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October 16, 2012

Holgorsen's Take: Pre-Kansas State

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It's been almost a year since No. 15/17 West Virginia (5-1, 2-1) last had to rebound off a loss, but the Mountaineers will have little time to feel sorry for themselves with No. 3/4 Kansas State (6-0, 3-0) coming to town this weekend.

That last loss was a 38-35 home defeat to Louisville, Nov. 5. The Mountaineers were outplayed on all three sides of the ball against Texas Tech and struggled in every aspect of the game as head coach Dana Holgorsen said that the team didn't handle the situation well, something that Holgorsen takes full responsibility for.

"It was embarrassing. Guys were embarrassed, they were hurt, they were disappointed, and it's no fun. It's no fun for anybody," he said. "We got in here and I didn't sugar coat anything. It wasn't a positive session."

It's something that must serve as a reality check to the group of the need to bring their best effort every week in the Big 12 Conference and the Mountaineers must get back to what made them successful in the first place.

"That's working hard and playing with a tremendous amount of effort and being disciplined," he said. "Being smart, playing hard, playing fast and playing physical."

"There's nine other teams in the Big 12 that are all used to winning, that all have really good facilities and it's going to be challenging each and every week," he added.

The Wildcats are a disciplined football team that doesn't make mistakes and plays very well together on all three sides of the ball. Offensively, that begins with senior quarterback Colin Klein, who's established himself as one of the standout players in all of college football.

"He's a tremendous football player," he said.

A throwback offense of sorts compared to many of the up-tempo spread offenses in the Big 12 Conference, the Wildcats are contempt with controlling the clock and running the football with Klein and John Hubert.

"It always comes down to stopping the run and when they are going to throw the ball, making plays downfield. We haven't done a very good job making plays down the field, a little bit of an understatement I think," Holgorsen said.

The defense is an experienced group, led by senior linebacker Arthur Brown.

"Really solid on defense, much of the same guys they had last year, great against the run," he said. "… Don't have many holes in their secondary, there's not going to be a lot of space to get the ball in there."

On the injury front, West Virginia will be without starting cornerback Brodrick Jenkins, who has a slight cartilage tear. But all of the other players, including wide receiver Stedman Bailey and running back Shawne Alston remain day-to-day.

True freshman wide receiver Travares Copeland had his redshirt burned in the Texas Tech matchup, and he is set to start this week although the exact spot has yet to be determined, Holgorsen said.

"We'll find a spot," Holgorsen said.


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