November 2, 2013

Holgorsen's Take: TCU

In a must win situation for both teams, West Virginia had just watched a ten-point fourth quarter lead evaporate to TCU and the game was destined for overtime.

At the time it would have been easy for the Mountaineers to revert to some of the issues that have plagued them over the past couple weeks in critical situations, but head coach Dana Holgorsen was impressed with the way his unit responded in West Virginia's 30-27 win.

"We found a way to get the win which was obviously big. I was proud of the way our guys didn't quit. The whole sideline could have said 'here we go again' but they didn't do that," he said. "We went out there and played ball and got it done."

It's the second straight time that the two teams have went into overtime after last season's 39-38 win by the Horned Frogs in Morgantown after the Mountaineers gave up a late touchdown to tie the game.

"That game was pretty similar to what it was last year. Two teams that really needed a win," he said. "Last year we were in that situation, we needed a win - they needed a win," he said. "They found a way to win at the end. So I was real proud of the guys as far as understanding what the situation was all about."

The win puts the Mountaineers at 4-5, 2-4 in Big 12 Conference play leaving three games on the schedule and two standing between West Virginia and its 12th consecutive bowl game. But it wasn't easy or pretty for that matter.

West Virginia fell behind 17-3 in the first half before the coaching staff challenged both the offense and defense to change their destiny and potentially alter the course of the season.There wasn't much that changed on the offensive side, outside of a few plays, but the noticeable difference was the effort up front, Holgorsen said.

"We just challenged them. Everything we do starts up front," he said.

The Mountaineers knew they would be challenged by the TCU defense, especially their secondary, and that held true throughout the game with the Horned Frogs picking off two passes, but the head man thought that his quarterback Clint Trickett played much better than he did a week ago coupled with the wide receivers making plays while they were covered.

Defensively, the Mountaineers forced four turnovers including one immediately following a Trickett interception that set up TCU at the West Virginia three yard line with a chance to extend the lead to 24-10. The Mountaineers also did a good job getting pressure on the quarterback and making things difficult for Casey Pachall who was making his first start since the second game of the season.

In overtime, West Virginia forced a seven yard loss on the first play then a personal foul backed up the Horned Frogs before an incomplete pass. The end result was a 63-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide left, giving Josh Lambert the opportunity to end the game in their half of the overtime.

"We came out in the third quarter and created some turnovers," Holgorsen said.
West Virginia will host Texas next week in a primetime 7 p.m. matchup at Mountaineer Field.

"It's good to get a win, we needed one. We haven't won two games in a row all year. We got the win now we've got to try to figure out a way to get the next one," he said.


Josh Lambert connected on three field goals including the game winning 35-yard boot.

"He's done it in practice, he's a good player," Holgorsen said.

Charles Sims carried the load for the Mountaineers rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown, while catching another.

"Charles is a special player," the head coach said.

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