Hertzel’s Notebook: What To Do On An Open Week?

Hertzel’s Notebook: What To Do On An Open Week?

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–So you’re a football coach or a football player and on Tuesday of game week, right after you’ve finished putting your scouting report together and setting up your work plan for practice, the game is called off, as was West Virginia’s trip to North Carolina State last Saturday due to Hurricane Florence.

What do you do and how does it affect you?

Dana Holgorsen, the WVU head football coach, did what you’d expect him to do. He went and saw his son, Logan, throw five touchdowns passes only to have his University High team blow a lead and lose. Then Dana spent Saturday like so many fans, watching games.

West Virginia players Toyous Avery (16) Kennedy McKoy (4) and David Long (11) kneel in prayer before the game

And how does a head football coach watch college football games, as a coach or a fan?

“A little of both,” he said. “You can get irritated trying to scout it on TV because you just can’t see everything. I probably do it a little bit more as a fan.”

But he also made a rare admission and that is that sometimes fans get a better look at things than the coaches do on their coaching tapes.

“There’s been times where we watched the video as a coach, and we’ll still go back and look at the TV copy because you can get information off a TV copy that you don’t get off a sideline, end zone copy,” he said.

“There’s value in both. From a schematic point of view, it’s probably more sideline, end zone. From a knowing-who-their-people-are, personnel-wise, the TV copy is pretty beneficial.”

The players? Well, it was a letdown for them.

“I was kind of upset,” said Trevon Wesco, the tight end. “It’s my senior year, and I missed a ballgame. You want to play as many games as you can. My prayers go out to the people affected by the hurricane. But there’s not much you can control when it comes to Mother Nature.”

It left wide receiver David Sills eager to get back onto the field.

“It feels like how we were when we were in camp; we’re trying to get back out there. It feels like it’s been a lot longer than a week off without playing football,” he said.

He’s noticed an increase in enthusiasm as they get back to work for a game.

“We have good energy,” said Sills on Tuesday. “We had a lift this morning and had good energy in the lift. So, we need to have good energy at practice and through the rest of the week. But I don’t think that’s going to be hard this week. I think a lot of the guys are excited to get back out there. Our bodies feel good. So, we’re excited to play Kansas State this weekend.”

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He’s been here a while and it had always kind of gnawed away at me. I’ve heard a lot of names, but never before had I known anyone named Toyous, so at player interviews on Tuesday I asked Toyous Avery, Jr., what was behind his unusual first name.

Here’s the story:

“It’s just me and my dad,” he began of those in his family called Toyous. “The story my grandmother told was that she was going to name my dad Mike, but her cousin was pregnant at the same time. Her cousin ended up naming her boy Mike, so when my Dad came, she just made the name up on the spot.”

She made up Toyous? What does it mean?

“It’s Joyous with a ‘T’,” she told him.

“Toyous? Why, that’s like Toys-r-Us,” I noted.

“ I heard a lot of Toys-R-Us growing up,” Avery admitted.

So now you know.


West Virginia has put out its depth chart for the Kansas State game, as if it meant anything.

Running back? Who’s No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 … your guess is as good as Bill Snyder.

This is how it was listed:

“RB: Kennedy McKoy, OR Martell Pettaway, OR Alec Sinkfield OR Leddie Brown”

If Leddie Brown is No. 4, then WVU ought to never throw the ball … and they will throw it.


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