Holgorsen insists No. 22 WVU focused only on USF

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen insists the Mountaineers are

focused on this week’s trip to Florida, not a possible one in

January.

No. 22 West Virginia (8-3, 4-2 Big East) must beat South Florida

on Thursday night, then get a win by Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2) over

Connecticut on Saturday to forge a three-way tie for the conference

title with Louisville (7-5, 5-2).

If that happens, the berth would go to the team with the highest

ranking in the final BCS standings next Sunday. West Virginia is

currently 23rd.

”What this team is going to be remembered for is what happens

this week at South Florida,” Holgorsen said Monday. ”Right now

this is the only game on the schedule, and we’ve got to give it

everything we’ve got.”

If West Virginia loses and Cincinnati wins, the Bearcats would

earn the BCS bid. A Cincinnati loss would give the BCS bid to the

Cardinals no matter what West Virginia does because Louisville beat

the Mountaineers during the regular season.

The Atlantic Coast Conference championship game between Clemson

and Virginia Tech will determine one representative in the Jan. 4

Orange Bowl. There’s been reports the winner will face the Big East

champ.

Up until Thursday, Holgorsen only wants his players’ attention

exclusively on the Bulls (5-6, 1-5), saying he needs ”total

effort, total focus and total energy.”

”That’s the only thing that counts,” he said. ”Once that’s

over, it’s out of our control. I’m sure everybody is going to be

glued to the TV set if we’re able to get a victory Thursday night.

But if we can’t take care of business and get the victory Thursday

night, it really doesn’t matter what happens on Saturday.”

West Virginia has been in must-win mode ever since losing to

Louisville at home on Nov. 5. A win at Cincinnati on Nov. 12 was

followed by a 21-20 comeback win over Pittsburgh on Friday night to

set up the final week of drama.

”The closer you get to winning a conference championship, the

bigger the game gets,” Holgorsen said.

Things weren’t looking good after the Mountaineers fell behind

Pittsburgh 20-7 early in the third quarter of the Backyard

Brawl.

That’s when 348-pound redshirt freshman Quinton Spain and

300-pound sophomore Curtis Feigt were inserted on the offensive

line and West Virginia responded with two touchdown drives.

On defense, the Mountaineers registered six of their 10 sacks of

Tino Sunseri in the fourth quarter and held Pittsburgh out of the

end zone after halftime.

Spain and Feigt will start against South Florida, which has lost

six of its last seven games but can become bowl eligible with a

win.

”It’s a one-game season and we’ve got to make sure we come out

focused and ready to play,” West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith

said. ”We can’t have any letdowns.”