Quotes From Coach: Backyard Brawl - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quotes From Coach: Backyard Brawl


WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen will get his first exposure to the Backyard Brawl later this week. Holgorsen acknowledged the week of a rivalry game is a little different, "We are going to expect good things to happen. It is harder to get your guys ready against an unfamiliar opponent than it is in a rivalry game."

The 104th Backyard Brawl has many great storylines, none of which Holgorsen is paying much attention to. It features two new head coaches in Holgorsen and Pitt's Todd Graham. Graham was previously an assistant coach at WVU along with several other coaches on his Pitt staff.

"It could help, but they may try to over think it, too," Holgorsen said. "You only have 25 seconds in between play. We are just going to line up and play football. There are a lot of crossover and games played during the course of the week. If it gave you an advantage, schools would buy coaches to gain an advantage."

While this will be Holgorsen and Graham's first meeting at their respective schools, it is not their first ever meeting. Graham and Holgorsen have met previously when Graham was the head coach at Tulsa and Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator at the University of Houston.

One other interesting storyline to watch in this game is the fact that it could be the final meeting between the two schools for some time. WVU is poised to move to the Big 12 as early as next year and Pitt is leaving the Big East for the ACC. It is a game Holgorsen said he wants to see back on the schedule as soon as possible.

"We should play because of what it means to the community and the state and Pittsburgh," Holgorsen said. "You want to play a lot of your non-conference games close because the Big 12 is a broader conference. You have to travel a good distance away. We want to make WVU as good as possible from a facilities, coaching, social and educational standpoint. You want to pick non-conference games that are close to here."

Holgorsen and Graham both like to run high-tempo offenses. You will see mostly no huddle from both teams and while they appear to be similar, Holgorsen said they are different.

"It is up-tempo, and we are both going to try to run the ball," Holgorsen said. "The nature of their offense and where they have been in the past may mean that they will try to run the ball more. We both like to use screens and use tempo. We will both try to establish the run and use play action off of it. But, where they originate from are completely different."

This meeting between WVU and Pitt will be a special night for the seniors on the West Virginia roster. This class has endured a couple of coaching changes and helped Holgorsen get his program started.

"This is the last time they will play here," Holgorsen said. "Any time there is transition, senior are affected more than anyone. I have tremendous amounts of respect for Najee (Goode), Keith (Tandy), Julian (Miller), Don Barclay and Tyler Rader. There is a big list of them. We owe them a victory. It isn't about those 16 guys though. Everyone has to do their best to go out and get a victory."

WVU will host Pitt Friday night in the latest edition of the Backyard Brawl. There will also be something more on the line for the players and coaches. The winner of this game keeps themselves alive in the race for a BCS bowl bid.

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