West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen asked Tuesday for the media to forgive him if he started talking about Iowa State instead of Kansas State this week. That’s how similar the two teams feel.
It’s Bill Snyder’s Wildcats that the Mountaineers are up against on the road on Saturday. Manhattan is a place that WVU has had trouble finding success in before, but as Holgorsen said, it’s a place lots of teams have had troubles in.
“We for sure got our work cut out for us this week,” Holgorsen said.
K-State QB Problems
Snyder may not like to talk about the health of his own players, but that doesn’t mean Holgorsen can’t address it.
Health at the quarterback position for the Wildcats is a big question mark.
First-string QB Jesse Ertz has been sidelined each of the last four weeks with a knee injury that, even though has Snyder listing him as “day-to-day,” has many around the Big 12 thinking is for sure a long-term injury.
Second-string quarterback Alex Delton had been playing well before getting knocked out of the game last week against Texas Tech with a concussion. His status for Saturday is unknown.
That leaves third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson as the probable starter.
“The four quarters that I studied more than anything, (Thompson) kept getting better and better and better and better, and led his team from being down at Texas Tech,” Holgorsen said. “They’re all three really good and really capable of running the offense.”
A little weaker at its strength
Switching sides of the ball, the head coach of the Mountaineers said that K-State isn’t as strong on defense as it has been in years past.
Though he cautioned that it’s still a Kansas State defensive unit that’s built to stop the run.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Last week a lot of talk surrounded the physicality of practice for the Mountaineers, who ramped things up during the week to answer the call from the head coach.
Asked what the approach would be this week, Holgorsen said there wouldn’t be too much of a difference.
“Our job this week is to continue to build on what we did last week, which is practice hard, prepare hard, be tough, give effort,” he said.
There is a line to walk, though, especially when dealing with the injuries that have come up on the WVU depth chart over the past few weeks.
“We cranked it up a little bit last week. I think it needed to be done,” Holgorsen said. “I don’t know if you can continue to do that.
“You’ve got to gauge it a little bit.”
Rain and cold, sun and warm, and anything in between
Favorite weather for the head coach is apparently sunny and 70 degrees. Sounds like something most people could get behind.
That came up when asked about practicing in the weather this week leading up to a Saturday kick where the weather is expected to be rainy.
“If the weather is bad there is a preparation aspect of it,” Holgorsen said. “We’re not scared to go outside in the elements.”
Holgorsen said the weather during the week can only become an issue if it interferes with the preparation in terms of teaching the players about the opponent and the game plan.