Must-Win Territory

Staff Writer
Posted Nov 11, 2013

For the last few weeks, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen has said time and time again that he wouldn't be talking to his team about "must-win games" until the situation arose where the Mountaineers had to win in order to make it to a bowl game.

And now that West Virginia is sitting at 4-6 following a loss to Texas with two games left on the schedule, WVU must win out in order to keep that streak alive.

"At this point, we've got to start talking about winning the next one to get us to a bowl game. We've got to win this one. If not, then the bowl game is out," Holgorsen said. "That will be used as motivation this week, and if we get the victory this week, we will take the same approach against Iowa State."

The Mountaineers will travel to Lawrence, Kansas, this week to take on a Kansas team that hasn't won a game against a Big 12 Conference opponent since 2010.

Just because his team lost to Texas didn't mean Holgorsen didn't like the way the Mountaineers played.

The third-year coach liked what he saw from his team, even if the 47-40 overtime loss wasn't the result they felt they would get.

"I told the team I was proud of their effort," Holgorsen said. "Their effort was phenomenal, their fight was phenomenal. I was really proud of them. They were disappointed. Emotionally and physically, we were pretty drained."

As West Virginia heads into this week's contest, it's unclear whether the Mountaineers will have starting quarterback Clint Trickett or not. Trickett left the game against Texas with a head injury and will be monitored throughout the week to see if he can be available Saturday.

Junior Paul Millard filled in for Trickett against Texas, completing 16 of his 32 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. If Trickett can't play, and with Ford Childress likely done for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, the only other healthy quarterback on the WVU roster would be walk-on freshman and Princeton, W.Va., native Storm McPherson.

"Injuries are starting to mount. We'll find out who's available on Tuesday and then who's available on Wednesday and gives you the best chance to win," Holgorsen said. "I was happy with how Paul went in and played. His ball security was obviously terrible and we need to work on that, but as far as running the offense and giving us a chance to win, I thought he performed pretty good."

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