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Holgorsen - Defense Up, Dozie Out

Dana Holgorsen met with the local media on Tuesday afternoon and talked for about 25 minutes, most of the time spent discussing this weekend's opponent, Oklahoma. One thing the Mountaineer head coach has noticed is that the Sooners will not be nearly as vulnerable on defense as they were last year.

Ezemma (17) walked off under his own power, but is done for the year.

"They addressed a lot of things in the offseason," said Holgorsen. "I don't think they liked how they ended the year last year, much like we didn't. We changed some things, they changed some things as well. Defensively, they're not going to sit on their heels. They're going to attack. They're going to pressure a bunch, they're going to blitz a bunch, they're going to play man coverage and they're good at it."

Those similarities carry over to the offense, something which can be traced back over a decade.

"(Familiarity) goes way back beyond that," Holgorsen said when asked about Bill Bedenbaugh's move from Morgantown to Norman earlier this year. "We've competed against each other for fifteen years. We've been to clinics together; we've been hanging out together. They know our offense better than anyone else that's out there."

Again, much like the Mountaineers, Oklahoma is breaking in a new quarterback in Trevor Knight, which is transitioning the offense from an "air-raid" look to a more balanced attack.

"Look at what we did last year, we're both throwing the ball all over the place last year," said Holgorsen. "This year, we're running the ball a lot more. I think you have to do that with a young, inexperienced quarterback."

There are some differences, though, like Knight running for over 100 yards in Week One.

"I don't think anyone's going to get a kick out of Paul Millard running the triple option," Holgorsen said with a laugh.


Holgorsen also took a moment to look back to Week One and assess his team's performance, in particular the defense.

"For the most part (it was) pretty good," he said. "I'm happy with the second half in particular, as far as coming out and playing with more energy, playing with less assignment busts. We shut them out in the second half, which was obviously important to win."

Many fans pointed to the fact that it was only a couple big plays that William & Mary was able to muster. While true, Holgorsen doesn't want his team to think like that.

"You can say we played pretty good on defense with the exception of about three plays," he said. "Well, those three plays made us look really bad in the second quarter. If you want to be a good defense, then you can't bite on a double move. You got to be able to play the ball in the air. We're in a Cover 2 and Karl (Joseph) is right there. You can't ask for a better coverage to put him in a situation to make a play, and 90-percent of the time he makes that play."


Speaking of defense, Dana Holgorsen was quick to point out one particular player who did not earn defensive MVP honors.

"Darwin (Cook) was our (Defensive) MVP, but (Nick Kwiatkoski) was a close, close second," said Holgorsen. "He's a smart guy. He's mature. Physically, he's impressive and runs pretty good. He'll give ya a pop at the point of attack. Coach Patterson was very pleased with how he played. He brings an understanding of the game, which for a linebacker, is very important."


There was only one injury to report from Saturday's game - reserve BUCK, Chidoziem Ezemma.

"Dozie broke his leg," said Holgorsen. "He broke his lower leg and his foot. It got twisted up and it was bad. He's out. He's more than likely going to have to have surgery."

Going forward, wide receiver Kevin White is still questionable.

"We'll find out today. He was day-to-day until we ruled him out toward the end of the week last week," said the West Virginia head coach. "So he's still day-to-day, but hopefully we can get him back out there."

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