Taking the Blame

Staff Writer
Posted Sep 23, 2013

During his time on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen refused to point a finger at anyone else following the Mountaineers' 37-0 loss to Maryland.

The WVU offense was shut out for the first time since 2001, and had as many first downs as it did turnovers - finishing the game with six each.

"There's plenty of blame to go around, but the one that can be blamed more than anybody is me," Holgorsen said. "The bigger issue is me. I've got to do a better job of getting these guys prepared to play, calling plays and getting these guys motivated and ready to play."

Holgorsen's freshman quarterback Ford Childress, in his second game as West Virginia's starter, struggled mightily as well.

He completed 11 of his 22 pass attempts for 62 yards - the fewest amount by any WVU quarterback who threw more than 20 passes in a single game - with two interceptions. Childress' longest pass of the game went for just 12 yards.

"He's a hard worker," Holgorsen said of Childress. "He's going to try to get better at improving his craft, which is distributing the ball as well as he can and handling run checks."

Only one of WVU's 11 completions went to a receiver, a 12-yard reception by Ronald Carswell. After not getting involved much in the passing game much during the first three games, senior running back Charles Sims led the team with eight catches while Cody Clay and Wendell Smallwood both had one catch apiece.

"What each and every one of these guys have got to do is go to work every day and they've got to try to be a little better than they were yesterday," Holgorsen said. "That's all we can ask them to do and that's what we need to do."

Although West Virginia didn't have a ton of rushing yards, finishing the game with 113, the Mountaineers have been able to get some consistency with Sims, Smallwood and Dreamius Smith up to this point in the season. And while they will continue to give those three the ball the way they have, Holgorsen doesn't see the Mountaineers totally changing their game plan to a run-heavy attack - even after the struggles against the Terrapins.

"Our offensive philosophy has remained the same for about 15-straight years, so I doubt that's going to change any more than it has," Holgorsen said. "There's always an evolution of what you're trying to get accomplished on offense. We have spent a lot of time in the run game, and we'll continue to do that. Our yards per play in the run game is not bad. It can always improve but it's not bad.

"I think the bigger problem with what we're doing offensively is that we're not executing the pass game like we should - I've been saying that since Day One. It's still a work in progress. We've got to coach them a little bit better."

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