“There are specific things on every play that happen that you don't catch in person,” WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “You break it down for everyone. You tell guys, 'Don't take that step. Take this step. Your pad level is too high. You are in the wrong gap.' There are small things on every play – that's why you watch the tape and study it. There are a lot of things that happen that we can correct.”
Holgorsen also pointed out that problems that were fixed previously don't always stay fixed. Items may have to be retaught and reinforced throughout the season – another reason for reviewing every snap.
One of the biggest items that Holgorsen continues to see on tape is inconsistency. That was borne out in WVU's play in the first half (poor) and second half (very good).
“The second half of the Rutgers game was about playing together on all three sides of the ball,” he said. “That is where we are trying to get to. The goal is to get better and try to get there by end of season. Hopefully what we saw in the second half is something we can build on.
“There's no magic formula for motivation. If you had it there would be even more parity in college football. We go to Syracuse and we don't play good and they play good Then Syracuse goes to Louisville and doesn't and gets beat. Texas Tech goes to Oklahoma last week and beats them soundly, and then Oklahoma goes to Kansas State and handles them. Iowa State goes to Texas Tech this week and beats the pants off of them. It happens every season.”
There wasn't much attention paid to the Big 12 move this week, or any though that future WVU opponents would be more motivated to play the Mountaineers in upcoming games this year.
“We were focused on Rutgers last week,” Holgorsen noted. “We didn't have any Big 12 talk or next year talk. We had a whole bunch to do with correcting problems versus Rutgers and what we have to do versus Louisville.”
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WVU saw both Jorge Wright and Josh Taylor go down with injuries against Rutgers. Junior college transfer Shaq Rowell came in for his first significant action of the season.
“Shaq played 11 snaps. That was 11 more than he's played in last month,” Holgorsen said jokingly, in pointing out his still-raw status. “He's still learning, still young and still inexperienced, but Kirlav said he went in and did a couple of good things. We need someone to back up Jorge. Jorge plays well early, but he gets tired.”
Holgorsen termed both Wright and Taylor day-to-day.
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Although he didn't earn WVU's offensive player of the week award, Shawne Alston drew praise for his play across the board form Holgorsen.
“Shawne played well. He played hard. He was the fastest guy on the football field -- I think it sped him up and slowed everybody else down,” Holgorsen joked. “He is a tough kid. He can grind it out and be a power back, but also took the place of Ryan Clarke and did a fantastic job with blocking. It was clearly his best game. He's the kind of player that can plow through some of that kind of stuff.”
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WVU ran both the end-around handoff and the shovel-pass version to Tavon Austin against Rutgers, but that about the extent of gadget plays in its arsenal this year.
“We don't have many trick plays” Holgorsen noted. “I ran a lot of them [ends around] last year. I try not to call them in specific situations. We do have a reverse pretty much in every game [plan], but you don't always get the proper look to do it.