Quotes from Coach: WVU Needs Attitude Adjustment - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quotes from Coach: WVU Needs Attitude Adjustment

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MORGANTOWN -

Many of West Virginia's preseason goals have vanished through its three losses this season. There won't be a national title, nor an undefeated season, and a Big East championship would require a number of factors to fall in favor of the Mountaineers.

If there is any hope for Dana Holgorsen's team to win the conference, it must start with taking down the only team still undefeated in it.

"It's a lot like it was two weeks ago when we got beat up at Syracuse and then we challenged them and went up to Rutgers and played good enough to win," says Holgorsen. "Our goal is to win the Big East, which we're hanging onto that hope. We've got to win this week in order for that to happen."

Holgorsen admits that a change in attitude may be the first step to turn around a season that quickly slipped away from WVU. He believes that perhaps the players in his program and the fans who support it began to expect to win simply based on the recent trend of doing so in Morgantown.

His job is to teach his team that it cannot just show up and think a victory is in the bag. Three losses this season should make that job fairly easy.

"It takes a whole bunch of people that are in it for the same reasons and want nothing else but for everybody else to be successful," says Holgorsen. "We may go to Cincinnati with 55 guys, I don't know. But 55 guys are going that are going to want to play together, that are going to want to win the game together."

Multiple times in his press conference, Holgorsen made reference to that 55-player idea. Normally his staff would pack over 70 athletes into a plane to take to road games, but he isn't looking for quantity as much as quality.

Holgorsen wants depth not only in terms of physical ability, but also as far as mentality is concerned. Without high-character individuals in the locker room and on the sideline, it's difficult to keep the team focused.

"There are talented teams across the country that can go out there and play average and still win. There's only a few of them, there's not many," says Holgorsen. "We're obviously not one of them. In order to win, we've got to play with effort all the time. There were spurts last week where there was effort, but there wasn't a bunch of it."

The week following each of WVU's losses so far this season resulted in wins. Whatever the message leading into Bowling Green and into Rutgers must be present again as the Mountaineers prepare to travel to face the Big East's top team.

West Virginia's history of being one of the most talented teams in the conference and its intention to leave the Big East next season has a target stitched into the team's jerseys. Holgorsen believes there may be something to the idea that an opponent plays its best game against WVU.

"[There is] probably some truth to that for a variety of reasons, but real good teams can handle that," he says. "Real good teams with good schemes and tremendous leaders from coaches on down are the teams that can handle that and have enough to you to be able to get up every week and find ways to win."

Every side of the ball has had a role in West Virginia's losses. Whether it's turnovers on offense, lack of turnovers on defense or poor special teams, the blame can be placed all over.

Against Louisville, the special teams performed poorly again and Holgorsen hopes to spend a significant portion of the week on that aspect of the game plan. After the game Saturday, he told the media he would have punted with Corey Smith if the opportunity arose, but it didn't. Now he has a personnel decision to make this week.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with our schemes," says Holgorsen. "We've studied our schemes pretty closely and I don't think there's anything wrong with our schemes. We have as much practice time as anywhere I've been to focus on these things."

Holgorsen will take a close look at punter just as he and his staff will at every position on the team. Only the ones who perform well during the week and show the attitude he's looking for will board the flight to Cincinnati.

"I'm pretty serious about it. I tend to say what's on my mind, if you guys have figured that out by now," says Holgorsen. "We're going to take who wants to win and we're going to take who wants to pull for their teammates and who wants to be all in on this thing and not guys that pout and mope because they're not playing or any of the rest of it.

"We're going to be a united team and the only way I know how to get that accomplished is to make sure we're taking only people that are focused and heading in the right direction."

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