Quotes from Coach: Mountaineers Facing Adversity - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quotes from Coach: Mountaineers Facing Adversity


There's something to be said about how a team responds to adversity. This week, the WVU Mountaineers are tested to see just how they handle the first loss of the season.

With adversity, you can allow it to discourage the troops and have a let down throughout the week or it can serve as motivation – a reason to renew focus going forward. Head coach Dana Holgorsen isn't worried about how his men will respond because he feels they've already had to do so this year.

"The one thing that I've said to them going into this game is overcoming adversity together, which I feel like we were doing that," says Holgorsen. "There was adversity in the first three games, in which we overcame adversity together. In this game, going into halftime down 27-7, there wasn't any heads down."

In those situations he refers to, the task was overcoming in-game adversity. Now, with the loss and the first drop in the nation rankings, the task is getting back on the winning track and proving that while they may not be able to beat the now-No. 1 team in the nation, they can take down anyone else on their schedule.

This week is the first time Holgorsen has ever looked at a team as a head coach and tried to overcome the heartbreak of a loss, and he admits he isn't quite certain yet how he intends to approach the situation.

"Every week's different," he says. "It probably depends on how the loss was and what happened, who we're playing and what the mood is. You've got to figure out what the beat of the team is and you've got to address it."

There are a number of aspects of the game that need addressed this week as well. Perhaps the most glaring is the poor special teams play from certain units on Saturday. The goal is to review the personnel and determine where the weaknesses are and how they can be corrected.

As of this week, WVU's net punting average ranks dead last in the nation.

"The only way to fix that sort of thing is getting out there and working on it. Our schemes are fine, it doesn't have anything to do with our schemes, it has everything to do with trusting the people that are on those units," says Holgorsen. "We're not going to make wholesale changes because the people that are on those units are guys that we got and we can't do anything else other than just coach them and get them better at what they're doing."

Defensively, the key areas needing improvement include forcing turnovers and pressuring the quarterback. Heading into the season, there was no shortage of talk about WVU's two defensive ends and the headaches they would cause opposing offensive coordinators.

Through four weeks, Bruce Irvin and Julian Miller combine for just one sack. If there were any headaches in opponents' meeting rooms, they have proven to be worth the pain.

"We've got to keep working at it," Holgorsen says of his ends. "Whatever the reasons are, they've got to overcome it. If that's frustration to the point where we're not getting the effort to where we want it to be, then maybe we've got to figure out a way to get the effort."

Effort seemed to be something Holgorsen demanded from his offensive line in the first two games of the season and has gotten from them in the two most recent outings. He says despite the continued lack of production in the run game, the blame can no longer be placed on the men blocking up front.

In that game against LSU, the massive redshirt freshman Quinton Spain got his first extensive playing time in place of an injured Pat Eger. While the rest of the line may have gotten a passing grade, it's clear the head coach still expects more from Spain.

"He was lazy, just like he is in practice," says Holgorsen. "He's a big, massive guy that has good feet. He'll eventually be a good player, but right now he does things on his time."

As has become the norm this year, there were no details given on any injuries, including that of Eger. If he is unable to go, it's clear that Holgorsen feels Spain will need a far better showing throughout the entire week and not just on game day.

There are three more full practices remaining for the Mountaineers to face this adversity, overcome it and get as prepared as possible for Bowling Green on Saturday.

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