November 7, 2012

5 Questions: Meet the Mountaineers

West Virginia is far from a familiar foe for Oklahoma State, so we turned to WVSports.com's Keenan Cummings with five questions about the Mountaineers.

1. Dana Holgorsen is making a "homecoming" trip to Stillwater. Have you gotten any sort of feel whether this matchup is a big thing to him and his staff, or "just another game on the schedule"?

Already this year Holgorsen has returned to Lubbock for a matchup with Texas Tech and it was an angle that he downplayed throughout the week, and I think you'll see something very similiar from him this week in regards to his return to Stillwater. However, I do think it's human nature to get a little excited to return back to place you once coached, especially with Robert Gillespie and Joe DeForest also coming back to take on the Cowboys. I think you'll hear that it's just another game on the schedule, but there is obviously some excitement in the meeting rooms.


2. Long-time OSU assistant Joe DeForest is under fire in his first season as WVU's defensive coordinator. Is the general feeling that he inherited enough talent that the Mountaineers should be performing much better? Is it a question of scheme? For OSU fans that haven't followed WVU closely so far this season, what is DeForest's schematic approach?

I think it's a little bit of both. West Virginia lost many of the significant contributors from last season's defense leaving a lot of holes to fill with inexperienced players leading to some mistakes but I don't think anyone expected some of the results that have popped up in Big 12 play. Granted last week was a much better performance against TCU sans a 96-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes, but those are the type of breakdowns that have plauged the Mountaineers this season. There have been some questions as to whether the scheme has been a factor, but it's been something that head coach Dana Holgorsen has defended soundly. The Mountaineers are currently running a 3-4 multiple look with two hybrid linebackers that can drop into pass coverage or even on the line. Last game, West Virginia used more man coverage than they had in the past and also were very aggressive getting to the quarterback. It gave reason for some optimism moving forward, but that will be put to the test this weekend.

3. WVU is in the midst of a three-game skid. What changed between winning a shoot-out at Texas and the three games since? Is there any sense that the 'Neers are close to turning it back around?



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