Holgorsen Asks WVU Fans for Support, Regardless of Situation - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Holgorsen Asks WVU Fans for Support, Regardless of Situation

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MORGANTOWN -

Dana Holgorsen doesn't mince words. If he feels some way, he tells it exactly how he sees it. On Tuesday, he had a stern message for West Virginia University's football fans.

"Last week was disappointing, to be honest with you," said Holgorsen. "You come into this week where you've got all kinds of excuses not to play well like had to cancel the Mantrip, we had bad weather, it was cold, it was wet, the environment was terrible. It was relatively early, maybe you didn't respect your opponent – no matter what the excuses were, our players didn't buy into it, but obviously our fan base did."

The question Holgorsen was asked had to do with how his team is handling having very different home game opponents to face from Marshall to an FCS opponent to the nation's best and then a MAC team.

Now a Big East team comes to town and there is again a different sort of opponent to prepare for. Holgorsen can already see the sort of excuses that fans will make not to get excited for, and show up to, this next matchup.

"We have a conference game coming up this week, it's at noon, I can give you some excuses now," he says. "[We're] playing a team that's 2-3, well they should be 5-0. Playing at noon, well, who cares? Get up. Mantrip's at 9:45 – are we going to have a good crowd or are we going to have nobody there? Is the weather going to be 85 and sunny or is it going to be 25 and snowing? Really doesn't matter because the coaches and players and trainers and everybody are going to be there. That's what our job is, so what's the support people's job?"

This is an issue Bob Huggins has brought up countless times since returning to his alma mater as its head coach. The WVU Coliseum gets rowdy for a big name opponent but allows crickets to be heard for the lesser programs.

Huggins generally used football as an example of how well the fans show up, but now Holgorsen is pointing out that it doesn't seem to discriminate against one sport or another. It's a prevalent issue that needs to be fixed.

"LSU played well in front of 62,000 of our people and then turned around and went home and played a 1-4 Kentucky team at noon and had 95,000 people there," said Holgorsen. "You want to talk about an elite program, that's one. I don't know about this place."

So what can Holgorsen do about it? Anything? Is there a way to fix what appears to have become a culture of fans who only show up with strong support on a case-by-case basis? In his mind, he's been beating the drum since he came to Morgantown. The results just haven't been evident.

"I talked about how important it is for our athletic department and our players and our coaches to have support and all I heard about was how much this meant to everybody across the state of West Virginia and this was the NFL team here in town and we're going to be there to support you," he said. "Well, having 40,000 people at a game isn't doing that."

A program isn't just the product on the field. In addition to the work Holgorsen and his team do each week and throughout the offseason to prepare the best they can, they need support from the fans. They need a good environment on game day to knock the opponent off track and to impress recruits who will make up the future of the team.

Last week, that support simply wasn't there.

"We do our best every week to fix what the problems are offensively, defensively and special teams-wise," says Holgorsen. "Well, what's everybody across the state of West Virginia, including the student body, doing to fix the fact that our players had to show up and play in front of 40,000 people?"

You have four days to figure out the answer to that question. You'll be tested Saturday morning in Morgantown.

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