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September 28, 2013
It was a tough week for the West Virginia football program after last weekend's matchup with Maryland, but the Mountaineers showed their resiliency Saturday bouncing back to defeat No. 11 Oklahoma State 30-21 inside Milan Puskar Stadium.
Head Coach Dana Holgorsen said that there were plenty of emotions over the past week ranging from embarrassment to frustration after being shut out by border rival Maryland, but the players stayed the course over the week and put together the best week of practice they have had all season.
And with Clint Trickett making his first start, representing the third different quarterback to start for West Virginia this season, the Mountaineers did just enough to hold off the pre-season Big 12 Conference favorite and walk out with the upset victory.
"Really proud of our team, coaches and players of just staying the course and getting to the point where we are playing ball. You can look at stats, but bottom line is our team bought into just getting out there and playing ball," he said.
The West Virginia offense rolled up 388 total yards behind Trickett and the Florida State transfer proved to be what Holgorsen had expected out of him by keeping plays alive with his feet and gutting out injuries to finish the game behind center.
"He's tough, he's smart, he doesn't get rattled, he goes out there and plays ball," he said.
However, Holgorsen wasn't pleased with the communication between him and his quarterback as was apparent during several of what he called "temper tantrums," on the sideline between the two.
"He doesn't operate the offense. He's just been getting better, better and better. The operations for me on the sidelines were incredibly frustrating. Communication needs to get better," he said.
Many of the deep throws were a result of what the Cowboys were giving the West Virginia offense, but overall the unit looked much more in sync than a week ago. Prior to the game Holgorsen announced that there were 21 changes to the depth chart, with most of those coming on the offensive side.
"Offensively we're going to keep playing, we're going to keep getting better," he said.
The head coach also tipped his cap to the West Virginia defense, which forced three turnovers and held an explosive offense in check and out of the end zone, including a critical fourth quarter stand.
Holgorsen complimented the fan base on the atmosphere at the game.
"Thought they did a phenomenal job. A lot of talk about people giving up on this team and we're going to get blown out. But didn't sense that out there on Mountaineer Field. The fans were as good as I've seen them," he said.
West Virginia will travel to Baylor next weekend.
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