Holgorsen, WVU optimistic heading into matchup with Alabama - The Daily Athenaeum: Sports

Holgorsen, WVU optimistic heading into matchup with Alabama

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Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 6:00 am

Four days before the start of the 2014 season for West Virginia, head coach Dana Holgorsen addressed the media during his weekly press conference.

Though much was discussed about WVU entering the season against No. 2 Alabama, Holgorsen primarily focused on the strides he’s seen out of his entire squad since the end of the 2013 season.

“I think it’s night and day. If you just look at the overall numbers, I think we’re better at every positon. We’re working with 85 scholarships for the first time in four years,” Holgorsen said. “We (don’t have) to march 10, 15 or 20 freshmen out there.”

Holgorsen said the opportunity to begin the season with one of the most highly anticipated games of the first week in college football is something everyone in the Mountaineers’ program is excited about.

“We are thrilled to be able to head down to Atlanta on Saturday to take part in a game that will be considered one of the top games in the country coming up this weekend,” he said. “We’re fired up about it.

“Our players are in a really good spot at this point. I think the overall health of our program and health of our team is as good as it’s been.

“We got through 25 practices over the last four weeks, and have put ourselves in a position where we feel really good about taking on a quality opponent in Alabama.”

Even with the Tide heavily favored to win Saturday’s matchup, Holgorsen said he and his coaching staff pay no attention to all of that. It all comes down to how each team plays on the field.

“You can throw away favorites or underdogs, or any of that. It doesn’t affect our coaching style whatsoever, it doesn’t affect our preparation whatsoever,” he said. We don’t pay attention to it. It’s not something that affects us one way or another.

According to Holgorsen, with recruiting on the rise for the Mountaineers, he said out of all the true freshman that have impressed him during fall camp, safety Dravon Henry will be the lone true freshman playing in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game.

“Right now, I think it would be a safe bet to say (freshman safety) Dravon Henry is going to play, but he’s the only freshman that is going to play.”

Holgorsen said he’s not oblivious to the success Alabama has had in the last three seasons, which includes back-to-back BCS national championships, but he said that doesn’t mean his squad won’t be ready for the level of competition.

“Our guys are going to be ready to play. Alabama guys are going to be ready to play,” he said.

“I don’t really need to say much about our opponent, as far as what they’ve accomplished over the last few years.”

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