Dana Holgorsen said after over eight months of waiting he was more than ready to get his team out on the field. His players appeared pretty excited too as they dominated Missouri for the better part of Saturday's opening game. Outside of the second quarter Holgorsen seemed pleased about his team's overall performance. Holgorsen discussed the a shaky end to the first half after William Crest and Chris Chugunov committed two turnovers after replacing an injured Skyler Howard.
"I wasn't real happy with the way the second quarter ended," Holgorsen said. "Guys are going to go down and guys need to step in and do their job. I thought (Crest and Chugunov) didn't go in there and do their job."
Holgorsen referenced the play of Colton McKivitz, who had to replace Yodny Cajuste after an apparent knee injury, as an example of how backups need to step in and fill a void when a starter goes down. Holgorsen then added he did not know the extent of Cajuste's injury. Holgorsen did however update Howard's injury.
"(Howard) got a shot in the ribs," Holgorsen said. "He's sore. There's nothing broke. He played through it and he's a tough kid. I don't think anybody in their right mind would question his toughness. It hurts to breathe (when taking a shot to the ribs). That's an injury guys don't typically come back from the game with and he did."
Howard was able to come back in and perform well but because the Mountaineers were so successful running the ball he didn't need to do a ton of hard labor in the second half. Holgorsen talked about the gameplan to come out and run on Missouri's talented front seven.
(Missouri) was going to keep a lid on it," Holgorsen said. "They knew our guys could go down the field and make plays and they backed their corners and safeties up. They said 'our d-line is better than your o-line."
That proved to be untrue though as the Mountaineers were successful in both running the ball and protecting Howard all day. The offense rushed for 241 yards and two touchdowns while not allowing a single sack against Missouri's stout defense. While the offensive line was a big part of the Mountaineers success, Holgorsen acknowledged he was happy with how newcomer Justin Crawford performed.
"He's a good player," Holgorsen said. "I think he's just getting started too. He's competitive, he's shifty and he's got great ball skills," You didn't see a lot of the passing game stuff that he brings to the table. He's a threat in the passing game."
Holgorsen also said he was happy with the tough running of Elijah Wellman and implied that freshman running back Kennedy McKoy will carry more of the workload as the season progresses. Holgorsen seemed pleased with this offense for the most part but he did speak about the need to improve in the redzone as West Virginia settled for four field goals.
"We really didn't have many of the throws because (Missouri) was still lose," Holgorsen said. "They are pretty good up front and when they put in extra defensive linemen they're extra good up front. We knew that was going to be an issue and we got down there five times and we punched one for a touchdown. Four of the five were field goals, that's not good. We're sitting here looking at 26 points and as we have talked about a lot 26 was good enough today but there are going to be times when those field goals need to be touchdowns."null