Another Tuesday, another Dana Holgorsen press conference in the books.
During his weekly Tuesday press conference, Coach Holgorsen spoke, among other things, about the natural uptick in momentum following Saturday’s win.
“You know my feelings on neutral site games,” Holgorsen said. “Being able to win one of those gives us a lot of momentum to open up here at Mountaineer Field.”
The biggest question following Saturday’s game against Tennessee was the remaining depth at the linebacker position following an injury to Charlie Benton, who is now lost for the season with a knee injury.
“Injuries affect everything. We aren’t going to sit here and pout about it,” Holgorsen said. “It’s unfortunate, but Shea [Campbell] played well. Guys like Exree Loe and Josh Chandler, who are freshman, will have to grow up quick.”
As for one of the biggest talking points of the offseason — the return of the tight end to Morgantown — fans saw all they needed to in Charlotte. Trevon Wesco had the longest catch by a West Virginia Tight End since 2009. His 280-pound frame adds another huge dimension to the offense.
“It’s been something we’ve been working on for quite some time,” Holgorsen said. “I think Jovani [Haskins] needs to play more. He played 11 snaps, that needs to go up a little bit. Wesco’s catch impressed me.”
Holgorsen also touched on the team’s preparation for Youngstown State, saying the Mountaineers are taking it “just as serious” as every other game.
“FCS teams beat FBS teams every week,” Holgorsen added. “It happened last week. It’ll happen this week. We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen to us.” he said.
Fans with careful memories will recall that Youngstown State, which plays in one of the best FCS conferences, played West Virginia tight in 2016.
“They gave us everything we could handle two years ago,” Holgorsen said. “It was tied 14-14 at halftime and it was a challenge. They’re going to hand the ball off a good bit. It’s going to be a lot like what we saw last week with Tennessee. What they do defensively is as sound as it gets. They’re going to try and funnel everything through their safeties.”
The 2016 Penguins team eventually made a run to the FCS National Championship game, where it lost to FCS powerhouse James Madison.
Any season-opening win lends a team some confidence and momentum, but dominating an SEC team on a neutral field takes that momentum to the next level. This year’s matchup with Youngstown shouldn’t be as close as it was two years ago. Holgorsen has a experienced, mature group who will be focused on the task on hand.