MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Given two weeks to prepare for West Virginia’s next game against Kansas on Oct. 4, coach Dana Holgorsen will have extra time to re-absorb last season’s 31-19 upset loss to the Jayhawks.
“Miserable performance,” he said. “I’ve been watching it for two straight days and it makes me want to puke.”
Considering the game ended a 27-game Big 12 losing streak for Kansas and severed West Virginia’s bowl hopes, Holgorsen predicts the rematch will motivate his players through the bye week?
“Oh boy, I’d hope so.”
After losing 45-33 to Oklahoma on Saturday night, West Virginia (2-2, 0-1) has dropped four straight Big 12 games. Kansas (2-1) opens league play this week against Texas.
Trickett hurried throws against Sooners: While passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-33 loss to Oklahoma, Clint Trickett also tossed two interceptions and made several errant throws. Holgorsen called it Trickett’s worse game of the season, and said the quarterback was harder on himself than coaches were.
“When he’s looking at two of the best pass rushers in college football, it’s probably going to affect him,” Holgorsen said. “The first time he dropped back he got sacked. That affects you a little bit.
“He didn’t play bad by no means. He rushed everything because he knew that clock was ticking.”
Bell leaves team: Fifth-year senior cornerback Travis Bell, after missing practice last week and sitting out Saturday’s game against Oklahoma, has given up football.
“Travis is retired, simply put,” Holgorsen said. “We wish him well.”
Bell appeared in 39 games and made 10 starts, nine of those last year. He also was arrested for domestic battery and DUI during his junior year, leading to a suspension last spring.
Special teams under scrutiny: Holgorsen cited Oklahoma’s 100-yard return as a rare lapse for West Virginia’s kick-coverage unit.
“On that one specific play … we had guys stuck on blocks, we had guys out of their lanes, and we had the safety guys out of position,” he said. “Why did they do it? I don’t know.
“One play doesn’t make the difference in a game. It did however suck the momentum out of everybody.”
The preceding week, of course, it was the punt-coverage unit victimized at Maryland on a 69-yard touchdown.
Holgorsen has effusively praised special teams coach Joe DeForest, a friend he hired away from Oklahoma State before the 2012 season. The head coach on Tuesday emphasized some of the specialists who are performing well, such as Josh Lambert’s making 7-of-10 field goals and Nick O’Toole repeatedly pinning teams inside the 20.
“Unfortunately the two glaring (coverage) mistakes affected the game,” Holgorsen said. “Those other teams have good players and they coach special teams as hard as we do. It’s called competition.”
Daryl Worley update: The cornerback remains suspended “while we continue to gather facts that are out there,” Holgorsen said.
Worley was arrested last week on a misdemeanor battery charge that stemmed from a Sept. 14 nightclub incident in which video showed him grabbing a female patron by the throat. Attorneys claim Worley was defending his girlfriend in the altercation.
Structured bye week: Along with devoting developmental reps to backups, Holgorsen said the starters need to maintain momentum through the bye week.
“You can never relax,” he said. “There are some guys on the injury report who want to relax for a few days, but if you do that you’re not going to improve.”