West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen has a pretty good track record against FCS oppnents during his tenure, owning a record of 5-0 that includes four victories three or more scores. He discussed the importance of West Virginia replicating the energy they displayed against Missouri in week one and said he has made his team aware of the multiple upsets that occurred across the country between FCS and FBS programs. Holgorsen also made note of Youngstown State's track record of playing Power 5 programs tough, as they defeated Pitt in 2012 and almost beat them again a season ago.
"Youngstown State is a good football team," Holgorsen said. "Everybody understands just being in this part of the country what Youngstown has done. It's a winning tradition, they have had four national championships, they have had a lot of good players. Their players walk by national championship trophies and conference championship trophies every single day. They have really good players who are really sound."
After outlining the strength of Youngstown State's program Holgorsen dived into what the Penguins do schematically, noting that on offense it will be a night and day difference from the up-tempo, no huddle spread offense that Missouri ran last Saturday. Holgorsen also made note of how sound the Penguins play defensively, crediting former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini as a big reason why.
Holgorsen didn't exclusively discuss the upcoming week, as he took time to reflect on last week's 26-11 victory over Missouri. The first thing Holgorsen mentioned was how happy he was with his specialists, specifically Billy Kinney and Mike Molina. He also mentioned that he was pleased with returnmen Gary Jennings and Shelton Gibson but noted that the punt return unit needs to do a better job of blocking for Jennings.
He also addressed getting Adam Pankey back from a one-game suspension and quarterback Skyler Howard's bruised ribs. Holgorsen said that redshirt-senior Tony Matteo had earned the right to start this week but both he and Pakey would play. On the subject of Howard, Holgorsen revealed that the quarterback is still showing some minor discomfort, but he hasn't been limited in what he can do and that he expects the pain to subside in the coming days.
"(Skyler) is not limited at all," Holgorsen said. "It was a non-contact thing and its just painful. There are no cracked ribs, it's just a little bit of a shift, which meand it hurts to breathe and it hurts to sneeze and it hurts to throw and run. Over time it's going to go away but it doesn't limit anything"
Defensively Holgorsen praised Jeremy Tyler, Christian Brown and Justin Arndt for their efforts, saying it was the best Tyler and Brown have played since they arrived at WVU and also making note that Arndt will still start despite the return of Xavier Preston, who was also serving a one-game suspension. Redshirt freshman Adam Shuler also caught Holgorsen's eye.
"I was really happy with (Shuler)," Holgorsen said. "I thought Christian Brown played really well up front, probably the best he has played since he's been here. One guy that we had our eye on was Shuler. There were 30 guys who dressed for the first time so we were anxious to see how all of those kids demeanor was and some of them were better than others. Shuler was great. He got out there and played fast and physical. He played with energy and he looked good. He'll play more. "null