In prepping for their first road trip of the season, Dana Holgorson feels as if Trevor Knight is extremely close to putting everything together in order to become the complete package as a dual-threat quarterback. He's just hoping that it happens the next week against Tulsa instead of against his team on Saturday evening.
"He can run. He's a talented guy. His completion percentage wasn't very good, but when I watched the tape, he's pretty good. He can throw. When you watched a guy in the past and said his completion percentage wasn't great, he couldn't throw. He's a talented quarterback, and he's going to get better and better. They're going to rely on him to make plays in the run and passing games. Hopefully he doesn't get things figured out this week."
Knight struggled in the passing game last Saturday night in Oklahoma's 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe. While he was impressive in the running game (103 yards on 13 carries), he only connected on 11 of 28 passing attempts for 86 yards. Nerves are being blamed for for Knight's bad start, because he did settle down to toss three touchdowns, and Holgorsen seems to have bought into that theory. However, Holgorsen also knows a thing or two about rough starts following West Virginia's 24-17 win over William & Mary last week.
"You can say what you want about the first half. The second quarter was bad. Defensively, the first quarter was good and the second quarter was bad. Offensively, the first quarter was bad and the second quarter was atrocious."
West Virginia trailed William & Mary 17-7 at the half but were able to come back in the second half to pull off a 24-17 win. Obviously both teams are still working out the kinks of having new players in their offensive systems at the start of the season. This puts more of an emphasis on the defenses going into Saturday's game, which is the complete opposite of last year's contest.
"Linebackers are the most important with this OU quarterback. You have to be disciplined when there are 85,000 people yelling at you and you just got knocked down. You have to have the ability to understand what we're trying to do defensively and execute your assignment.
Without mentioning names, there were a couple of guys last week that didn't execute their assignment. There were some specific times in the first half when they were able to dump the ball for a first down, or they didn't rush when they were supposed to rush, which would've gotten them to the quarterback before he could make the pass.
You can't play defense with 10 guys. You've got to be able to play defense with 11 guys and make sure you're executing your assignment when things are rough - that's what mental toughness is all about."
After traveling to Morgantown last season, the Sooners now have the advantage of being the home team and West Virginia the disadvantage of being the road team. Holgorsen knows that his team won't be perfect on Saturday night but they'll need to be at their best.
"To ask our guys, especially those who are inexperienced, to play a perfect game - that's impossible. It's how you react to the mistakes. It's how you react to having a holding call and being third-and-15. We've got inexperienced guys, but those guys need to grow up. They need to embrace the fact that they are being put in a challenging position, which I find to be opportunistic. To have the opportunity to play in front of thousands of fans and to be on national television and play against a very good opponent gives them all a chance to get better."
"It definitely is going to open the door for more things. We need to keep an eye on it that much more. We can't just keep an eye on the receivers, because the quarterback is quick and can run. We need to get a jam on the receiver and then look back and see what he (Knight) is doing. Our reaction time has to be fast." - Sophomore linebacker Isaiah Bruce on playing a duel threat quarterback
"What I've seen on film is a great attacking team. They have a great quarterback and great options. They're just a typical Oklahoma team ready to compete for a National Championship. Hopefully we can beat them." - Senior defensive lineman Shaq Rowell on the Sooners
"They move fast. They've always been a good team, because they move fast to the ball and they're very physical. We know in the back of our minds that we have to be more physical than them, give more effort and just go out there and play West Virginia football." - Junior running back Dreamius Smith on the Oklahoma defense
Media Notes And Quotes Via The Smoking Musket
Trio to miss rest of the season - Charleston Daily Mail
Coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday that linebacker Dozie Ezemma suffered a broken foot and leg and is out for the season
Ezemma suffers career-ending break - WV MetroNews
Holgorsen reveals fifth-year senior suffered broken leg and foot against William & Mary.
OU, WVU Each Have Own QB Shuffle - BGN
Oklahoma and West Virginia are battling the same offensive demons heading into the head-to-head clash, namely a quarterback lacking solid game experience.
Higher recognition motive for Sooner's return - Charleston Daily Mail
Trey Millard could be in the NFL today preparing for the first game of his rookie season.
Sooners defense has changed a lot since last year's shootout - Charleston Gazette
If West Virginia's football team is at all intimidated by having to go into Norman, Okla., Saturday night and play No. 16 Oklahoma, perhaps it would settle the Mountaineers down to simply watch the tape of last years game
Heartbreak lingers from 2012 shootout - WV MetroNews
The schemes have changed, but WVU defenders can't shake the bad memories of stops they didn't make against OU.
WVU defense shows signs of improvement - Daily Athenaeum
After last season's misfortunes on the defensive side of the ball, all eyes were on West Virginia's defense as it took the field for the first time in 2013 Saturday.
History: WVU can win - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
With the odds makers listing Oklahoma as a 19-point favorite for Saturday's 7 p.m. football game against West Virginia University, it's appears the Mountaineers have little chance of starting off the season 2-0.
Sooners still remember poor defensive effort against WVU - Norman Transcript via Register-Herald
Even though Oklahoma is coming off its first shutout in two and half seasons, it's still impossible to forget what happened nine months ago in Morgantown.
WVU notebook: Holgorsen readying players for OU mania - Charleston Gazette
West Virginia almost certainly could have used an extra week or so or another game or two to prepare before having to travel to Norman, Okla., to face No. 16 Oklahoma Saturday night in the Big 12 opener.
Sooners' home will be difficult venue for WVU - Register-Herald
"I've been there four or five times, and they're hard to beat at home," said Holgorsen, who coached against the Sooners while at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. "They're hard to beat on the road. They're a good football team, and they have been for the 15 years that (Stoops has) been there.
Young WVU gets early road test at Oklahoma - Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"Second week, 12th week, I don't know if it matters," he said. "The truth of the matter is I'd like to play them never because they're pretty good."
Holgorsen cracks on run-pass split: ‘That's embarrassing' - WV MetroNews
"I'd like to throw the ball a lot more than we did," the coach said. "Everybody says it's an ‘Air Raid' ... and we're talking about throwing the ball 30 percent of the time. That's embarrassing."
Early-season showdown; Stoops' new nickname - Charleston Gazette
If you're a Mountaineer fan wondering why WVU is playing Oklahoma at the beginning of September, it's understandable. Last season, West Virginia didn't play a conference game until a Sept. 29 contest against Baylor.
West Virginia escapes, now faces Oklahoma - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
There was only time for a quick sigh of relief after West Virginia escaped with a 24-17 come-from-behind victory in the season opener Saturday against William & Mary. In the next breath, it was on to Oklahoma.
West Virginia-Oklahoma Preview - AP via Yahoo! Sports
Last season's meeting between Oklahoma and West Virginia featured 99 points and more than 1,400 yards of total offense as players shattered school records on both sides.
Mountaineers prepare for hostile road game - Times West Virginian
But Oklahoma doesn't drop many decisions in what is one of those cathedrals to college football around America, coach Bob Stoops producing an 82-5 record at home over 15 years.
WVU looking ahead to Oklahoma - Times West Virginian
Oklahoma is a completely different team than the one that beat WVU, 50-49, last season.
HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU, Oklahoma more similar than what meets the eye - Times West Virginian
On the surface, people do not seem to compare what WVU's Dana Holgorsen does with what Oklahoma's Bob Stoops does offensively, yet they have plucked much of what's fruitful in their offenses from the same tree.
New look at QB for both teams - Inter-Mountain
WVU, Oklahoma to battle Saturday in Big 12 opener
Cook: Just Another Game - EerSports
Despite all the hoopla surround West Virginia's Week Two matchup against Oklahoma, Darwin Cook says he's looking at it as just another game.
W&M Win Not 'Just Another Game' For Sims - BGN
On paper, Saturday's win against William & Mary probably didn't seem like much to West Virginia running back Charles Sims.
Furfari: It's still wait-and-see on the Mountaineers - Register-Herald
It should be obvious to all concerned that a clear-cut judgment on this year's West Virginia football team is yet to be determined.
The Takeaway: One down, now on to OU - WV MetroNews
Against the backdrop of extended highlights, MetroNews sports staffers Justin Hoff and Allan Taylor discuss WVU's 24-17 win over William & Mary:
Oklahoma Football Opponent Watch - WVU Mountaineers - Crimson And Cream Machine
Charles Sims ran for 120 yards, and averaged 5.2 yards per carry, in his West Virginia debut
WATCH: WVU Coordinators Preview Oklahoma Match-Up - WVillustrated
Dawson, Patterson and DeForest
BGN Video: Offense and Specialists
O'Toole, Millard, Coaches Dawson & DeForest
WATCH: WVU Coordinators Preview Oklahoma Match-Up - WVillustrated
Dawson, Patterson and DeForest
WVSports.com TV: Player Interviews
Millard, Clarke & Eger
Football Player Quotes: Week 2 - WVU Athletics
Team members addressed the media on Tuesday evening.
CFB on FOX preview: WVU/OKLA - FOX Sports Video
Charles Davis looks ahead to Week 2 as the Mountaineers head to Norman to face the 16th-ranked Sooners.