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November 12, 2012
West Virginia (5-4, 2-4) will have an opportunity to snap a four-game skid in on a national stage this week as the Mountaineers prepare to host No. 12/13 Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1) in a long-awaited matchup.
Head Coach Dana Holgorsen believes that the team remains motivated and once again expressed his satisfaction over the way that the Mountaineers prepared last week and played with effort in the game.
"I expect it to be the same this week," he said.
The goal of a head coach every week is to prepare their team to be ready to play, and Holgorsen said the Mountaineers still have plenty to fight for including improvement and bowl eligibility.
Billed as the potential game that would decide the Big 12 Conference Championship race before the season, the game has lost a little luster from a national perspective, but Holgorsen believes that the fan base in Morgantown is excited to see the matchup.
"They've had it circled for a while just because OU is such an historic program and the success they've had over the years," he said.
Unlike some of the teams in previous weeks that relied on dropping six to seven into zone coverage, Oklahoma, due to their overall athleticism, will play a lot of man-to-man on the outsides giving West Virginia one-on-one matchups across the field.
"And we've got to do a good job winning those," he said.
Holgorsen has faced Oklahoma in the past as an assistant coach, but he doesn't believe that those experiences will create any type of advantage heading into this week especially due to some of the changes to the Sooners defensive unit.
Preparation for the 7 p.m. kickoff will remain the same and while there have been some minor tweaks to some of the things the Mountaineers do from a mentality standpoint to motivate players, for the most part the routine has remained consistent.
"We've only got a few practices in the week, you've got to get the scout team guys coached up and get the looks," he said.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Mountaineers continue to search for players that will play the game with effort and show that they care about what is going on out on the field.
"Much like what we did on defense," he said.
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