MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — While a loss to No. 2 Alabama wasn’t the result Dana Holgorsen wanted, he predicted his West Virginia team will “win a bunch of games” if it plays with the same enthusiasm throughout the season.

“Our excitement level to play the game was off the charts,” Holgorsen said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. “Our energy throughout the game was at an all-time high. The effort that our guys played with was exactly what we want.”

The Mountaineers (0-1) dropped their fourth consecutive game, but playing Alabama even left Holgorsen with a far different aftertaste than did closing the 2013 season with losses to Kansas and Iowa State. Pitched as 26-point underdogs, West Virginia had possession and a chance to tie Alabama in the fourth quarter.

“I told the team that they set the standard, they set the bar for how we need to play all year,” he said.  “If we can get the guys to play with that kind of effort, with that kind of energy and that kind of excitement, then we’re going to have a good year.

“If we can play like that all year, then we’ll win a bunch of games.”

Holgorsen’s list of positives were lengthy: Clint Trickett throwing for a career-high 365 yards, Kevin White being hard to guard on the outside, Mario Alford producing a special-teams score and West Virginia’s defense creating the game’s only turnover.

For those reasons, he dismissed any good-loss symmetry between the Alabama game and last September’s 16-7 loss at Oklahoma.

“Last year against (Oklahoma) was a sloppy game, but I don’t think this game on Saturday night was a sloppy game,” he said.

Holgorsen’s other talking points Tuesday:

• “The difference against the Crimson Tide was third downs.” Alabama finished 9-of-16, while West Virginia was 5-of-14.

• Alabama’s rushing game compiled 288 yards and 5.9 per carry, wearing down WVU’s defense. “They do that to everybody,” he said.

• West Virginia allow 538 yards and yielded more than 37 minutes of possession, but Holgorsen liked the defensive design of new defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. “I thought coach Gibson called a good game, I really do.”

• Alabama junior receiver Amari Cooper made quite an impression with 12 catches for 130 yards: “He might be the first pick in the draft. He was a really good player.”

• Holgorsen thanked the contingent of WVU fans who “made a big difference” in Atlanta. “I thought our fan support was great and our players were pretty fired up to see the amount of people who made the trip.”

• On this week’s opponent for the home opener, 2013 FCS runner-up Towson: “They went on a pretty good run and won some huge games in the playoffs. … They’re used to winning and they’re pretty good.”

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Comments

  • the king has no clothes

    Puppet master luck has convinced all the wvu faithful that .500 is going to be a great season. If you can't improve the record just lower the expectations. People no longer respect us they just feel sorry for us.

  • TD

    While we look at only the WVU side of drops, how about the Alabama drop where the receiver was behind the defense and had to wait for the ball to get there, according to your logic then Alabama should have had six more. Drops happen, are apart of the game. Quit making excuses for WVU, nothing has changed period. This game played out just like every other game has since entering the big 12, no pass rush, no pass defense and no scoring in the red zone, argue all you want but those are the facts!

    • West by God

      You are a great fan because you expect more! There was some improvement but the mistakes remain the same. You are correct and so far the problem has not been fixed. Posters like J the C, Bob Smithers, Uncle Phil have never played a down of football at any level much less college football. People who do not understand the game say things like the "ref screwed us" or "we almost won." I promise no player in the locker room said the "ref screwed us" or "we almost won". They simply went back to work to fix the problem, hopefully they can the season depends on it!

    • J the C

      you are no fan. drop dead!

      • TD

        How about some proof I'm wrong, I'll be awaiting a legitimate reply. By the way I am a WVU fan and hope they can come together to have a good season, but after the first game I'm just stating the facts as they played out on the field. Sure Trickett had a big number day, White had a big number day, so did Alford, Worley and Joseph, however the game results are still the same as I mentioned before. So if you think you can prove me wrong. Didn't know stating the truth made you "not a fan " as so many of you like to claim me to be.

        • An actual athlete

          OK while there are 2 many glass half full guys, your glass is 2 empty. We showed improvement up front, our qb seemed to understand the offense and make the correct throws. If and its a big if we catch half of our drops we have a very good chance of winning that ballgame. Defensively we flew around and gang tackled. Our pass coverage was better, there were not receivers running open in the middle of the field as in years past. In a 3 man front our pass rush will have to come from blitzes and stunts. I think riddick will also prove to be an asset in that regard. We are better, as a team however I'm not sure we are over the hump yet. We shall see.

          • West by God

            Great and honest assessment!

  • Rob

    We heard this garbage last year and you finished 5-7. Your 0-1 with losses coming to Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. That's 6 losses with no room to spare. If you lose one more home game or a road game like Maryland or Iowa State, your home for the holidays. Be sure to leave Santa some milk and cookies before going to bed.

    • J the C

      "your home for the holidays" Smarty guy, lol!

      • Rob

        I happen to be a teacher, so yes, I will be home for the holidays. lol!

  • Eersfan73

    West by God , and etc alike , we are very proud of our Eers and the game they played, if anyone of you watch that game, there were 3 calls by those ACC refs that made a huge difference in the out come of the game, two of those calls they went on to put points on the board, and on the other hand twice their no calls cost us points on the score board, and that is a fact jack!!! Now we had some chances and didn't cash in also, but to pull out that victory, we'll lets just say in my book if called fairly add 14 to our score

    • J the C

      +1

    • TD

      Add 7 to Alabama for lack of pass defense on dropped pass, Ala 40-WVU 37, no matter your excuse Alabama won where it counts, on the field. This game was no different than many others over the last couple years, why can't you acknowledge that? We have been close in quite a few games but they always end up with the same result, a loss. So if you set aside your heartfelt feelings for a moment and really look at this game in reality you will have to agree that things haven't changed and we do infact still have all the problems once again that have doomed us over and over since our venture into the Big 12. Sorry to have to put a damper on your parade but I prefer reality to fantasy.

      • J the C

        You're a fool!

      • Bigfoot1970

        Your forgetting that the Refs gave Alabama 10 points by extending drives with their horrific or imaginary calls, so take ten off of their score. WVU 37 Alabama 30!!

    • Rob

      Should of, would of and could haves has never landed you a win much less anything else. Excuses, excuses. Keep em coming. YOU LOST.

      • Andy

        Clearly you are an uninformed and unintelligent college football fan.

    • West by God

      The refs don't win games the players do! How about the dropped passes, the bad snap, the 3rd and 13. Now you go give those boys a big shinny participation ribbon. Same problems as last year and the same result. I sure hope the players are not as excited about the loss as the fanbase.

      • J the C

        -1

      • uncle phil

        Congrats! You've been nominated for this weeks Negative Nellie award!

        • J the C

          agreed

        • West by God

          Thank you Uncle Phil it is an honor.

          • uncle phil

            Great! This week's winner will be awarded a hot paper bag of steaming dog crap.

            The honor is all mine!

  • Holge

    This week will tell a lot about our defense. No reason Towson should move the ball consistently against us. I have concerns we have not made signifigant improvements from last year on the defensive side of the ball. I guess time will tell.

  • wvu09

    I'm convinced we could have whipped Bama and we would still have these negative trolls ripping the mountaineers....

  • West by God

    God I miss the days that West Virginia expected to win games. Now fans get fired up when we only lose by 10. The problem last year was our defense couldn't get off the field and our offense couldn't finish drives. Is that not exactly what happened on Saturday. I guess I just have to adapt gone are the days when West Virginia is feared. Three BCS wins and we're happy we just lost by 10, my how times have changed.

    • J the C

      zero sense

    • Bob Smithers

      God I miss the days before internet when idiots were not allowed to show their ignorance in public.

      • moutain momma

        Then log off

      • West by God

        Bob go back to your job someone just pulled up at the drive thru! We are talking football here so you have to sit this one out!

        • Bob Smithers

          See what I mean ? I think my point was made.I bet you thought that one up all by yourself,didn't you kid ?

    • BuckeyeMountaineer

      Have to agree. Same issues as last season appear to be unresolved. The optics were better. Assuming WVU beats Towson I will look to the Maryland game as an indicator of how this year might go.

    • TD

      Please don't present the truth folks on here don't want to hear it, I was not a true fan for pointing out the truth of the Alabama game. I guess that you and I should succumb to the masses, put on those rose colored glasses, ignore the fact this game played out just like every other has the last two years and pretend that somehow all is well now in WVU land even though trips in the red zone still don't produce touchdowns, first time qb's have career games and we still can't sack a qb, stop a receiver or stop the run.

      • J the C

        td you're a goof!

      • West by God

        Who gives a s### what they want to hear. Truth is Alabama is not all that, Oklahoma is better, Baylor is better and maybe a couple other BIG 12 teams. If I hear one more so called fan cry about the officials I am going to puke. It makes us all look like babies looking for excuses. Bottom line is we should of won that game but we could NOT get off the field on defense and we couldn't finish drives with touchdowns. Let em be happy about a 10 point loss, We will continue to hold out for wins.

        • J the C

          you live in the past,

          • moutain momma

            Now that is funny West by God, I bet he does live in his mommies basement. LMAO

          • West by God

            You live in your mom's basement!

  • any major dude

    If we can play with the same intensity against Towson as we did against Bama, we will absolutely CRUSH them. I too thought they were sky-high. Hopefully they can feed off a great crowd on Saturday!

  • Mountain Navy

    Sounds to me like Holgersen is desperate.

  • Mountaineer Fanatic

    I loved Dana's shirt also. Still think how the team plays is much more important than his shirt or his hair. LETS GOOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

  • DimonDave

    dis heer is dimon dave agin.

    Hiiiiiiiiiiiiyaw!

    Wets Gwo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hop'sHip

      Wets Gwo? Are you sure this isn't Elmer Fudd? Say "crazy rabbit".

  • Mountaineer Fanatic

    I can hardly wait until Saturday. Can't wait for the Mountaineers to stomp on Towson. Please keep up the good work.
    LETS GOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

    • Rob

      You mountaineer fans are the biggest hypocrites in college football. All you do is cry about Marshall's schedule while at the same time brag about stomping Towson. Way to do you homework!

      • Bob Smithers

        swap schedules and WVU goes undefeated,MU goes 0-12 boob.

        • Rob

          0-12. Really! There's no need for name calling Bob.

  • steve in GA

    Allan, I told you and Hoppy last week in Atlanta that we were a much better team than everyone was giving us credit for. This team will win a lot of games this year. everything I said except for the outcome of the game came out this past Sat. Thank you for coming down to the ATL and hanging with us for a few days. With a few wins, maybe you will be back in a few months as we host one of the playoff games with our Mountaineers leaving then with a victory!

  • Ole Sasquatch

    At this particular point in time the Ole Sasquatch would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Clint Trickett & Kevin White who I knew would do good on Saturday. I know Kevin promised us he was going to step up a few months back. Clint is the son of Rick and showed guts last year it was rather an easy call that he was going to do the job. Also Mario Alford & the little receiver Thompson (Squirt) stepped up big. Shell looked good and all or running backs or heavily dependent on our offensive line which I sincerely hope can step up, our season so depends on them.

    • An actual athlete

      Mr. Squatch I think you have a point, mostly because if you know football then you know the game is won up front. If you can control the line of scrimmage or establish it on your opponents side then you will be successful. That being said our big guys produced a stalemate most of the game. Which I would say is a vast improvement. Our defensive line is set up a little differently than most, being more about gap control and block eating than penetration. If they don't get blown off the ball and force a double team or then its a win. Our tackling was a bit of an issue, that being second part of the equation in football. Blocking and tackling, its all football really is.

    • West by God

      Hopefully all those guys will get a participation ribbon.

    • uncle phil

      That horrible offensive line we've had the past few years stepped up big against Ala-freakin-bama in pass protecting Clint. Sure, our running game didn't work out so well, but many teams will struggle running the ball against Alabama this year.

      Besides, our need to run in that game was over rated. Dana knew what the best match up was. He wasn't going to change who we are (a pass-oriented team). If a few receivers would have held on to the ball we wouldn't be sitting here complaining about the run.

  • Protechcpa

    There was a lot to like in the Bama game and I am encouraged. We will definitely not fold in the Kansas and Iowa State games this year. I do not see improvement on defense. Joseph will get his on any team but he cannot do it on his own. I know we were playing perhaps the most talented team in America, but six of our guys cannot even slow their guy down when it mattered most. D concerns me.

    • West by God

      Alabama is nowhere close to one of the top offenses in the country. The big 12 will have four teams with better offense.