Camp Holgorsen: WVU Scrimmages For First Time

West Virginia had its first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday in Milan Puskar Stadium, and it seemed the heat caused some trouble for the Mountaineers.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen said the coaching staff was able to expose a few players who were not necessarily handling the heat and focusing as well as they should be.

"That's why you do that to where you can film it and figure out the guys that are mentally weak and the guys who will push through adversity to the point that we can still continue to function when it's hot and we're tired," the first-year head coach said.

The Mountaineers had an 80-play scrimmage, and the reps were split nearly down the middle between the first and second-team players, Holgorsen said.

Among the bad there were some standout performances. Holgorsen singled out offensive lineman Jeff Braun, wide receiver Stedman Bailey, linebacker Najee Goode and safety Terence Garvin.

"The guys that have been there and done that are usually able to handle situations like this," the coach said.

The offense had success driving the ball in the middle of the field, Holgorsen said, but struggled in the red zone.

"We've got to work on everything. We're never satisfied, and Coach Holgorsen puts that in our mind that once you think you've got it, you don't," said WVU quarterback Geno Smith.

Holgorsen said the red zone issues are the reasons the team practices and has more to go before it takes on Marshall on Sept. 4. The coach said his offense's ability to move the ball down the field is a positive step.

"We didn't go out with the intention of not scoring," Smith said. "The defense stepped up and made some plays. They held their own down in the red zone."

  • Goode has been moving around at the linebacker position, because the staff would like to use his speed and athleticism a bit more for blitzing purposes.

    In his place in the middle of the defense on Saturday was sophomore Doug Rigg.

    "Based on the other guys' strengths and weaknesses, we can move (Goode) to fit what's best for the team," Holgorsen said.

  • School starts on Monday, which means freshmen will have their first taste of a full-on semester schedule.

    Smith, who has already gone through two fall semesters himself, said it won't be any different for him but will be for the newcomers.

    "We've got to balance school and football and be a true student-athlete," Smith said. "Most of the new guys have been here for the summer, so they've got their feet wet."

  • WVU had all four of its quarterbacks in full pads on Saturday – including newcomers Ian Loy and Michael Burchett. But, Holgorsen said he is more focused on what his top two signal callers – Smith and backup Paul Millard – did in the scrimmage.

    "They're both right-handed, but that's all I can tell you right now," the coach said.

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