On Campus: Dana Holgorsen talks Alabama prep, fall camp and more
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Editor's note: "On Campus" is a new daily file that is designed to take you around the country with our regional sites, providing current news, practice notes, features and more. It will be updated multiple times each day with new stories.
MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA
FOX Sports Southwest's David Ubben did a Q&A with WVU coach Dana Holgorsen, talking Alabama prep, fall camp and more.
When was the first time you put in Alabama game tape?
DH: As a staff, we're just getting into that right now. We've caught our kids going into the film rooms watching it over the course of the last month. It's been on their mind more than it's been on our mind as coaches. We've got to develop depth charts, implement our schemes offensively, defensively, special teams prior to when we can focus on an opponent. I don't think anybody starts camp and starts focusing on one opponent. Throughout the course of the year, you only get one week to prepare for an opponent, so I think you can overkill that if you're not careful. We finished camp and focused on all three sides of the ball and this week started school and started slowly implementing what our game plans are going to be.
How many times do you think you've watched the Sugar Bowl from last year?
DH: Well, they played 13 opponents last year so we've watched each and every one of those and we'll obviously be doing what everybody else will do, which is try to figure out what our plans going to be on all three sides of the ball, not just offensively, match up some opponents to get some idea of how people attack specific schemes and sides of the ball. Do we focus on some games more than others? Yes, but whether that's the Sugar Bowl or that's Game 1, that's between me and my staff.
FOX Sports West's Rahshaun Haylock writes that USC freshman Adoree' Jackson is creating some buzz in fall camp by getting reps on both sides of the ball.
Playing both sides of the ball is no easy task, especially for a freshman, but Jackson has taken on the challenge by diving into his playbook and making some sacrifices.
"It's not really that tough if you sit down and focus on trying to learn it and want to get better and want to know it," Jackson said. "You need to want to know it and that's what I've been doing -- studying and not getting distracted with the social media on Twitter or Instagram. I've just been focusing on my playbook and trying to get better day by day."
If there's been one surprise in camp among the freshmen, it's been Jackson's ability to juggle both sides of the ball. And it's not lost on head coach Steve Sarkisian.
"For Adoree' to be able to do both sides of the ball the way he has and not just physically handle it but mentally handle it has been really impressive to me," the first-year USC head coach said.
The bad news for the defending national champion Seminoles: the loss of running backs Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr. to the NFL. The good: They’ve still got senior Karlos Williams, who may turn out to be a dark-horse Heisman contender.
It's impossible to predict Williams' numbers for the upcoming 2014 season, but if he matches his per carry average of a season ago and gets a similar workload to that of Freeman, he would surpass 1,400 yards on the ground.
"He's 6-foot-1, 232 pounds, runs a 10.5 100-meters -- can catch, can run, is very natural with the ball in his hand," (head coach Jimbo) Fisher said. "He can change numbers on a scoreboard."
Only one running back has won the Heisman since 2000 -- Mark Ingram in 2009. That season, Ingram rushed 271 times for 1,658 yards and 16 TDs.
Williams doesn't enter the season on any top 10 "Heisman hopeful" lists and with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner as a teammate, he's easily overlooked. But even quarterback Jameis Winston can attest to Williams' talent.
"Karlos is playing with a purpose," Winston said of his running back. "He's got a chip on his shoulder. ... And he knows this year could be his last."
FOX Sports Arizona's Tyler Lockman takes an in-depth look at Arizona State's offense, which the Sun Devils think could be among the best in the country.
"We could be the best that we've ever been," quarterback Taylor Kelly said. "Our goal is to be the No. 1 offense in the country."
ASU plugged all its holes quickly, and in some cases may have even upgraded. Factor in a returning quarterback and receiver from last year's All-Pac-12 Second Team and it's not hard to see why many expect this year's ASU offense to be perhaps the best in school history, or at least the highest-scoring.
"It always takes its own shape," offensive coordinator Mike Norvell said. "I think every offense is going to form its own identity. Right now we're working on continuing to execute better. Once we get to that point, I know they're going to be physical, I know they're going to play hard, I know there are going to be guys of great character, but I'm ready to see it on Thursday night for the first one. I'm ready to see it."
With the season opener a week away, here is a position-by-position look at the ASU offense:
FOX Sports Carolinas' Lauren Brownlow takes a look at the Tar Heels' QB battle, where there are two good candidates but no clear winner yet.
So now, it's no given that Trubisky will be the guy. Just as it's no given that Williams, last year's incumbent -- one of the few ACC starting quarterbacks returning this season -- gets the job, either.
In the spring, Trubisky was confident. He said head coach Larry Fedora and the offensive staff nearly pulled Trubisky's redshirt, implying that he would have unseated Williams even midseason last year if not for that redshirt (and Williams' play).
He thought, in the spring, that the job was his. He may still very well think that, but if he does, he's not saying.
"You've just got to be ready, no matter what. Whoever's out there first, anything can happen. Someone could go down. Coach could make a switch. So you've just got to prepare yourself like it's going to be a starter, and everyone in our quarterback room is doing that," Trubisky said.