MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Looking antsier than ever after 25 preseason practices, Dana Holgorsen lined Tuesday’s news conference with a clear talking point: He’s tired of talking about Georgia Southern and ready to play.
“I think y’all (reporters) are probably just about as excited as we are to get something else to talk about other than just what the preparation is,” he said.
Apparently, Saturday night’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff can’t arrive soon enough for the Mountaineers, entering their fifth season under Holgorsen.
From questions about freshman receiver Jovon Durante to Michigan transfer Kyle Bosch earning the job at right guard, much of Tuesday’s discussion centered around guys who haven’t suited up for West Virginia.
“This supports my point that we do need to play a game,” Holgorsen said. “What happens if I wouldn’t have put (the depth chart) out there two days ago that these guys were actually the starters? You guys wouldn’t have had anything to write about. We need to get out there and play.”
More from the Week 1 news conference …
Muldrow still out: Senior linebacker Ed Muldrow, projected to be a second-stringer used in blitz packages, hasn’t practiced this preseason and his injury remains somewhat mysterious.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” Holgorsen said. “We’re 100-percent healthy. He’s the only one who hasn’t practiced.”
Easy on the Durante hype: Despite being pegged to start at outside receiver, the freshman won’t necessarily play a preset number of series. Holgorsen also pledged to play junior Devonte Mathis and true freshman Gary Jennings at the Z receiver.
“I’ll be curious to see what the snaps are at the end of the game,” he said. “There could be two other people at that position who end up playing more snaps. You’ve got to look and see how they’re going toreact to these situations.
“A bunch of people are making a big deal about (Durante) being the starter, and I’m proud of him, and he’s made some pretty good plays, and he’s got bundles of potential. Until it happens in a game, I’m going to reserve the right to sit here and brag about him.”
Holgorsen said he expects three players to see action at the opposite wide receiver—starter Shelton Gibson, followd by Vernon Davis and Ka’Raun White.
Upset alert: Georgia Southern enters the week as a 19-point underdog and, in some circles, a fashionable pick to give WVU a test on Saturday night. Holgorsen promised his players have been schooled in how dangerous the Sun Belt Conference favorites can be.
“There’s nothing I can say about Georgia Southern that’s going to open their eyes anymore than they’re already open,” he said. “We’ve talked enough. I can’t tell you how excited I am to watch our guys play.”