Quotes from Coach: Offense Falling Short of Expectations - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quotes from Coach: Offense Falling Short of Expectations

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MORGANTOWN -

After watching game film of his team's win over Cincinnati Sunday, Dana Holgorsen had one assessment of what he saw – he's happy it ended in a win.

"The biggest thing is finding a way to win," he said Monday. "I don't care where we're at offensively. It's about what we've got to do to win."

The road has certainly not been a smooth one as WVU works toward its preseason goals. It was expected, based on Holgorsen's track record at previous stops, that the offense would come along quickly. That hasn't fully been the case yet.

"This is more like how it was at Texas Tech in 2000 than it was when I went to Houston or Oklahoma State," says Holgorsen. "The personnel was in a place to where we could handle that. We're not there offensively."

The gaudy numbers West Virginia puts up in terms of statistics are a step in the right direction, but what truly counts are the points on the score board and the wins on the record. Those haven't quite been what Holgorsen hoped, though he does point out that three losses are better than four.

The changes that need to be made start with the quarterback, and Holgorsen has a very clear message he's trying to communicate to Geno Smith.

"All areas he needs to get better at," says Holgorsen. "The immediate thing is ball security. He's still a little careless with the ball. He's making really good decisions throwing the ball, but from the ball-in-the-hand aspect and getting out of the pocket and trying to keep things alive, he's still not doing a good job."

In front of Smith, the offensive line needs major improvements. Holgorsen has not shied away from letting them know exactly what the expectations are and how far short they've fallen of those expectations.

"None of them played good enough to win," says Holgorsen. "Have we called them out? Yes. We're challenging them. We love them, we want them to get better, we're going to work hard with them and get them healed up. We're going to put them in a position to be successful, but at some point they've got to figure out a way to get it done."

Special teams has been such a focus for a number of different reasons this year and most of them have been negative. For the first time since week one, a Mountaineer was named Big East special teams player of the week.

Holgorsen believes that what's been lost through the poor punts, missed field goals and returns for touchdowns is how well some of his special teams have done in getting better throughout the season.

"Kickoff team was tremendous," he says. "That's the thing about special teams: if it doesn't look good, everybody complains about it. But if it looks like it's supposed to look, everybody ignores it."

There were a number of players who covered well on Saturday, guys like Willie Milhouse, Donovan Miles and Brodrick Jenkins. Holgorsen is pleased to see some second-string athletes stepping up and answering the call on special teams.

"That's one of the things that I've been trying to get through to them all year. It doesn't matter if you're on the scout team or a second-teamer, third-teamer, whether you're a receiver or a running back, safety, linebacker or whatever you are, you have to give effort," says Holgorsen. "Some of those second-teamers didn't do anything to help the team, so we had other guys step up, which was critical."

Apparently the bye comes at a terrific time for West Virginia in terms of injuries. Holgorsen estimates that four players have concussions, though he wouldn't get into specifics.

In addition to getting healthy, Holgorsen has the bye week all planned out.

"We'll focus on academics this week, we'll play a lot of the young guys this week, we'll try to get as healthy as we possibly can and we'll go recruiting," he says.

A busy schedule, but one that must be conquered if the Mountaineers hope to have a better result than the last time they came off a bye week.

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