Holgorsen, WVU Begin Game Prep for TCU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Holgorsen, WVU Begin Game Prep for TCU

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MORGANTOWN -

The bye week has come and gone for West Virginia and as of Sunday night, the focus had officially changed to the next opponent on the schedule.

After spending a week working on themselves and the future of the program through recruiting, the Mountaineers began TCU prep and a renewed attention on the remaining five games of the regular season.

On Monday, WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen spoke on the weekly Big 12 teleconference to discuss what his team worked on through the off week and what they're looking forward to with the Horned Frogs visiting on Saturday.

"You've just got to take advantage of your practice opportunities," said Holgorsen. "Throughout the grind of the season, you tend to forget a lot of the fundamental aspects of what being football players is all about and that's ultimately how you improve, is by getting better at the technique that we're asking these guys to be able to play with.

TCU, like West Virginia, is new to the Big 12 this season. There were comparisons heading into the year as both were coming to the league after winning their former conference's championship and certainly when the year is over the two newcomers will again be compared for how well they performed in year one.

But when asked about the similarities outside of their recent addition to the Big 12, Holgorsen said they are few.

"Everybody's a new opponent for us. TCU and the surroundings of people they play are probably a little bit more familiar for their players," said Holgorsen. "They grew up with a lot of the kids who are going to be on the specific teams in the Big 12 where it's a little different for us from being a complete outsider."

West Virginia is the only team in the conference that will be dealing with the impact of Hurricane Sandy as they prepare for the weekend's game and with that in mind, but Holgorsen says the staff is monitoring the weather patterns and while they aren't worried about it affecting the game, they know it could put a damper on practice.

"It's probably going to affect our preparation a little bit," Holgorsen said. "We're ahead of schedule right now due to being able to have an off week and getting a bunch of good practice in last week, getting ahead of what some of the looks are going to be and all that."

As with anyone whose families lie in the path of the storm, Holgorsen said there is concern among his team from those who live along the east coast where they could see significant damage back home.

"I mentioned it to the team. We have a lot of kids from that area," said Holgorsen. "We've got a lot of kids from New Jersey and Baltimore and Washington, D.C., so we're monitoring those kids and their families to make sure everything's fine and our thoughts and prayers are with that part of the country, no doubt."

WVU will continue to see the differences that entering their new conference brings to the program and through the bye week the coaches likely saw some of the impact it has on recruiting. Like TCU, there is an opportunity to throw out the name of a better, more competitive league, but Holgorsen says it has helped far more than just in that aspect of the team's future.

"The Big 12 is going to make us better," he said. "It's going to make us better from a competitive standpoint, it's going to make us better from an expectations standpoint, needing to get our facilities improved each and every year. I think the longer that we're in the Big 12, the more beneficial it'll be for recruiting."

Holgorsen was asked during last week's press conference whether or not he felt that the team was overrated, and his response was essentially that how the Mountaineers are rated by outside opinions has no bearing on the work he and the coaches and players do.

On Monday, he again fielded a question regarding what others may be saying outside the program and returned a similar answer.

"We've been telling our players to worry about what we say on the inside and that's not only important when we were 5-0 and ranked in the top 5, but it's also important after you lose a couple of games," he said. "The same people who were saying how good you are will say how bad you are. We don't listen to anything on the outside."

The team will take Monday off before returning to the field (likely the indoor facility) on Tuesday to resume preparation for Game 8 on the schedule.

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