Column by MICKEY FURFARI
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Head coach Dana Holgorsen hopes his West Virginia football team can prepare well enough in this short week to win Friday’s Big 12 game at Iowa State (6-5, 3-5).
The Mountaineers (5-5, 2-5) have been installed as a one-point favorite to snap their five-game losing streak and become bowl-eligible with a sixth victory.
They will make the trip to Ames, Iowa on Thanksgiving Day. This first meeting between the schools will start at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Holgorsen spent much of his weekly press conference talking about the Iowa State squad.
“Iowa State is a good football team,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything flashy about anything they do. You look at all their stats and nothing jumps out at you.
“It’s just a very solid team, very well-coached and effort-oriented team that’s solid on all three sides of the ball.
“They play with a whole bunch of effort, and they don’t beat themselves.”
Holgorsen emphasized that whatever the Cyclones do, they do it with just a whole bunch of effort.
He also noted that they don’t beat themselves – and you’re so easy to figure out—the more defensively when they’re going to play off of you.
“And they’re going to if things that we saw from Kansas State, TCU, and some other guys.”
He said when WVU puts the ball in play, it is going to have to be patient offensively. The biggest thing is to put the ball in play and make some (defensive) people move in open field.
“Offensively, they spread you out more a lot and use three different quarter backs, three different running backs, and several receivers,” the Mountaineer mentor continued.
“They use two or three running plays. Two or more passing plays. And they just try to not make any mistakes. And in the kicking game as well.”
Because of the short week, the Mountaineers will travel to Iowa on Thanksgiving Day and play at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
Holgorsen, who will be making his third trip there for games, said Ames is a tough place to play.
He said, “It will be a challenge. We gave a tremendous amount of effort against Oklahoma last week and we had a good chance to win.
“If we don’t get back that same effort, then we won’t win this game because it’s going to be a huge challenge.
“They’re already bowl eligible and play with great pride. It should be a fun weekend.”