MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Coach Dana Holgorsen pledged that fans attending West Virginia’s public practice in Charleston on Saturday will see the longest spring scrimmage so far.

Starting with a series of Oklahoma drills meant “to get everybody’s juices flowing,” Holgorsen said the Mountaineers will stage a brief special-teams period before going 11-on-11 in live action.

“We’re going to put the ball down and play some football,” he said on Thursday night’s edition of the MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline.”

Saturday’s session is slated to begin around 1 p.m. at Laidley Field, continuing WVU’s attempt at a fan-friendly tour that previously included open practices in Wheeling and Morgantown.

“There’s room for about 19,000 fans in the stadium, and our kids get excited about this,” Holgorsen said. “It’s a two-way street: I now the fans are going to be excited about being able to see their Mountaineers, but our kids really do get a kick out of this.”

The athletic department has announced it will hold a post-practice autograph session.

While reiterating that juco transfer Skyler Howard is enduring rough days learning to run the offense, Holgorsen raved about the quarterback’s commitment.

“You want him to be further along, … but you’ve just got to go through the process,” Holgorsen said.

“I love his attitude. We’ve got to kick him out of the building because he spends so much time there. He wants to watch more film than we want to watch, so we have to get him out of there and say ‘Go be a college kid’ every now and then.”

Holgorsen sounded optimistic about the progress shown on defense, something that is sorely needed after West Virginia has ranked 108th in 2012 in 101st last season.

“I couldn’t be happier with how our defense is playing right now,’ he said. “We have depth, (and) we have better talent across the board.”

Watch Holgorsen’s complete interview at the top of the page.

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  • Baldeagle

    Another JC failure. Excuse me for being old, but wasn't it Pat White who came in his freshmen year after 3 games? I wouldn't play Crest against Alabama, let him watch a really well coached team play so he knows what coaching really should be and can watch the other so called QB's get mashed. We will not win against Alabama, I just hope that our defense really puts on a great game and can keep it respectable.

  • J W WVU

    Not much to say on this post, except if you want to know if they are getting the system down pat, take you a stopwatch and time it for yourself in between downs.... It's called SPEED..... In game situations, Holg wants to get the ball snapped within 17 seconds or less between downs... Speed is what this system is about an rhythm... What do you think beat Alabama the last two ballgames they played??....

  • Germy

    Spot the ball !! LOL

  • Mister Man

    Millard should start. Trickett needs to be ready to go in.

  • Hillbilly

    Should have stayed in the Big East . We are out-classed now , way to go .

    • Mister Man

      You should stayed in school.

    • Mohigan #22

      The Big East no longer has football. The AAC does but is a "mid-major" and staying there would prevent us from competing on a national level for a long time, maybe forever, but at least until the next round of conference expansion whenever that may be.

      Luck has made some poor decisions and has not been near as good an AD as I expected, but going to the Big 12 is not among his mistakes. We literally had no choice if we want to be a big-time program.

  • Shawn sheets.

    I'll be there can't wait. Let's gooooooo mountaineers!!!!

  • Mohigan #22

    I love the Mountaineers unconditionally. I go through thick and thin and cheer them for all I'm worth. My love though isn't blind I can tell the difference between when we have reason for optimism and when we don't.

    Right now we don't. I'll suffer through this down era as I have in the past and there will be good times again. Just not this year.

  • Josh

    I'm excited to take my son to see the Mountaineers tomorrow, and possible to Morgantown next week. I'm optimistic about this year, what we have coming back, and the coaching changes. I think it is okay to question some of the moves and decisions made by the team, but some of you on here must be miserable. If you only like WVU when they are up, then you are a bandwagon fan. You probably like the Yankees, Duke basketball, and the New England Patriots. Enjoy the ride...the struggles are what make success that much more sweet.

  • Mohigan #22

    I said this last week, but I saw the practice and Howard is not even possibly a Big 12 caliber QB. He should be a distant 3rd string now and that's without Trickett and Crest even around.

    Even 3rd string is in the cards for him only if we are adamant about redshirting Crest and Howard is listed above Logan Moore to save face since we gave him a scholarship.

    Honestly, if Crest is 1/10th the athlete he is supposed to be, I'd expect to see him if injuries force us low on the depth chart because Dana knows this is a make or break year for his job and playing Howard would be the final nail. At least Crest might give us a chance even if he is unpolished. you can't polish a .....

    • JimmyJoeBobRoy Jr.

      Throw Trickett at Alabama... and if he fails, insert Crest from that point on.. Do not allow Crest to face possible injury mentally or physically. A players first game experience can make or break a players confidence his first year.

      • Mohigan #22

        Just curious, what would you say will constitute "failure" against Alabama? I'd say still being able to chew solid food and being oriented to time and place is about as much as we can realistically hope for any QB to manage.

        That's only slightly joking. I don't think it is fair to judge anyone on how we fare in that game.

      • Frederick

        I'd pick Millard too at least for the first game if Trickett hasn't recovered. I definitely wouldn't throw Crest out there against Bama's defense for his first action. Lambs to slaughter for sure.

        Barring Trickett and Millard both going down though, I would not expect to see Crest even playing until later in the season, at the earliest, even if he is the real deal. seeing him being #1 before the stretch run likely means we start 1-4 and look really bad doing it. If we lose to Kansas in game 5 and are 1-4, then it's desperation time so Crest might get the call because Dana sure won't have any incentive to save his eligibility for the next coach.

  • Frederick

    "It means an awful lot to him." Attitude, work ethic... blah blah blah.

    If that is the best thing your coach can say about you and he pointedly avoids even alluding to any aspect of your play, you probably want to get that seat cushion ordered.

  • JimmyJoeBobRoy Jr.

    I keep hearing -- it's about knowing the system, knowing the system.... Folks, you're either good enough to run the system or you're not... I refuse to listen to another year of hearing fans say he'll be better "next year" once he learns the system..... Howard isn't the guy for this years Mountaineer team unfortunately, and he never will be.

  • An actual athlete

    The qb situation in tenuous at best. However in this system if you can get rid of the ball quickly and have athletes in space you can be effective. If the defensive improvement is the same as it was last year we will be in most games. The opener in atl is a tough one but I'm looking forward to it.

  • gnarly dude

    Swing by Cross Lanes on the way home?

  • Jimmy Slade

    Charleston --- no free parking on Saturdays

    Thank you Danny Jones !!!!!!

  • ole sasquatch

    Not surprised about Skler's attitude. You see it in the film when he tucks the ball in and takes off running down the field. Here is a kid who looks as though he is ready to lay it all on the line to win and absolutely enjoys every second of it. He is Hungry. He is tasting it. Just stand back and watch this kid grow.