Holgorsen: It’s About To Get Real Uncomfortable Around Here
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Be prepared for discomfort.
That was Dana Holgorsen’s postgame message after West Virginia was outplayed and physically dominated by Oklahoma State in a 50-39 defeat on Saturday. The No. 22 Mountaineers managed just 62 yards on the ground and never developed the timing in the passing game displayed in recent victories.
Instead, quarterback Will Grier threw a career-worst four interceptions and WVU’s offensive line never gained traction against among the best defenses in the Big 12.
“It was evident to me they were more physical,” Holgorsen said. “That’s the bottom line in this game. If you don’t play with toughness and you’re not physical up front, then (it’s difficult to win). They dominated up front. That’s where we are at.”
And then the kicker.
“It’s about to get real uncomfortable around here.”
It’s time. West Virginia has played three top 15 teams and lost to all three. But it showed a fight against Virginia Tech and TCU that was missing in this butchering, Oklahoma State’s high-octane offense carving up the WVU defense to the tune of 462 yards and a whopping 90 plays. The Mountaineers failed to get off the field on key third downs, allowed eight red zone scores in as many trips and struggled to contain the myriad of weapons available to the Cowboys.
And that wasn’t the worst of it. WVU’s offense scored just 10 points with the game in doubt and turned the ball over five times while getting controlled by the opposing front. On special teams, the Mountaineers tried two onside kicks and were offsides on both. It was so bad that Holgorsen didn’t make any players available after the game, instead sending out the assistant coaches.
“It didn’t play out like I thought it would, honestly,” Holgorsen said. “We just didn’t get it done. Made too many mistakes. Obviously couldn’t do anything offensively. Disappointing. I thought we’d play better, have a little bit more energy. I figured we’d play better up front. We didn’t run the ball and we didn’t block. Pass protection was not good and the run game was not good as well.
“We caught breaks and could do nothing with those breaks. The fact that we just couldn’t move the ball is really disappointing. The defense gets out there and gets us the ball and we can’t even get a first down. We turn around and give it right back to them. It’s just bad.”
There’s not much relief in sight, as a ranked Iowa State team visits Morgantown in one week. With the Big 12 championship game now an afterthought, WVU will turn its attention largely to itself in an effort to hit the reset button and build toward the final four games.
“We’re sitting here with three losses to top 12 teams,” Holgorsen said. “We’re just not one of those top 12 teams right now.”