WVU Gameday Blog

Holgorsen Press Conference News & Notes

Moving on from its comeback win against Texas Tech Saturday, No. 23 West Virginia (4-2) looks ahead to its road matchup against Baylor (0-6) this weekend.

Despite its winless record, the Bears appeared to be moving in the right direction, playing some tighter games as of late, including going down to the wire against Oklahoma at the end of September.

That game against a ranked team was in Waco, as is this weekend’s matchup for Matt Rhule and company. It was the other head coach, Dana Holgorsen, that talked at WVU’s media availability Tuesday.

Mystery of the Unknown

Holgorsen commented that there are a number of relative unknowns heading into this week’s contest, mostly revolving around new coaches and their schemes.

Due to the circumstances at Baylor, it’s a different coaching regime in Waco than in years’ past.

“There’s nothing from the past that I can pull from,” Holgorsen said. “This is different. We have to do a good job as a coaching staff.”

Familiar Faces

It’s not all a mystery, though.

Zach Smith returns at quarterback to make another start against the Mountaineers. Smith took over late in the season a year ago and has started each of the last four games this year for the Bears.

Offensive Skill Positions

The head coach of the Mountaineers said that Baylor is deep at running back and wide receiver.

John Lovett is the lead back for the Bears, while Denzel Mimms is the top receiver.

Holgorsen admitted that he expects Baylor to try to establish the run against his defense.

“Like I said after the game (Saturday), we’ve got to do a better job at stopping the run,” said Holgorsen.

Carrying Momentum

Asked about whether or not momentum can be carried over from game to game, the head coach said he believes it’s a confidence factor more than anything that can be transferred by a team after a comeback like his pulled off.

“I would hope that would carry over,” he said.

Carrying the Ball

A lot of attention has been paid over the last few days to the Mountaineer running game, which had its worst output of the season on Saturday.

Although he admitted he’s getting tired of talking about it, Holgorsen said that he chalks some of the poor performance up to mentality, both of his team and of Texas Tech, who’s game plan was clearly to stop the run.

He also stated that he still has a good running team, which is accurate.

Midseason All-Americans

On Monday the NCAA’s Midseason All-Americans were announced, of which there were a number of representatives from the Big 12, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Included in that list was WVU wide receiver, David Sills.

“David’s doing a great job,” Holgorsen said. “I’m proud of him.”

Both All-American quarterbacks were Big 12 representatives, to which Holgorsen noted that it, “Says a lot of good things about the Big 12,” continuing to say that it says a lot when WVU quarterback Will Grier is having the season he is and was left off the list.

 

Report Card: Texas Tech

In what was truly a tale of two halves, West Virginia (4-2) pulled off its second largest fourth-quarter comeback ever Saturday to defeat No. 24 Texas Tech 46-35, ending a nine-game losing streak to ranked teams that dated back to 2014.

As you can expect, being that it was two very different teams on the field for the Mountaineers between the first and second halves (really the first three quarters and the fourth) the report card won’t be great.

 

Offense — C

This is the lowest grade the offense has gotten this year.

Will Grier was great, as always, completing 78 percent of his passes for five touchdowns, four of which came in the second half.

But the running game was practically non-existent.

Neither team finished the first quarter with positive rushing yardage, and the Mountaineers didn’t stay in the positives until late in the third quarter.

Two reasons stick out as to why, one that will be addressed here, and the other in another section.

The first is play calling.

Albeit, it is common for teams to abandon the run when trailing like WVU was, but for Justin Crawford to only carry the ball 14 times is odd.

And it highlights a trend that’s been growing over the last few weeks — West Virginia going to him early in the game and then going away from him for much of the first half.

 

Defense — D+

If not for a complete turn around in the fourth quarter, this group would’ve failed the test.

Missed tackles, bad coverage, not being able to recognize the opposing quarterback staring down his receivers, absolutely no push up front.

The troubling part was that early in the game Texas Tech wasn’t taking many chances down the field. It was a lot of screens and slants near, or behind, the line of scrimmage that turned into decent gains.

As we’ve seen before this year, though, the defense knows what time it is in the fourth. And you have to commend them for stopping one of the top offenses in the Big 12 when it mattered most.

However, giving up 190 yards on the ground to Texas Tech is disheartening. Texas Tech may be an improved team at running the ball, but to allow a team built around throwing the football to run it that well is sad.

You want to think a game next week against lowly Baylor could lead to some needed fixes, but that was the consensus heading into Lawrence, Kansas and it was not the case.

 

Special Teams — B-

It’s a good feeling to go a full 60 minutes of football and not see a kick-out-of-bounds penalty.

No missed field goals. Only allowing two yards on punt returns, and being better on kick return coverage all showed signs of improvement.

Compared to the lack of execution by Texas Tech and the Mountaineers special teams unit looked good.

You would like to see Marcus Simms be able to have better return lanes, especially when back to receive punts, but Texas Tech’s punt unit seemed faster than most.

West Virginia loses a full letter grade by allowing the long run on the fake punt. You could see it coming a mile away; Tech didn’t hide their intentions well yet it was defended even worse.

 

Linemen – D-

I won’t spend too much time here because it’s obvious to everyone. Line play is just not good.

Grier was sacked four times and was forced to move out of the pocket many others. Texas Tech also racked up five tackles for loss. On the other side, WVU was only able to register two sacks and four stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Offensive line play is the other reason I alluded to earlier as to why running the ball was so poor. The O-Line couldn’t get any push. Crawford is without a doubt the best running back in the Big 12, but he needs to have somewhere to go in order to help move the ball, and that wasn’t given to him Saturday.

 

Overall – D+

It was an amazing comeback despite a poor game played for three quarters, and Dana Holgorsen said that after the game. The Mountaineers have to be more consistent for the full four quarters if they want to continue to win ball games, especially with the meat of the schedule looming.

Scouting the Opponent: Texas Tech

West Virginia (3-2) looks to defend home turf Saturday when it hosts No. 24 Texas Tech (4-1). It’ll be the second-straight ranked opponent, and third overall this year, for the Mountaineers.

As WVU attempts to halt its losing streak against ranked teams, to whom it’s dropped each of the last nine games, we take a look at the squad it’ll try to stop it against.

Air-Raiders

Moving the ball through the air still remains as Options 1, 2, and 3 for Kliff Kingsbury and Texas Tech.

First-year-starting quarterback Nic Shimonek has led one of top offenses in the nation to an impressive start to the year.

Behind Shimonek, the Red Raiders have the highest scoring offense and the second-best passing attack in the Big 12.

They also like to spread the ball around. Five TTU receivers have caught at least 10 passes this year. For comparison, WVU has just five wideouts with at least five catches.

Keke Coutee is Texas Tech’s leading receiver. He’s hauled in 39 catches for nearly 600 yards. Cameron Batson, Dylan Cantrell have each caught at least 22 passes. Derrick Willies has been a big-play threat, averaging a team-best 17.8 yards per catch.

Improving the Ground Game

Fourth-year offensive coordinator Eric Morris has possibly followed Dana Holgorsen’s lead in recognizing how important a good running game can be.

Justin Stockton paces the TTU rushing attack with nearly 400 yards total this year, good enough for 77 yards per game.

Desmond Nisby leads Texas Tech with six rushing touchdowns.

Defense still not a strong suit

The mark against Texas Tech for years has been a lack of defense in Lubbock.

Despite improvements on the defensive side of the ball, it’s still not a group Red Raider fans should be hanging their hat on.

TTU is surrendering the eighth-most points per game in the conference, and ranks among the bottom three teams in both rush and pass defense.

A large number of one-on-one matchups on the outside, with undersized DBs no less, could be responsible for some of the underperformance by TTU.

Defensive players to watch out for

Jordyn Brooks (42) and Jah’Shawn Johnson (40) are the leading tacklers.

Kollin Hill and Eli Howard pace the Red Raiders in tackles for loss, and are two of the six players with at least two stops behind the line of scrimmage. Howard also leads the way in sacks with 2.5.

Oi, mate!

Holgorsen mentioned at his Tuesday press conference that Texas Tech punter Dominic Panazzolo punts with an Australian rugby style, which can be difficult for return men.

Panazzolo is averaging 40 yards per punt and has pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line five times.

Holgorsen press conference news and notes

The Mountaineers must bounce back from their second loss of the season when they host Texas Tech on Saturday.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen said that his team was obviously disappointed with the seven-point loss to TCU, but they appeared to respond with good energy when they met Sunday.

Here are some other takeaways from the team’s weekly media availability:

WR depth still a question

Depth at the wide receiver position has been an issue all season but was once again shown to be an issue on Saturday when only four wideouts caught passes.

Asked about the depth, Holgorsen, talking somewhat intensely, said they’d hoped this issues would’ve been taken care of a long time ago.

“Two months ago,” he said. Then followed that by saying it needs to improve, “Now!”

Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said inexperience of the second group of receivers does play a part into the depth issues.

Reggie Roberson appears to be the next man up.

Finishing possessions

When asked about being unable to finish drives with points in the first half Saturday, the head coach agreed that was an area they needed to improve on in that game.

He did defend his offense, and rightly so, in that they’ve been more consistent at finishing lengthy drives this year than in recent seasons.

Fifteen times this season WVU has covered at least 75 yards in on possession and scored, with only one of those drives ending with a field goal.

Holgorsen pointed out that part of the problem Saturday was four times being pinned inside the 10-yard line in the first half against a well-coached TCU defense.

TTU playing better

Any questions about what the Texas Tech offense would look like in the post-Patrick-Mahomes era have been answered. It’s just as explosive.

“Texas Tech is playing good,” Holgorsen said. “They’re playing probably as good, or better, than we’ve seen since that first year we played them.”

Texas Tech has the highest-scoring offense in the Big 12, and quarterback Nic Shimonek is averaging over 386 passing yards per game.

Even though the stats may suggest that the Red Raider defense is still doing its best to maintain the Big 12’s “lack of defense” stature, Holgorsen said they can’t be taken lightly.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us when it comes to them,” Holgorsen said. “They’re sound in what they’re doing. They’re executing very well.”

Asked about the improvement of the TTU defense, Spavital said that he’s completely stopped looking at film of last year’s defense because this year’s Red Raider defensive unit is playing so much better.

Possibility for big days

Despite the improvements on defense in Lubbock, WVU wideouts may have the chance to have their best games yet.

Spavital said that Texas Tech’s defense creates a lot of one-on-one matchups with wide receivers.

“They’ve got some confidence in their guys,” Spavital said. “It’s a scheme that, they’re going to put us (in) one-on-one battles, and we’ve got to win them all.”

According to the depth chart, the Red Raiders are only planning on playing just two defensive backs taller than exactly 6 feet tall. That could bode well for West Virginia, that has David Sills V (6-4), Ka’Raun White (6-1), Gary Jennings (6-1), and Marcus Simms (6-0) that likely have the ability to get up higher than their defenders.

WVU Report Card: TCU game

Tough way to have Saturday’s game decided, isn’t it?

A game between two ranked conference foes coming down to the wire that the outcome is, in part, dictated by a questionable call on a completed pass that would’ve flipped the field and potentially led to a score.

Games between West Virginia and TCU have had a glaring tendency of coming down to the very end.

The way the game ended gets a big frowny face, and the principal has been called in to speak with the parents of the official in question, but as for the Mountaineers themselves, here’s how they graded out:

Offense – B

It wasn’t a great start to the game for the offense for sure. The second half brings this grade up some.

However, as unproductive WVU was, offensively, on the scoreboard, what the Mountaineers did was something I said before the game was important for them to do – possess the football.

The longer TCU had the ball, the more damage it was going to do and the more tired the defense was going to get. With West Virginia holding onto the football and winning the time of possession battle in the first half, it saved the defense for the end of the game.

In the passing game, Will Grier proved once again that he shows command and good presence in the pocket, despite being constantly pressured.

Running-wise, Justin Crawford eclipsed 100 yards for the fifth straight game and doing so against the conference’s top run defense, once again proving he’s the top back in the Big 12. Outside of Crawford, though, running the football wasn’t a viable option in this game.

Part of that was because of constantly running the ball up the middle instead of to the outside, but that’s been the “MO” of the Mountaineers for most of the season so the other backs should be used to it at this point.

Defense – B-

On the plus side, WVU held the best rushing team in the Big 12 to 50 yards under its season average. On the other hand, it still gave up 170 yards on the ground.

Individually, Mike Daniels had a good game in coverage, and David Long quickly made his presence known in his return to action from injury.

The trick plays hurt. Allowing the score on the WR pass back to Kenny Hill, and giving up the first down on the WR reverse on third down both came back to bite the Mountaineers.

To the defense’s credit, it held TCU to its second-lowest scoring output of the year. Lack of pressure and some key missed tackles knock the grade down a tad.

Linemen – C-

Both sides of the ball, just plain bad. It’s been a theme all season.

The defensive line gets no push, and the offensive line has a good first few drives before being overwhelmed.

Simply, both line groups need to improve.

Grier was under constant pressure, though, he did a good job of escaping it most of the game, and only one of the four tackles for loss by the WVU defense came from one of the linemen.

Special teams – C

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but West Virginia was issued a penalty for a kickoff going out of bounds.

The special teams unit also was at fault for a missed 29-yard field goal, and a turnover when trying to receive a punt in the first half that led to a TCU touchdown.

They also got outclassed by the Horned Frogs groups, which downed four punts inside the 10-yard line.

It’s often said that special teams can win or lose you ballgames on their own, and you can’t overlook that in this game.

Overall grade – C

Scouting the Opponent: TCU

Game day is here. It’s the No. 8 TCU Horned Frogs (4-0) hosting the No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers (3-1).

It’s an early-season game that could go a long way in determining if either of these teams play in the Big 12 Championship game on December 2.

Both teams are well-rested and getting healthier coming off bye weeks, and that’s a good place to start when scouting TCU.

Running game gets better

The Horned Frogs are the top running team in the Big 12, averaging over 230 yards on the ground per game.

Darius Anderson paces TCU with 105.5 rushing yards per contest and has a knack for finding the end zone with a team-high six touchdowns.

As good as they’ve been this season, the Frogs do get a key piece back this week.

Kyle Hicks, who last year was one of four running backs in the nation to lead his team in rushing yards and receptions, is expected to return for this game, which adds another element to the TCU offense.

He’s only played in two games due to injuries and is looking to get on track against a shaky WVU rush defense.

Rush defense is impressive

As good as TCU is at running the football, Gary Patterson’s defense is equally as good as stopping the run.

Patterson’s unit is holding opponents to under 100 rushing yards per game, and limited Jackson State just 24 yards on 42 rushing attempts in the season opener last month.

Helping to stop the run, among others, have been Travin Howard and Ben Banogu. Banogu is among the five best in the Big 12 in terms of tackles for loss (6), and Howard leads TCU in total tackles (26) and is among the team leaders in plays stopped in the backfield (3).

As a team, the Horned Frogs have stopped 30 plays behind the line of scrimmage.

Defense as a whole is good

It’s not just the rush defense that’s been good for TCU.

Patterson’s defense ranks second in the conference in total defense. Opposing passers are completing less than half their throws, and the Horned Frogs are second in the conference in interceptions.

They’re also tops in the Big 12 in sacks and have allowed the fewest first downs to opponents.

Will Grier and the Mountaineer offense will have their work cut out for them.

Kenny Hill and T.O.P

Along with the running game, two other elements of the TCU offense have been working well – quarterback Kenny Hill, and time of possession.

Hill is sixth in the nation in completion percentage, and he’s holding his own in a conference with a number of talented quarterbacks with a high quarterback rating.

He’s also been spreading the ball around. Hill has completed at least one pass to 17 different receivers.

With Hill being efficient through the air, and the ground game operating as good as any team in the nation, TCU has excelled in hanging on to the football.

The Horned Frogs are only being outdone by Texas in the Big 12 in time of possession, and are possessing the football for more than 33 minutes per game.

 

Times have changed on the diamond

When West Virginia decided to leap from the Big East to the Big 12, many wondered how the various athletic programs would fare in their new home.

Mountaineer baseball was no different, some even wondering if it’d make the transition at all.

As you know the program is still very much intact. It’s in a shiny new home that catches players’ attentions, is possibly playing as well as it ever has, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Not in the too distant past baseball at WVU was not something that had folks’ attention in the spring. Current players and coaches have noted at various times over the past 12 months or so that they’ve ran into people from the Mountain State or surrounding areas that weren’t aware of Hawley Field and the players that played on it.

“Everybody’s looking at us now. Some people didn’t even know we had a baseball team in this state,” Braden Zarbnisky said Thursday when asked about what last year did for the program. “Now everybody’s watching us and we have a target on our back.”

They’re all very aware now.

Since Randy Mazey’s arrival in 2013, the program has steadily improved, doing so in one of the best conferences in College Baseball, battling the likes of traditional powerhouses Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU – Mazey’s former employer.

Maybe a signal of the Mountaineers arrival was in the Big 12 preseason coach’s poll before the 2017 season. TCU received nine of the ten first-place votes.

West Virginia got the lone other.

With the new conference came a new field to play in.

WVU is 46-28 in Monongalia County Ballpark, which opened in 2015. But it was working it’s magic before the first shovel was put into the ground.

Duane Davis, the father of now-former Mountaineer infielder and outfielder Kyle Davis, told me a few years ago that when his son was being recruited by the Mountaineers the pictures of what would become the new stadium did the job.

That story holds true for other players on the roster as well.

Now, it’s the finished product that has become the selling point. Walking on the field this past season after multiple pre-game interviews for U-92 with Mazey, potential recruits watching the Mountaineers take batting practice would comment to one another about it.

One player, in particular, summed it up, “Damn this place is nice.”

Yes, it is.

A recent trip to the NCAA tournament can now get thrown into the recruiting pitch, as well. As can having on staff two of the most respected pitching coaches in college baseball in Mazey and Dave Serrano, who joined the Mountaineers this summer.

Serrano’s arrival maybe could not have come at a better time, entering a pitching staff that is talented but currently rehabbing injuries to some of it’s biggest pieces.

Serrano, meeting with the West Virginia media for the first time Thursday, said not much recruiting needed to be done on the part of Mazey to get him to come be a Mountaineer.

“I have a lot of respect for Randy Mazey, always have,” Serrano said. “Have coached against him. He was a friend, a peer, from afar.”

As the story goes, Mazey initially contacted Serrano about one of his assistants at Tennessee. Then he became the focus.

“I went home actually, like recruits should do, and went online,” Serrano continued. “I looked at the campus, I looked at the facility, and I was kind of blown away. I called him back and said, ‘That question you asked me, the answer would be yes. I would be interested.’ Credit to this program.

“I chose West Virginia one, for Randy Mazey and his coaching staff, and two, because of the direction that the program is going.”

There’s a sense around this team that hasn’t fully apparent before.

Entering the last two seasons the prospect of good things were certainly there. Now, though, that prospect or desire has turned into reality and expectations.

West Virginia now expects to be near the top of the Big 12 and have a true say in which team from the conference gets the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. It expects to be in said NCAA tournament, by way of winning the conference championship or making it on the merit of a good regular season. It now even expects to be one of the host teams for the regional tournament.

Even though first pitch of the 2018 season is over four months away we should believe them. Doubting them is only part of why they are where they are now.

 

Holgorsen Press Conference News and Notes

A few weeks ago Dana Holgorsen talked about the extreme familiarity between his program and his opponent’s, but Tuesday it was the common ground between TCU and WVU that he noted prior to the Top-25 showdown that will take place Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth.

“TCU is always a fun one,” he said. “I just think if you look (at) the similarities between the two programs it builds a lot of interest in this game.”

For clarity, the Mountaineer head coach was talking about how the two programs have gotten to where they are today – dominating conferences not as prominent as the current Power-5 and then more than holding their own in the Big 12.

Here are other notes from his time at the podium.

It’s a Gary Patterson Defense

TCU head coach Gary Patterson is known for defense; it’s what he’s built TCU on.

Holgorsen is obviously very aware of not only Patterson’s reputation but also the defense that he’s got this year.

“They’ve been doing the same thing defensively for 20 years,” Holgorsen said. “That’s (Patterson’s) stamp on college football.”

He continued to say that this year’s Horned Frogs defensive unit is, “as good as they’ve always been defensively, and their stats show that.”

TCU is second best in the conference in terms of total defense.

Run it good, defend it better

The Horned Frogs are best in the Big 12 at defending against the run, one of just two teams in the conference that are allowing fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground.

Two players to watch out for on Gary Patterson’s defense are Travin Howard and Ben Banogu. Howard is top 20 in the Big 12 in tackles, and Banogu is among the five best in the conference in both sacks (3) and tackles for loss (6).

Offensively, TCU is also best in the conference in the ground game, averaging well one yard more (232.2) than the Mountaineers per game.

Both teams have scored 12 times on the ground, but the Horned Frogs do run the ball slightly more than WVU does on a week-to-week basis.

Asked about combating the run game, Holgorsen said it starts up front.

“We got to do a better job up front holding gaps,” he said. “We need guys to step up and be real dudes.”

Lamont McDougle may be the one to do it, as he’s been garnering a lot of attention from the coaching staff over the past few weeks.

 

 

 

Scouting the opponent: Bye week blues

As you probably know by now, West Virginia is off this Saturday.

The Mountaineers get an extra week to prepare for next weekend’s ranked-vs-ranked matchup against No. 9 TCU.

In the meantime, Mountaineer nation has Saturday off, too, without Will Grier, Justin Crawford and the rest of the Old Gold and Blue to watch.

Of course, thanks to 21st century technology, fans can watch past WVU games if they want. Here’s a list of some options of previous Mountaineer games to watch:

WVU v Baylor, 2012 – 70-63 W

WVU v Clemson, 2011 Orange Bowl – 70-33 W (Note: 100-yard fumble return at 59:10)

WVU v Oklahoma, 2008 Fiesta Bowl – 48-28 W (Note: Runaway beer truck at 1:00:35)

WVU v Miami 1993 – 17-14 W

If you’re interested in watching games from Week 5 of this season, below are some of the games that should peak your interest. And luckily for some fans, the good games really don’t start until 3:30.

So stay out late Friday night and sleep in Saturday morning.

No. 7 Georgia at Tennessee (3:30, CBS)

Baylor at Kansas State (3:30, ESPN 2)

No. 24 Mississippi St. at No. 13 Auburn (6 p.m., ESPN)

No. 2 Clemson at No. 12 Virginia Tech (8 p.m., ABC)

No. 15 Oklahoma St. at Texas Tech (8 p.m., FOX Sports)

There’s not a lot in terms of Big 12 implications this weekend. Just over half of the conference’s teams are in action, and none of the top three teams.

The last of the aforementioned games is the biggest in the Big 12.

Oklahoma St. surely needs to bounce back from last week’s loss to TCU if the Cowboys want to stay in the hunt for the Big 12 Championship. But what a huge win it would be for Kliff Kingsbury and company if they, too, were able to knock off Mike Gundy’s squad.

A positive look at the Esa Ahmad suspension

Earlier this week it was announced by West Virginia that forward Esa Ahmad will miss the first half of the upcoming season after failing to meet NCAA eligibility requirements.

Ahmad, a former four-star recruit out of Cleveland, was the second-leading scorer for the Mountaineers last year, averaging 11.3 points per game and finished third in rebound at 4.3 per contest.

Despite being one of the most important players on a young team that includes just four upperclassmen, maybe Ahmad missing time isn’t the worst thing for the program.

Huggins said himself, when asked about the depth of the team, that the young players were going to have to step up regardless.

“They were going to play anyways,” Huggins said. “D’Angelo (Hunter) has had a good summer, (Wesley Harris) has had a good summer.”

The head coach continued to say, “What it does is it gives Logan Routt an opportunity to play meaningful minutes. But he’s worked hard at it. He’s much improved.”

Without Ahmad, a projected starting lineup could look something like: Jevon Carter, Daxter Miles Jr., Lamont West, Maceij Bender and Sagaba Konate. After that, James “Beetle” Bolden and Routt would be first off the bench.

That’s a very long and tall starting lineup, a perfect match for Huggins’ patented “Press Virginia” style of play.

In Ahmad’s absence, though, Huggins will find out right away what players he will be able to use once the forward returns in January just after the start of Big 12 play.

Ahmad will miss key games against Texas A&M, Virginia and Pittsburgh, but West Virginia should be able to get through non-conference play relatively unscathed, even with Ahmad not on the court. He will be back with the club by the time WVU hosts Kentucky in late January.

Much like there’s not an exact date as to when Ahmad will be reinstated, there’s not an exact date when we’ll know if there was a positive payoff to the situation. Dec. 5 against UVA is a good place to look, though.

But with Ahmad out we’ll get to learn the depth of this team quickly. And if Huggins finds he has a deep team without Ahmad, think of what getting him back in the lineup will do.

The regular season begins November 10 against Texas A&M at 6 p.m. ET, with the game being played at the Ramstein Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany as part of the Armed Forces Classic.

Big 12 play begins on the road in Stillwater against Oklahoma St. on Dec. 29.

You can find the full schedule here.