Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Saturday’s crowd of 33,735 was the third-smallest in the history of Mountaineer Field.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Let’s sample the superlatives from West Virginia’s 52-44 triple-overtime loss to Iowa State in Saturday’s season finale:

Worst draw: The 33,735 announced attendance was West Virginia’s lowest since 1992’s game against Louisiana Tech and the third-smallest crowd in the history of Mountaineer Field. (It also marked the third-worst attendance in the Big 12 this season edging only the 30,807 Kansas drew for WVU two weeks ago and the 32,264 Kansas drew for Baylor on Oct. 26.) Said coach Dana Holgorsen: “I appreciate the crowd that was there today. It’s tough when you don’t have the students and school isn’t in session.”

Best benchmark: Charles Sims needed 54 yards to reach 1,000 this season and he wound up with 149 yards on 24 carries. His season-long 76-yard touchdown in the third quarter pushed him over the line.

Worst absentee: Even after a bye week, Bandit safety Darwin Cook’s injured groin prevented him from playing on Senior Day. With WVU shuffling Daryl Worley to free safety and Karl Joseph to Cook’s spot, Iowa State freshman quarterback Grant Rohach capitalized in a huge way—331 yards passing and a career-best four touchdowns.

Best late-blooming receiver: West Virginia’s Mario Alford caught eight passes for 215 yards, both season highs. He made 20 of his 27 catches in the final four games.

Worst time to sacrifice 5 yards: WVU was at the 50-yard line with five seconds left and somehow was penalized for delay of game after Iowa State took back-to-back timeouts. That cost the Mountaineers a chance to throw a quick out and set up a Josh Lambert field-goal try. “I can’t explain the delay,” Holgorsen said. “You get a call in there and we just didn’t snap it quick enough. Can’t explain that … it’s on me.”

Best gamble: On fourth-and-17 from Iowa State’s 21 early in the fourth quarter, Paul Rhoads unleashed a fake punt and punter Kirby Van Der Kamp gashed WVU for 21 yards up the middle. The play sparked the Cyclones to a touchdown that cut the deficit to 38-28. “It was a fake all the way,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads. “It was time. Our backs were against the wall a little bit. We pulled the trigger and Kirby Van Der Camp’s a man. He’s a man.”

Best play by punter NOT involving a fake: Nick O’Toole boomed a 68-yard punt in the first half and averaged 56 on three punts.

Worst overtime offense: WVU ranks next-to-last in the Big 12 in red-zone touchdown percentage, so the overtime format of starting at the opposing team’s 25 doesn’t figure to suit the Mountaineers. And in five overtime possessions this season, West Virginia didn’t score a single TD.

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  • Troll is back

    Good news, woke up Monday morning and Dana Holgorsen is still coach. Keep running your mouths and bashing this staff and team, me, I choose to support both because like it or not right now they are WVU.

  • 5toldU1s

    Does the the whole DH thing remind anyone else of the whole Mark Snyder thing at MU? A highly respected Assistant Coach who had great success at a big school who were hired away to be a Head Coach. Only to fail miserably. Will it turn out the same? Rehired by a big name school as assistant, but actually kind of suck, never recapture the magic? Only time will tell, hopefully sooner than later!

  • True WVU Fan

    How about Jim Tressel?

  • Toadman

    Rumor has it that Saban will take pity on us next year and only play his practice team against WV.
    Projected score: Bama-48 & WV-0!
    Oh well, we're stuck in reverse for at least two more years. By that time the Big 12 will be disbanded with the better teams (Texas & Oklahoma) going into bigger conferences leaving WV left out in the cold. The ACC & SEC don't want us so it looks like we will end up in the American Conference or if we are lucky we may find ourselves joined with, dare I say, Marshall in Conference USA! Think about it! It could happen.


    Don't worry about DOC coming here to take the Head Coaching job. Doc has some ethics, and MARSHALL saw enough of good things in him to give him a chance as a head coach at an FBS school, when WVU turned it's head. If he leaves MARSHALL, it will be for a better and bigger opportunity than here in Morgantown, that's for sure. Oliver has a urgent problem here right now; and the silent majority has not spoken yet of the dissatisfaction of Dandy Dana.
    But fans will speak louder in 2014, about not buying season tickets. That low game attendance figure begin yesterday with all the WVU fans no-shows. Mountaineer was half full; and what a mess here in Morgantown, where no one is happy right now !

  • Aaron

    An open letter to Oliver Luck and the WVU athletic department.

    Dear Oliver,

    Like many fans, I was disappointed with this team and this season. As a WU fan spoiled by 11 consecutive bowl games, I was sad to see that streak come to an end, more so when one looks at how this team played in it's last two games.

    With victories over weak teams, this team could have finished 6-6 and continued the bowl streak but instead, they faltered against weak competition and as in apparent by the numerous comments, have devastated many a fan.

    This team is not why I am writing you though. While I'm sure you are aware of everything I have written above, I understand there is little you can do given your position.

    This team or this season is not what I am writing to you about. I was one of the 20,000 plus fans who were not in attendance and the reason was simple. It was not the record, the weather or the coach. I stayed home because of the opponent.

    This weekend I watched Oregon win a thriller in The Civil War, Michigan lose a thriller in The Game and Auburn complete the greatest finish in the history of college football and eliminated Alabama from national championship contention with a victory in the Iron Bowl. Other rivalry games saw SEC teams Georgia and South Carolina defeat ACC rivalries Georgia Tech and Clemson, UCLA defeat USC and Arizona State spoil Rich Rod's euphoria by thrashing Arizona.

    What I did not see and the reason I was home was my personal favorite rivalry game, The Backyard Brawl. I would have drove to Morgantown to see WVU play a 2-9 Pitt team. For that one, I'm sure Morgantown would have housed far more than the 30K that showed up.

    So while others cry for the head coach to be canned, or for someone to relieve you of your responsibilities, my request is simple; return the Brawl to the Fall. West Virginia should be playing Pitt on Thanksgiving weekend.

    Do whatever it takes, up to and including selling your soul if need be but please stop this madness and get Pitt back on the schedule.

    • Troll is back

      Doc, Nick, Tressel, Rodreguiz, Jimbo, ect, ect it's like a broken record, get over it, it's Holgorsen and that's the bottom line! Once you can accept this fact and get behind him and his team with unwavering support you will find yourself at ease with WVU football. This is who we have so either get on board or jump ship but what ever you do for your own sanity please quit beating this dead horse of who should be or could be coach, it's Holgorsen!

      • Aaron

        Apparently you're reading comprehension is lacking troll. At no point have I called for a coaching change.

    • Troll is back

      Let's not forget that losing the backyard brawl was not 100% WVU's fault, Pitt also left the Big East and just like WVU has contractual obligations with the ACC. Even had we stayed in the Big East the back yard brawl still would have went by the wayside due to Pitt leaving the conference. That said from all indications both atheletic departments have been talking and hopefully one day this rivalry will resume. Also it's important to note that a lot of these schedules are made years in advance just throwing that out there for all the blames who want to point fingers at Luck and Holgorsen, done future games were already signed before them. When the dust settles and all this conference scramble settles down I'm sure Mr. Luck will do what he can to retain some quality regional rivalries for the future. In the mean time the best thing we fans can do is not panic and let these guys get things worked out and continue to support our team in this time if turmoil. Fighting amongst our selfs isn't going to make this transistion any easier.

      • Aaron

        Two ACC teams play their final game out of Conference against rivalry teams. From that aspect, I'm sure the ACC would have been accommodating.

  • Hal Varian

    I hope that when Dana rebuilds the program your Hoopie hero destroyed that all of you inbreds have the integrity to refrain from celebrating it.

    West Virginians really are an uneducated and pathetic populace. (Fat and semi-literate, too.)

  • Mike

    Mountaineer football used to be fun. It made me happy. Money can't buy happiness. I miss the fun.

  • Troll is back

    Thanks for time and hard work this season Coach Holgorsen, looking forward to see what you can do next season.

  • Fred

    Boy look at all of the negative comments on here. Fire Luck. Fire Holgorsen. Get out of the Big 12. Then what. This mess will not be fixed overnight. I don't know what the answers are but if we do start winning consistently then we'll start saying Luck is the best AD in the country and Holgorsen is the best coach in the country. They say that winning is the best deodorant there is. I give Holgorsen one (maybe two) more year. As far as conference affiliation goes. The Big East as we knew it is gone. I would rather be in the Big 12 any day than the AAC. I am thankful that this season is over but let's just relax and see how everything goes. Remember it's only a game.

    • Mike

      Mountaineer Pride is not a game.

    • Troll is back

      Thanks Fred you have it together but watch out these people will crucify you for not wanting to fire Holgorson

    • Fred

      See you all next season. LET'S GO MOUNTAINEERS!

  • biance

    I am so glad this nightmare of a season is over! And please don't say I am not a Mountaineer fan - that I least I wear our school colors! How distasteful Luck has allowed our representation of gold and blue be smothered under black. Don;t dare ask us to strip the stadium when DH won't even represent the pride and joy of a true Mountaineer.

  • Nutbut

    HCBS was an incompetent head coach. He lucked in to the job...held Pat White down his senior year, lost to UCONN, and couldn't win the Big East. And we are going to make him a saint?

    Then he agreed to a "coach-in-waiting" situation and then was insubordinate. Wow!

    HCDH may have issues, but his lid as a head coach is much higher than HCBS's lid ever was.

    Good grief.

    • Mike

      Look at Holgorsen's record. You're blind.

  • Diana Preston

    It is just so sad! So much money out there just to get into big 12, outrageous salaries and the arrogance in the highest places. Priorities, folks. Priorities!

  • Myron

    Where is Oliver?! His silence is deafening.

    • Benthere

      I thought he gut punched by Texas. Must have been a wicked throat shot....knocked his voice box out of commission. Maybe he can draw a picture.

    • Mike

      No word from Ollie since his ego got bruised when Texas turned him down.

  • Justin

    Holgy sucks and can't coach at all. One reason because all the talent from last year. Somehow he finds a way to lose with all that talent. ( crappy coach)