Holgorsen wants constant improvement
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 00:09
This week, before No. 18 West Virginia takes on Maryland in its first road game of the season, head coach Dana Holgorsen expressed an important point after two weeks of college football.
The Mountaineers need to continue to progress in every aspect of their game.
"We're obviously a young and inexperienced football team to where we need to show constant improvement across the board," Holgorsen said at Tuesday's weekly press conference. "Attitude has been good, the effort has been good ... you should be able to show improvement."
Holgorsen knows the game this Saturday against Maryland will be the toughest opponent WVU has faced so far, and will need to clean up a lot of mistakes that happened the first two weeks of the season.
Maryland head coach Randy Edsall's teams are known for his smart play-calling, not turning the ball over and not committing many penalties.
Holgorsen has emphasized getting turnovers and stripping the ball to the players since the first day he came to Morgantown.
"It's something we'll work on this week," he said. "Just because we haven't turned the ball over in two games (on offense) doesn't mean we've got things figured out and we can relax. That's something that is part of our everyday coaching style and how we practice."
If WVU wants to consider itself a top-20 team and a BCS contender, it knows it has to go on the road and beat a talented team like Maryland.
"There's obviously a place where there's an abundance of talent," Holgorsen said. "We're looking forward to the challenge."
The Mountaineers' running game has still been a shaky item after two games. Holgorsen stressed it's going to take many practices and snaps to get better in the run game.
There are too many aspects right now that aren't where they need to be, as far as showing toughness carrying the ball and seeing the hole to run through, blocking the right guys on defense and finishing the blocks all the way through.
"The thing that discouraged me so much in this last game was what they were doing defensively was unquestionably geared towards taking away the pass and we didn't do a good job of attacking that," Holgorsen said. "If we're able to run the ball when we need to and we're able to not let them dictate what they do from ‘you're either going to run it or throw it,' then we've accomplished our goal."
Slow starts have hurt the team as well, and if it happens again on Saturday, the Mountaineers may have more
trouble coming back then they have in the past.
Holgorsen feels he has to keep talking and reminding the players of what their objective is on offense, specifically about not allowing the offense to not score a touchdown on six straight plays from the one-yard line, like in the game against Norfolk State.
Junior quarterback Geno Smith has been the unquestionable leader on the team, on and off the field, and has talent and enthusiasm for the game of football.
According to Holgorsen, he still needs to work on some other aspects of his game to get to his full potential and bring out the
full potential of his teammates.
"He's the leader in the clubhouse. But he's still making some mental mistakes and he needs to understand exactly what I'm thinking without me needing to tell him, which takes time and it takes a level of concentration when he's out there on the field," Holgorsen said.
"Being able to study what my reaction is to things and what my signals are and what I'm telling him to think about based on previous plays and successes and failures and all the rest of it about where we feel like we need to go with the ball."
There were no injuries reported by Holgorsen, except for some normal day-to-day injuries that many of the players go through during practices every week.