MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Dana Holgorsen said this season’s West Virginia team didn’t develop the mentality to finish games, and blowing a 17-point lead in the final 10 minutes of regulation against Iowa State proved yet another example.
What concluded in triple-overtime as a 52-44 loss on Saturday night left West Virginia with a 4-8 overall record and a ninth-place Big 12 finish. The wounded-limp of a home stretch saw the Mountaineers lose to Kansas and Iowa State, squads with a combined league record of 3-15. Even in a rebuilding year, that’s a difficult 1-2 punch to absorb.
“Why can’t we close games? It comes down to execution and a burning desire to win,” Holgorsen said. “You need a collection of guys not wanting to let each other down and coaches not wanting to let the players down. Obviously we don’t have that right now.
“It is something that will be addressed in the offseason.”
West Virginia enters the offseason with scant momentum, having lost six of seven (and 14 of its last 20). Much of the posturing heard Saturday evening was reminiscent of what players and coaches said before exiting Yankee Stadium at the end of last December’s Pinstripe Bowl. Let’s see if the upcoming nine months yield as WVU prepares to open next season against Alabama.
Said Holgorsen, keenly aware of the pressing need to fix what ails this program: “2014 starts tomorrow.”