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
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
”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
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
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
”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.”