WVU Treats Bye Week Like Camp - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Treats Bye Week Like Camp

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MORGANTOWN -

Welcome to West Virginia football camp version 2.0.

The Mountaineers enter the bye week reeling after two consecutive blowout losses and the search for answers is in full swing. But rather than forcing drastic changes, head coach Dana Holgorsen is looking to get back to the basics that led WVU to a 5-0 start to the season.

"[It's] more like a spring practice, more like a camp. We're not going to focus too much on TCU right now," Holgorsen said in his Tuesday press conference. "We've got to do a better job of offensively playing our game, which we didn't do a very good job of last week. Defensively, we've got to continue just to get better at everything that we do. I understand the situation that we're in.

"Hopefully we can get healed up and reenergized and ready to go for the remaining five weeks, which will be a grind."

This will be a far different bye week than the one Holgorsen entered early in the season following a week one victory over Marshall. This one will not be used to look ahead as much as to look back and figure out what can be done to stop the season from spiraling too far out of control.

The first order of business is to coach the players on the fundamentals that make a successful football team – the sort of things that athletes learn early in their careers, but may lose sight of as a season wears on.

"When you play so many young kids like we are, the first thing that's going to go in the heat of battle is technique and there are examples of that all across the board, so we will focus a lot on fundamentals and just basic football," said Holgorsen.

A grind similar to that of camp is not typically something a team looks to do midseason, but at this point, it's needed. Missed tackles, missed assignments, lack of heart and a poor mentality have all been used to describe the issues in Morgantown. All of those are usually worked on in the offseason, but not so much once the games begin and the focus becomes a week-to-week opponent.

Of course, a return to the early season form does not do much for a maligned defense that was nothing to get excited about in wins, either. That side of the ball will be the major focus for coaches who are looking to somehow not only make the right calls, but also get the players to execute.

"As an offensive play caller, I go back to this, and I tell our team this all the time. If you guys are going to rely on us as coaches to make the perfect call every single time, then we're going to fail you," said Holgorsen. "Nobody can do that. Nobody can make the perfect call all the time. We can put you in position the best that we possibly can – and we need to do a better job."

While the coaches look forward to the rest of this season, they are also putting attention on a more long-term future through recruiting. As was the case with the first bye week, all of the assistants will be on the road at some point to evaluate talent and see some athletes in person.

Holgorsen says the staff is putting specific attention toward junior colleges in an effort to bring in players who can contribute right away rather than need to be brought along over the course of many years.

Four coaches were on the road earlier in the week and they will be back in states like Arizona, Kansas, Texas and Mississippi over the weekend.

Aside from the football-related activities, Holgorsen said it's a good week to know where the players stand from an academic standpoint as midterm grades are released. The head coach is pleased with the reports he has gotten so far from the classroom.

Grading the performance on the field is likely not such a pleasing experience.

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