Holgorsen said he thought his team looked "a little disinterested" during its week two victory over Liberty, but after a bye week and having the rival Terps on their minds for the last 14 days, the Mountaineers came out of the gates with guns blazing today.
After a lackluster first two games of the season, Holgorsen said he and the coaching staff challenged running back Rushel Shell to be more physical and play the bruisning brand of football he is capable of. He did that and more against the Terrapins, racking up 110 total yards and finding the end zone on the ground for the second time this season.
Leading up to this week's game, Holgorsen admitted his team's 37-0 loss to Maryland in 2013 was one of the worst defeats he has ever suffered. There was a gleam in his eye when he was asked if his team got a measure of revenge today. "We rectified that in the first half," he said with a wink.
West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard took some big hits early on against Maryland, but Holgorsen said he was never all that worried about his quarterback being able to continue on in the game. He said Howard's toughness and durability are never in question, and if anything, the hits he takes only motivate him to play harder.
The Mountaineer defense forced four turnovers today, including an interception by cornerback Terrell Chestnut. Holgorsen praised the redshirt senior's work ethic and talked about how he embodies what Mountaineer football is all about.
With the non-conference portion of their schedule in the books, West Virginia will now run a nine-game gauntlet in the Big 12 where it will find out just how good it really is. The tough stretch ahead starts with a trip to Norman to play the Sooners next week.