West Virginia announced its arrival into the Big 12 by beating Baylor and then going on the road to beat Texas, but that momentum came to a screeching halt when the Mountaineers lost to Texas Tech, 29-14, last weekend. But that result has to be a thing of the past as a top-five team in Kansas State invades Morgantown, W.V., Saturday.
Dana Holgorsen joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Barnhart and Durham to discuss West Virginia getting over last week’s loss to Texas Tech, that poor performance in Lubbock, quarterback Geno Smith, why Kansas State has been so successful, Mountaineers fans learning the ins and outs of the Big 12 and whether there should be a Big 12 title game.
You can’t really sit around and pout about losing to Texas Tech when you’ve got Kansas State coming to town this weekend, can you?:
“It doesn’t matter who you’ve got the next week, you don’t have time to pout. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for you, so basically what you’ve got to do is you can’t let it beat you twice. You’ve got to get the game over with. You’ve got to address what happened from a schematic standpoint, you’ve got to address what happened from a mentality standpoint and an effort standpoint and then you’ve got to move on. That’s what this profession and this game is all about.”
You didn’t seem to beat around the push when it came to how poorly you thought Saturday’s game went:
“I wasn’t [happy]. We had two emotional shootout wins — the first Big 12 game against Baylor … and then traveling for the first time down into Texas and beating a very motivated Texas team that the environment was really good. We just weren’t able to keep that level. … What was disturbing to me is guys wanted it to be easy. They didn’t give Texas Tech the respect that they should have. We talked about it, we told them what the situation there was going to be. … They were extremely motivated and played extremely hard. And their mindset was a whole lot better than our mindset.”
How good is Geno Smith compared to other quarterbacks you have coached and what might a Heisman Trophy mean for the West Virginia program?:
“It’d be good. I think it all starts with being able to compete in this conference. The publicity that we’re getting, the publicity that Geno’s getting, the exposure that we’re getting because we’re in a conference like the Big 12 is something that’s tremendous not only for our football team, but for the university and for the athletic department. … It’d be good, and the more exposure we get, the better it is for us. Ultimately, Geno wants to win. He’s made comments, and it’s true, he’s just kind of a kid. He’s such a competitive guy that he just wants to line up and win the game. … I said it before the season started, Geno’s going to be known not for what his stats are but how many games we end up winning and how he gets everybody else around him to make himself better.”
You look at Kansas State and nothing really jumps out, but they keep winning and they’re incredibly efficient. Why?:
“They’re just so disciplined. I’ve got such an appreciation for it. When I was an offensive coordinator and a position coach going against Coach Snyder, it happened four or five times … you just know that they play so hard. They’re disciplined in everything that they do. They don’t beat themselves. But, as a head coach, you gain even more of an appreciation for what he does with his program. … They’re the same way on all three sides of the ball.”
On fans getting an understanding of what the Big 12 is really all about:
“I think it takes a year of going through it before you can truly appreciate it and understand it. … We didn’t talk much about the Big 12 prior to getting into the Big 12 schedule and then that first game against Baylor, we said a lot that, look, it’s not about the Big 12 at this point. We’re not going to get to know the Big 12 this week.”
What are your thoughts on whether there should be a Big 12 championship game?:
“Yeah, I would [be in favor of one]. It was interesting being in the meetings out in Phoenix with all the coaches. This is my first time being in the same room as the rest of the coaches in the Big 12. … Bill Snyder stood up and made reference to that, as far as that’s kind of how he got his program on the national stage, being able to be in a game like that. The one thing I’d say is it’s hard to play every team in your conference once, because regardless of what happened the previous year, you’re not escaping anybody.”