Continuity A Theme As WVU’s Holgorsen Looks To Kansas State

Continuity A Theme As WVU’s Holgorsen Looks To Kansas State


Despite changes at both coordinator positions in the Kansas State football program, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen doesn’t see much difference in the way that the Wildcats are conducting business in 2018. Continuity, fostered by internal hires, has lessened any possible disruptions or changes to the K-State program.

“They have a ton of continuity with the rest of their coaching staff, and no one has more than Coach (Bill) Snyder does,” said Holgorsen. “I think that’s the ideal way of doing things.  If you lose coordinators, you have continuity and you can promote people from within, and that is what they have been able to do.”

KSU’s 2017 offensive coordinators Del Miller (retirement) and Dana Dimel (hired as head coach at UTEP) were replaced by former K-State receiver coach Andre Coleman, while defensive coordinator Tom Hayes’ spot (retirement) was  filled by long-time Wildcat assistant Blake Seiler.

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Holgorsen also had continuity on his mind as he shepherded his team through the unwanted off-week created by the cancellation of the N.C. State game.

“We scrimmaged every day, and got our guys ready to be physical against Kansas State. There’s no way to get better at playing football other than by playing football,” he said. “We tried to keep it as much of a routine as we could, and then I gave them Saturday off.

“It was a game that everyone wanted to play. It was an outstanding week in the Big 12, and this game would have added to it. I don’t think it is going to hurt our football team. We have nine big Power 5 games ahead of us, and the opportunity to play a 10th.”

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Kansas State thumped West Virginia decisively in the Mountaineers’ first two years in the league, but since then the meetings between the two schools have been competitive, hard-hitting affairs. The Wildcats won four straight from 2012-15, but the Mountaineers have taken the last two. The average margin of victory in the last four contests has been just more than a field goal.

“The rest of the time we have been pretty evenly matched,” Holgorsen said, noting that the 2012 K-State squad was at one time ranked No. 1 in the nation. “I have all the respect in the world for Coach Snyder and that program. I’m not expecting this game to be any different from what it has been. We faced [quarterback] Skylar Thompson exclusively last year as a freshman. It’s tough playing quarterback in this league as a freshman, but he is getting better and better. I’m not discarding seeing (Alex) Delton out there either. He brings a whole other element. We will prepare for both, but it does look like they have settled on Thompson.”

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Basketball teams that load their rosters with shooters and scorers are often described as not having enough balls to go around, and Holgorsen borrowed that metaphor to describe his running backs.

“There’s only one ball so we can’t give it to them all as much as we would like to,” he admitted. “It’s a good mix. That’s a tiring position, because you ask them to do so much. I think that (depth) brings a different element to the game.”

Of course, this isn’t a problem, no matter how it might be spun. What team doesn’t want multiple quality players at any position on its roster?

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More continuity? Add West Virginia’s approach to facilities improvements to that list of topics. WVU has been on a major building and improvement program over the last few years, and nowhere has it been more noticeable than on the football complex, where additions and renovations have made the stadium and facilities buildings a hive of activity.

“We have been chipping away at it,” Holgorsen described. “Coming from Big East, we were below average. The thing that makes me happy is that we have been making progress every year, and that is going to continue.”

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Kansas State could be missing two players in its defensive secondary against the Mountaineers. Starting strong safety Denzel Goolsby missed the UTSA game, and backup cornerback Kevion McGee sat out the contest as well. After the game, Snyder said he did not know when the duo might return.

“This is probably one of the worst teams you can be shorthanded against,” the K-State coach said of facing West Virginia on Saturday. “They have developed a great deal of balance, and have the ability to run it and throw it. This is not something that you want, but it’s no different than anyone else. You have to have someone that is prepared to play as well as the next one.”

Snyder is also continuing to battle a fumbling problem.

“We’ve had nine, four in first game, one in second, thought we had it corrected, but then it jumped up and got us again. We were careless with the football, and we are working on the capacity to focus and maintain self-discipline.”

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Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy expects the typical shoot-out when his team faces Texas Tech on Saturday. The Cowboys and Red Raiders look no different offensively than they have in recent years, and are leading the league in scoring, with Tech at 55.7 points per game and OSU at 52.3.

“Our talent levels are very similar. We recruit a lot of the same players and they understand what they are doing on offense,” Gundy noted. “They are going to score points. You aren’t going to keep them from scoring points. We’re expecting it to be a four-quarter game.”

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Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley was concerned with the tackling of his defense in the Sooners’ 37-27 win over Iowa State. Cyclone receivers and running backs took advantage of several misses – and caused many of them – while keeping ISU in the game.

“We weren’t happy with the way we tackled. It wasn’t up to par for us,” the offensive-minded OU coach said. “We had guys there the majority of the day, and we did tackle better in the second half, but it’s something that has to improve for us.

“Do I see it as a glaring problem that we will not be able to fix? No. We have played some pretty talented skill guys in the first three games, but we do have to do a much better job going forward.”

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QUOTABLE – Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder: “I think West Virginia does a wonderful job doing what they do, and we need to do a better job of doing what we do.”

Home forums Continuity A Theme As WVU’s Holgorsen Looks To Kansas State

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    Kevin Kinder
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    Continuity A Theme As WVU’s Holgorsen Looks To Kansas State Despite changes at both coordinator positions in the Kansas State football program, West V
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    Butlereer
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    Holgs 5 day old growth looks a lot more gray than it did a few short years ago.

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