West Virginia (4-7, 2-6) won't be going to a bowl game regardless of the outcome against Iowa State this Saturday, but there is a still a lot to play for according to head coach Dana Holgorsen.
First and foremost Saturday will serve as the Mountaineers senior day and for some of those players it will be the final time they ever play football but it will be the last time that any of them play at Mountaineer Field.
"We have to play for the seniors. About 14 of them that have given a lot to this program and have been through a lot of change. Their attitude has been phenomenal," he said.
"We're going to be as motivated to play as anyone else in the country," he added.
Holgorsen also said that this game is for pride in the program as even though the Mountaineers have had a disappointing sophomore campaign in the Big 12 Conference; games this time of the year simply come down to who wants to go out and play the hardest.
Holgorsen said that the coaching staff spent last week as a developmental period in lieu of the additional bowl game practices and was able to get many of the young guys quality snaps on the football field. And while there is no substitution for a bowl game, Holgorsen said that you can work out some of the program development issues leading up to finals.
The coaching staff also used the bye week for an opportunity to hit the road and recruit.
The head coach said that junior Clint Trickett has been cleared after missing the Kansas game with a concussion, although the starting quarterback has yet to be determined. A decision is not expected until later in the week when the coaching staff has a chance to evaluate the signal callers.
A list of other players including cornerback Daryl Worley, safety Darwin Cook, offensive tackle Curtis Feigt and outside linebacker Isaiah Bruce all remain questionable for this weekend.
Holgorsen said that this weekend will not be used as a try out for younger players despite the fact that the Mountaineers will not be playing for a bowl game. Whoever gets into the game will be based solely on who earns it in practice.
"It wouldn't be fair to the seniors, fair to the fan base to not put our best foot forward to try to win the game," he said.
The game kicks off at 4 p.m.
Holgorsen said that the football program is relatively young and still adjusting to life in the Big 12 Conference, and although many of the experiences are new, the coaches and athletic department continue to evaluate everything to make the program better moving forward. He also shouldered the blame for the team's lackadaisical performance against Kansas and said that they have addressed many of those issues and are expecting to play much better this weekend.