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Musings from the Mountains: WVU Football Notebook: Iowa State

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West Virginia is looking to recapture its physical edge.

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Dana Holgorsen was presented with an interesting question earlier this week.

In light of former Iowa State quarterback Joel Lanning switching over to linebacker and becoming one of the leaders of the Cyclones defense, the Mountaineers head man was asked if he had any previous quarterbacks that could step in and do the same.

“It wouldn’t be Clint (Trickett),” he joked. “He wouldn’t be number one.”

Holgorsen would go on to say that he hasn’t had many during his career and it requires a certain mentality to make the switch to the defensive side of the ball calling Lanning a “different breed.”

However, when asked to pick one of his quarterbacks that has fit that bill last year’s starter Skyler Howard came to mind for Holgorsen as a possible candidate.

“He was tough, physical, smart and can run,” he said.

This season Lanning has played 292 snaps with 232 on defense, 27 on offense and 33 on special teams resulting in 41 tackles and a sack to go with 76 rushing yards and 25 passing yards.

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A week after saying his team simply wasn’t as physical as Oklahoma State, Holgorsen didn’t hesitate to place the blame on his shoulders.

From blocking, to tackling to running hard, West Virginia has to recapture the physical element that has defined the program over the past couple seasons.

But how does a team go about that eight games into a 12-game schedule? Well, to put it short there is no easy fix.

It’s going to take some rolling up of the sleeves and good old fashioned work.

“We have to get out there and work hard,” he said.

While it was evident up front and in the run game, Holgorsen said it didn’t stop there as he didn’t see the right mentality in almost all facets of his team.

It’s hard to pin-point the reason why because it certainly isn’t an issue where the coaches haven’t discussed the same things as they have over the past couple of years. So it comes down to correcting those mistakes moving forward.

“If you can’t be determined to get out there and coach harder and play harder and practice harder, then why do you do it?” Holgorsen said.

West Virginia was simply beat by Oklahoma State, but the Mountaineers can’t let the Cowboys beat them twice.

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