Holgorsen: WVU at "Schematic Disadvantage" Against KU - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Holgorsen: WVU at "Schematic Disadvantage" Against KU


Heading into last week's matchups, West Virginia and Kansas were two football teams that were losing a bunch of games. Combined, the programs had fallen in 15-straight outings.

While the Mountaineers got back on track with a 31-24 effort at Iowa State, the Jayhawks only went without a loss because they didn't play anyone during their final bye week of the season.

WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen witnessed firsthand how difficult it was to get his team to break a streak of five losses and come out victorious for the first time since October and KU's Charlie Weis is still looking to get his men to put one in the W column like they did only once in week one of the season.

Watching some of the Mountaineers race to the WVU section of Jack Trice Stadium following Friday's win showed just how much it meant to the players to get that sixth win and become bowl eligible after they had become used to losing at a rate unseen in quite some years.

"I thought we've done a good job of just sticking together," Holgorsen said Monday. "Obviously you hit some adversity, you stack a couple of losses on top of each other and you can go one direction or you can go the other. We've got a lot of seniors on the team that it means a lot to that didn't want to go out like that. They didn't want to be remembered for the team that couldn't handle the new conference or anything like that."

Among those seniors unwilling to continue in their losing ways was Tavon Austin, whose success in recent weeks has not gone unnoticed as WVU finally clawed its way past the Cyclones.

"It feels good just to know that we're not the only senior class that won't go to a bowl game," Austin said quite plainly after that win. "It's not what we wanted. We really wanted a BCS [bowl game] or a national championship, but things happen, so we've just got to take what we've got and hope we get a win."

Holgorsen's message to the team in Ames was that the last time they felt the emotions that come along with victory was in Austin and perhaps they celebrated that accomplishment too much and for too long. They have seen in the weeks since just how hard it is to get a win in this league, and the plan now is to make sure they appreciate it rather than take it for granted.

No Big 12 team would appreciate a win this coming week as much as Kansas. Many on the roster have no idea what it feels like to beat a conference opponent. The Jayhawks haven't done it since the 2010 season. With nothing to lose, they will play for the simple, perhaps underrated, joy that accompanies a win.

"They've played real good or then they've kind of relaxed every other game it seems like," Holgorsen said of Kansas. "They're going to coach them up. We're going to be at a major schematic disadvantage going against their coaches. They've got coaches with a tremendous pedigree that have coached everybody in the world and coached for decades and decades."

Whatever experience the staff may have at various levels of football, the results have not been there in year one with the program. Holgorsen's staff will be looking forward to facing a defense that has given up points in bunches and an offense that frequently fails to come close to doing the same.

Still, it is a team that has gone to overtime with Texas Tech and lost to Texas and Oklahoma State by a combined 10 points. Kansas has been right there, but not felt the payoff in the end.

"It'll be challenging. You never know what you're going to get," Holgorsen said. "They kind of have a flavor of the week in the fact that schematically, you're dealing with a group of coaches that understand football as good or better than anybody in the country. What we've got to do is we've got to figure out what their plan is going to be."

The Mountaineers have five days to do just that, with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff looming as WVU's seniors look to end their careers with a home victory.

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