MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Though Saturday’s 30-6 win over Iowa State proved comfortable enough for a home finale and a senior sendoff, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen wasn’t comfortable with the offense’s missed opportunities.
“Everything we do offensively is a struggle right now,” he said. “I’m happy we’re 7-4 and I’m proud of our defense, but that’s about all I can say.”
West Virginia’s 415 yards averaged to 5.8 per play, precisely in line with WVU’s season pace. Then again, this season’s productivity, especially in the passing game, hasn’t matched Holgorsen’s expectations. Despite Iowa State crowding defenders in the box and playing man coverage, Skyler Howard was held to below 50-percent passing.
“We have got to be better throwing the football, and we just weren’t,” Holgorsen said. “Those down-the-field plays are low-percentage passes, but we still have to hit those.”
WVU began the day in the bottom half of the Big 12 in passing efficiency.
“Pass protection has got to improve. Quarterback’s got to improve. Intermediate routes have got to improve, Receivers being in the right spot has got to improve,” Holgorse said. “And I’ve got to improve—got to get more confidence in it.”
Holgorsen gave an unprompted farewell to Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads, who learned six days ago that he would not be retained.
“Great person, great football coach,” he said. “(Iowa State) played hard. They’re a ballclub that never quits and I think that’s a symbol of what Paul Rhoads is all about. They’re 15 points away from being pretty good.”