WVU prepares for Orange
Published: Monday, October 17, 2011
Updated: Monday, October 17, 2011 23:10
Dana Holgorsen and the No. 11 West Virginia football team will get back to work Friday against Syracuse after having a bye last week.
The Mountaineers had high confidence going into the break in their schedule. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, and the defense played its best game of the season during the 43-16 win against UConn.
Holgorsen believes the Orange bring some of the same challenges that Connecticut brought.
Holgorsen said he had not been up to Western New York to play Syracuse.
"I asked the team how many guys had been up there, and there were probably 35 or 38 guys," Holgorsen said. "A lot of guys on the team that have been up there know a little bit more about it than I do."
Holgorsen said he and his team are focused their next opponent and have worked hard in practice to not miss a beat after the bye week.
The offense was impressive in practice this week, according to Holgorsen, as junior quarterback Geno Smith appeared to be almost perfect whie completing passes to his receivers.
The coaches are not too concerned that the timing of the offense will deteriorate because of the week off.
"I don't think so," Holgorsen said about the offensive rhythm. "That's what I was a little concerned with. That's your job as coaches, is to get concerned with something. We had a good two, three days last week, and then we came back last night and Geno completed 94 percent of his passes."
The West Virginia defense put on a clinic against UConn, allowing only 275 yards of total offense, recording five sacks and seven tackles for loss to help the offense blow the game open.
WVU did not allow the Huskies to have a play of longer than 20 yards the entire game.
"Coach (Jeff) Casteel and the defensive guys have been doing the same thing around here for years and have recruited players to fit the system and I feel like we've got guys to fit the system."
"It takes time to get it together," Holgorsen said. "I certainly agree they played there best game last week (against UConn) and are continuing to get better as a group."
The team is focused on the important things, such as what they need to do to beat a Syracuse team that beat them at home last season and not on how high they're ranking right now in the BCS or AP polls.
"We haven't talked about that," Holgorsen said. "We want them to play with confidence, and we feel like we're a good football team, but that's our job as coaches is to make sure their heads are focusing on specific stuff and preparing for your next opponent. I think we've done a good job here in the last week and a half."