I never said I was a coach, and I do not have to be to have an opinion. But I would also say that no better than the recruiting and coaching has been going, I know a guy down the holler that for a fifth, he could coachem up better than what is there now.

        • marcus

          Its sounds as if there needs to be oxygen pumped up that holler. You have the slightest idea really where the WVU program is right now. This team played like a young team this year. We had several games that could have went either way, but because of some inexperience and game seasoning they let them get away. This team was at best a .500 team this year. Are we where we need to be as a program "NO" but making statements as you do that are not backed up by facts has no reality. Oliver Luck is doing a good job as A.D. Last I checked, a football team with one losing year does not even come close to what a A.D. works at each year. It is just one of the many sports programs he deals with. Did you know that? Have you checked some of our other sports lately?

          • Shaun

            I think Oliver luck give holgs more money he is really worth it

    • wvu fan

      Go away Billy Bob

      • Billy

        You are Not a WVU fan if you were you would not be satisfied with the current athletic dept. You must be a Marshall fan, getting off on the fall of WVU. I change your name to Marshall troll

        • marcus

          Did you attend WVU? Do you hold a degree from there? What do you know about Marshall? Did you get a degree from there too? Here is an idea, how about not bad mouthing another "Educational" institution in WV because of football. Chances are you have never set foot in either of their classrooms.

      • farm kid

        billy stay away from the moonshine. please take your meds.

    • Pruntytown

      I said it before the season even started, the only thing I really blame Luck for at this point is this awful football schedule. He and the Big XII did WVU no favors this year. Oklahoma week 2, bye week between Kansas and Iowa State to end the year... really? It would have been nice to have a bye week betweeen traveling to TCU and then playing Texas. We didn't have any time throughout the season to get healthy, and early loses ruin any teams confidence.

      • Shannon

        Totally agree about the schedule. No back to back home games either.

      • billy

        I agree! Not only the schedule, but the fact that this team played great games against Oklahoma, Texas, TCU, Ok. State. It should be obvious to anyone who knows even a little about football, that with the talent of the teams mentioned above, a team lacking in both experience and the talent of these teams should have had no chance to be in the game. Coaching can't be as bad as these clowns make them out to be with the lack of talent of this team, especially at quarterback. In each of the games above, if the quarterbacks had switched teams, even at halftime, WVU would have easily won them all. No quarterback, no success! Period!

    • Eric

      Sorry Billy, you are about as far from credible opinion as one can get. Since last year it has been known WVU would have a poor year this year.

      Between 3 years of "not so great" recruits (The Bill Stewart years; yes, Tavon, Geno and friends were being recruited during the Rodriguez years), new conference, new coaching style, new coach and loss of an EXTREMELY talented Defensive coordinator....

      What did you expect? Our best QB is the 2nd string reject from FSU. We have the 7th youngest Division 1 team.

      Your type hurt our recruiting and provide zero beneficial insite to where we really stand as a team.

      Go find another team to root for, Mountaineer nation does nt need your type.

      • Jamie

        Facts are Holg is a system coach offensively like many other Big 12 teams. He has not developed the next in line at QB which is his reputation. Look at the other Big 12 teams with new QBs this season and the success they've had. We got a coach with no HC experience and a good ole boy staff made up of nobody with DC experience. Luck could of helped him by hiring a staff or DC with experience. Does it get any better next year at QB? We will see.

  • TX Hunter

    I love the Mountaineers but, if they can't muster the effort to beat the likes of Kansas, then I have trouble mustering the will to watch a heartless effort.

    This team is soft and has wilted every time an opponent punched back a little bit during the Holgorsen era. Recall that game at the Carrier Dome in 2011? That's what this team does in the face of pressure; panics and pouts. Seems to me that simply being tough and possessing courage is a whole lot easier than enduring a shellacking most Saturdays...

    Being soft sure looks embarrassing.

    • billy

      take your attitude somewhere else! Fans of any team take the good with the bad. Name one team in college football that has not had bad seasons. Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, etc, etc, etc. They still fill the stands with FANS. Fans like you are what makes the season more difficult than it needs to be. Give this coach the talent of Texas and Oklahoma and what do you think would happen. These teams had better players in every position on the field than WVU. The same line coach that led Stanford led this team. Do you think the talent was the same??

  • richard

    he could care less? don't you want to say....he couldn't care less?

    • Larry

      I hear you, I hate when people say that, if you "could care less", that means you care a certain amount about whatever subject is being discussed.

    • wow

      Richard, you are right on the phrase but who are you correcting?

  • mark

    I know this isn't the popular thing to say, but I honestly think we need to give this man a fair chance to build a program. If in two years we have not improved, then cut ties and move on.

    • wvu fan

      +1000

    • Jason

      Maybe...fair is fair...5 years for a college coach is fair. but to say they are seeing an improvement, is not an accurate assessment. "Despite KU loss, Holgorsen says Luck ‘knows we’re on the right track’....I would like to have some of what they are drinking. Thanks.

      • marcus

        Well for one thing they have seen by now probably at least 100 practices, which is probably at 100 more than you have seen. They have seen a defense and special teams improve also. Sounds like you are drinking something pretty good yourself.

        • Jason

          True, but based on game performance (which is really the bottom line), maybe Holgorsen's idea of the right track, is the the right track to be on.

    • Keith J

      I agree. There was a lot of improvement on the defense. Special teams improved. Running game better. Games like Kansas happen to every program, well, maybe not Alabama. We'll grow into a good B12 team.

      • Jason

        Time will certainly tell....but don't get hopes too high too soon.

  • wvrefugee

    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.

    This says it all right here! STUCK WITH LUCK!!!

  • Duane

    A new practice facility is for recruiting. The kids of today want the best of the best. Our state only produces one or two D1 players a year. We have to attract kids from other states. Recruiting is much different today than it was ten or 20 years ago. If we want to act like we belong with the Texas’s and Alabama’s, we must upgrade all of our facilities. A nice warm practice facility in December looks a lot better to a kid from warm southern Florida. The one we have now is too small and outdated. We complain about how bad the recruiting is, and then we complain about the coach wanting better recruiting tools. Ludicrous!!!

    • wvrefugee

      It will always be something! He, and most coaches, will never have enough stuff to recruit!
      Built a new hoops practice facility and we continue to stink....do the math!

      • Dave

        Disagree. From watching Huggs' team , it looks to me like they have been spending a lot of time in the new facility. Big difference from last years team to this years team.

      • marcus

        Have you looked at the last decade of WV basketball? What are you smoking?

      • Rufus

        I disagree also. Huggs boys look a lot different already this year. Our backcourt could be really good. Good, deep recruiting class with lots of size. Also in the running for some top future recruits. No Seniors!!

  • Big Larry

    The WVU Football Program has a problem, a tough problem. But in order to solve a tough problem, first you have to recognize there IS a tough problem. And this constant ignoring of the significance of the problem by the WVU Athletic Department is, in fact, making the problem greater, and eventually more costly, than doing it right the first time.

    In August 2012, Oliver Luck gave Holgorsen a new contract that extends through the 2018 season and pays Holgorsen from $2.3 million to almost $3 million per year by the end.
    Ollie's poor judgment and ill-faded coaching hire has brought the WVU football program down into the “Abyss”.

    Now the Holgorsen hire is in question. All the misgivings have bubbled to the surface — that Holgorsen was only an offensive mind who has shown little interest in the overall workings of a football program — as West Virginia has struggled.

    Dana “The Man in Black” Holgorsen is a fiery hothead and has shown so dozens of times on the WVU sidelines. Much like Bob Huggins, when you scream and yell at players in front of God TV cameras and everyone, you'd better get results -- otherwise those actions wear on players, their family, friends and fans. And the fire is now “hittin the fan”.

    "He is a tremendous coach. I would like him to coach in Morgantown as long as he wants….It's a significant commitment. From the University to Coach Holgorsen. We're very excited that Dana is making a long term commitment to us and we're obviously excited about the season that's rapidly approaching" Oliver Luck 8/8/12

    Luck is too proud to admit he made a mistake hiring Dana Holgorsen and must be relieved of his duties Immediately so that he cannot make another horrid coaching hire or give Holgorsen an unconditional lifetime contract like he gave Huggins which would sink the University.

    So let me ask…How much wisdom is it for an athletic director to hire a head coach with no prior head-coaching experience and then after 1 year…give this man a six (6) year extended contract with an 11 million dollar buyout?

    You want to get Oliver Luck’s attention?

    “QUIT BUYING TICKETS”

    • Andy

      I think I finally agree with you and William.

      • Big Larry

        Andy,

        My idea of an "agreeable person" is someone who agrees with me...

        Thank You!

        • Andy

          Just kidding, you're still a tool bag.

          • GoEers

            Now Andy say your sorry. Big Larry just cried to his mommy.

      • Keith J

        Andy, don't drink the Kool-Aid.

    • Big Larry

      "I would like him to coach in Morgantown as long as he wants…."

      Oliver Luck 8/8/12

      • GoEers

        Not only are you a troll, but now you have become osbessed with WVU athletics to the point you remeber quotes and dates LOL! Big Larry--you are a Marshall fan. Go read their articles and post on their boards.

        And just for the record, Holgerson was given a contract extension after WVU beat Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl. Now Big Larry I do understand that you are a Marshall fan and therefore would not understand what it's like to watch your favorite team win a big time bowl game against big time teams. When that happens, it is best that you give the coach a raise and contract extenstion in order to be proactive for when other teams start knocking on the door just like Arkansas did after WVU's Orange Bowl victory.

    • jase

      Just because you play EAST sports football 8 hours a day with toddlers online doesn't make an expert on building a program. I think for those fans who are not fairweather fans who remain patient and continue to support the program and see the big picture, will be rewarded with a top notch football program, and I believe Oliver luck understands that and sees the big picture

    • Uncle Unctuous

      "How much wisdom is it ..."

      @Big Larry,

      In your universe, is wisdom expressed as a unit of measurement? Is it by weight, volume, or linear measurement?

    • ron

      With people like you, I doubt if you know anything about sports. Recruits get on these websites and read the fans commits. If you want WV to recruit better don't say negative crap on these websites.

    • marcus

      You act as if the only job that Oliver luck has to do is watch over the football program. There way more to it than that. Last I checked he presided over a host of successful programs this year. You act like that this is the only time a college team has hired a coach that is unsuccessful. Look at Oliver's resume as an A.D. There is a reason that Texas interviewed him and its not because he is doing bad job at WVU. Just because fans don't like how the football team did this year does not take away from the job he is doing. What knowledge of other than watching a football game do you hold to judge whether an A.D. is doing a good job? I think the WVU president is rather satisfied with Luck, who by the way is a WVU graduate, former WVU and NFL football player and a hell of smart guy.

    • DAMiller

      Have done so!!!! And won't buy more until Dana is gone.

      • Rufus

        Sweet! That means better seats for me!!!

  • Rick S.

    What is wrong with practicing on your game field? Since the field is turf, the surface should not be an issue. I would think practicing on the game field would be beneficial from the standpoint of replicating the game surroundings, plus it would seem to be convenient from an equipment and facilities standpoint. I have never played or coached football, so I don't know. Does anybody have any insight on this? Thanks.

  • slojoe

    he mentioned attendance at final games with Stew....we were 7-4 going into his last home game and drew 40 something. now we are 4 - 7 and playing a team with 1 win. i bet about 35k....what will he say this time?

    • GoEers

      not sure what he'll say, but if you're a true fan then you will go to the game and support the team and the program

      • really?

        Spend quality time with friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday, or drive multiple hours and spend hundreds of dollars to sit in the cold and watch two really bad football teams.

        Decisions, decisions...

        • GoEers

          You don't go to the games anyway so why are you on here posting?

  • MoMoney

    Hey Allan,
    Over/under for attendance for ISU game? 42,000? Go with UNDER!!!
    Ollie has to take notice.

    • wvrefugee

      Unfortunately, he could care less. Paid attendance versus who shows up are a big difference. Stop buying season tickets and that will get the message through.....and $9 beers!

      • Dave

        Don't buy the beer if you're too tight to spend the money. No one is forcing you to buy it. I was at the Texas game and I bought some beers and never bitched once.

  • MoMoney

    When will the WVU fans get sick and tired of the Holgorsen excuses?
    Auburn went 3-9, 0-8 SEC, last year and hired Gus Malzahn as their head coach. He now has Auburn at 10-1 this year. It is all about the coach, Holgorsen, and his lack of head coaching ability. Under Holgorsen, 7-5 will be good years, this year will be a normal year, and a bad year is 2-10. With Ollie Luck, 9-4 records were not satisfactory, but with his hand picked bozo, 4-8 is OK.

    • jase

      First off momoney 9-4 in the big east is comparable to 5-7 in the big 12 due to competition. Also I'm getting sick and tired of hearing about oh he won with Stewart s recruits, we'll yes he did and he took those recruits from playing average to playing supernatural. Compare the stats from Stewart to holgorson, it's not even close. Malzahn or however you spell his name is winning with another coaches recruits if that's the excuse all you Fairweather fans want to use, so what do you think is going to happen when another coach takes holgorson s place? He'll win for a year or two, then have to rebuild, just like holgorson, whereas if you keep holgorson and let him continue to build his program I think the results will be worth the patience, and that's what luck sees is the big picture, unlike all you fairweather fans. Larry and William well your just bumbling idiots, enough said

      • GoEers

        very good post

      • really?

        keep drinking that Kool aid.

        • GoEers

          keep being a miserable human being

      • Concerned

        Interesting post. It does happen quite often where the guy coming in can often get kids to play better than they did for previous coach. Recent example of that is Michigan. Hoke did great his first year with Rods recruits. And now, probably going to get the ax. Not sure it's a mental thing for the kids of wanting a fresh start or what? Maybe hungrier?

      • MoMoney

        While I swim ashore, you can go down into the abyss with Holgorsen. Bloop, bloop, bloop down into the deep dark abyss.

      • MoMoney

        Jase, if you remember your recent history, Oliie Luck had a chance to hire Gus Malzahn when he hired Holgorsen. he chose Holgorsen. He chose poorly. Look where Gus has his team, and where Holgorsen has his. One rising up, and Holgorsen sinking into the abyss.

      • marcus

        WEll said. One thing I disagree with you is your comments about the Big East. You put WVU in the Big East that they won three BCS games while a part of and they would have a losing record this year. The Big 12 is down this year. Besides Baylor the Big 12 is very mediocore in 2013.

      • Rufus

        I agree. We have some good young pieces in place. Just need to add a few more and work hard. Oh and find a QB. Come on Ford, take this team over this offseason!

    • WVWho

      Auburn had top 10 classes the last 4 years, just not a good coach. Now they have a good coach. Wvu has neither 4 top 10 classes or a good coach. Simple science.

      • jase

        Ohhh really are we talking about the same coach who took them to the national championship and won??? Lol

        • WVWho

          You know Malzahn ran that offense with $cam Newton. Chizick was a fraud and was exposed every year after that title run.

    • Pruntytown

      IT IS ALL ABOUT THE QUARTERBACK!!! After Cam Newton Auburn had sub-par QBs, just like WVU, and struggled to win games. They now have a quarterback that can play and help them win games. WVU does not.
      And please don't say we had Geno last year and still lost, I know that story. By the way he got beat by Doug Marrone again last week. What is Geno, 0-4 against that coach?

      • MoMoney

        In 3 years, why can't the offensive "genius" recruit a QB? I thought high school QB's would be lining up for his system. At least that is what we were told by Luck when he hired the Idiot Holgorsen.
        Millard sucks, not a D-1 QB at all. Trickett isn't any better. Childress is an immature premadonna with issues. The kid from PA, Rawlins, bolted quickly last year. He knew he made a mistake committing to Holgorsen.
        So, where's the QB?

      • marcus

        The QB didn't play defense and they had pretty damn good Defense that year.

  • tw eagle

    my question regards the armed guards ( W. Va. state troopers ) that accompany coach Holgerson on game days . . .is this entourage paid for by our millionaire HC or is it provided by the university . . .does coach Huggie Bear get the same treatment ? this question stems from reading about a post game scuffle that happened at a tournament the WVU womens BB team was participating in . . .WVU only protects the "big" money earners ?

    • AlternFan

      school pays for it.

    • GoEers

      every HC of every DIv. 1 football game has state troopers/security that accompany the HC on the sidelines

      do you even watch college football or briefly tune in to WVU games in order to pick something mundane out that you can whine about?

    • wvu fan

      Seriously?

  • chad

    These "coaches " couldn't develope a good case of hemroids

    • GoEers

      Yeah, but I bet they could teach you how to spell.

    • Uncle Unctuous

      I'm guessing that a develope is part deer, part vervet monkey, and part antelope. And a hemroid sounds like some sort of tailoring machine.

      • Steve

        Lol...your guess is as good as mine!

    • Jim K

      And you apparently can't spell.

  • big tom

    so,,, dana is using facilities are the problem,, not coaching, not leadership, not overpaid slackers for coaches., not recruiting,,, hum,,, if it's so bad, why is he staying at wvu,,, it sucks right? ,, well , I don't think so,,,with facilities a lot more inferior than this Don Nehlen took us to the title game and RR had us one game away from the title game,,,so dana,,,exactly what is your real problem

    • Uncle Unctuous

      Maybe the problem is he finds commas distracting. And there are enough commas here to freak out everyone from the AD down to the equipment manager.

    • WVU4EVER

      big tom

      Don Nehlen and RR did it in the Big East, the Big 12 is a totally different monster. you all need to get that in your head. give Dana 1 or 2 more years and we will be at the top of the
      Big 12. that will be all his recruits.

      • big tom

        while in the big east, we won a sugar bowl, a fiesta bowl and an orange bowl. We can't erase that can we? We were nationally ranked, but that's gone away because of our inferior practice facilities.

        • Troll is back

          We were in 3 out of 16 BCS bowl years. That's a real powerhouse there big tom. Take an honest, not heart felt look at our past and it's not what everyone wants to believe, sorry for the honesty.

        • WVU4EVER

          Yes, just like I said they were all in the
          big east. This is the big 12 where you need a lot more depth and better recruiting and they are both coming.
          we are just not there yet, we will start to see it next year and and win games in the forth quarter instead of losing them. Guaranteed!!

      • len

        I am glad you have such faith in him. I would have some if I saw some big time recruits that he brought in tearing it up, or if I saw great management of the game, or great motivation/leadership from him, or an outstanding staff that coaches players up. Maybe he will develop and maybe it jsut takes more time but so far I havent seen it. I hope I do see it, but I am skeptical

      • really?

        Outside of Baylor, the Big 12 is complete garbage. Fact.

        • Rufus

          Have you seen the ACC or big 10? Lol Talk about garbage. Big 12 down years it's still 3rd best conf. Last few years it was 2nd behind SEC. Which is why SEC and Big 12 signed that huge bowl deal.

      • Rick S.

        According the Sagarin computer ratings, the Big 12 is currently the third best conference, for what it is worth.

        1. Pac-12 82.11 rating
        2. SEC 80.63
        3. Big 12 75.62
        4. ACC 74.205
        5. Big 10 73.955
        6. American Athletic 65.16

  • F Bunch

    When is Bye Bye week?