Bouncing Back

Staff Writer
Posted Sep 25, 2013


In Dana Holgorsen's first 30 games as West Virginia's head football coach, there have been just four games in which less than five receivers caught at least one pass.

And even in the games where it was less, more often than not, there were four receivers and a few running backs catching passes in the game.

But in West Virginia's humiliating 37-0 loss at the hands of Maryland Saturday, only one Mountaineer receiver showed up in the postgame box score. Sophomore Ronald Carswell caught one pass for 12 yards.

That was it.

One catch for 12 yards from a group of receivers that had been averaging a total of 19 catches for more than 244 yards per game in the first three games of the season.

"I've never been a part of that," said sophomore wide receiver K.J. Myers. "Something's got to give. We've got to switch something up and do something different with our approach this week and just get better."

Offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said that for this group to bounce back and get better, it has to be able to shake off how tough it was to play that poorly in a rivalry game against a Maryland team that the Mountaineers are going to have to see every year.

If they can't keep their heads up after a game like that, there's a dangerous chance that things could spiral even more out of control the rest of the way.

"We're going to get some breaks at some point. But you're only going to keep getting bad breaks all the time if you have a defeatist attitude," Dawson said. "We're never going to have that, I promise you. We're never going to quit and our kids are never going to quit.

"We're going to get better."

After Saturday's loss, West Virginia is No. 108 nationally in points per game and is 74th in the country in passing offense - while converting a mere 29 percent of its chances on third downs.

"I know we're a lot better than what we put out there Saturday," Dawson said. "When you view it from the outside, that was ugly. If I was on the outside, I'd be saying the same thing. But when you see it every day like I do, I know we're better than that and we're going to show we're better than that."

But how hard is it to stay away from losing confidence and trying to continue to improve when nothing seems to go your way? For the players, they just know that they have to continue to trust the system and believe that it will continue to work in the future just like it has in the past.

"We can't do what we did last week. That's not going to get the job done," Myers said. "It was very tough (to go through), especially when you know how good this offense has been in the past, but that stuff happens. We couldn't get it going, plain and simple, but luckily we have another week of football.

"We do think we're close, we really do. That's what keeps us going. We still have a lot of football to play. That's what we're focusing on."


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