It sure looked and now sounds like WVU had a blast at Texas Memorial Stadium Saturday night, which seems to be a not-so-secret secret to the team’s success. This is a team that, whether because it’s been on a roll for nine games and now 11 months or because it follows the lead of a gifted offense that’s seemingly mastered the handful of things it’s made to do, has a very high level of confidence.
The Mountaineers call it a swagger, which is fine, but probably limiting.
Swagger is an attitude. This thing the Mountaineers have, an almost stubborn self-certainty, is more like a tool that can be used in various situations, like to battle back a team and its crowd or prop up a shaky defense or special teams or whatever.
Saturday saw both because WVU did all the things WVU thought it would do, but also would have done more of them if not for Texas interfering a few times. It’s a weird things these guys practice and preach. They don’t get stopped or beaten. They just didn’t do what was supposed to happen and the other side ought to count its blessings.
My eyes widened when Holgorsen twice on separate days said Texas was basically lucky to sack Geno and force the second fumble because Geno was about to throw a long touchdown pass. Oh, the pressure got there and the defensive end made a nice play to hit Geno’s arm … but that arm was about to bludgeon Texas.
Maybe he’s right. Hell, he probably is. But it says something when a team just won’t concede defeat in small instances, when a coach says he thought a running back could go to Texas and get 200 yards, when a receiver says the crowd might have been a distraction … if the offense was one that required verbal communication.
Seems like a healthy attitude and a sharp tool for the Mountaineers and one they can go to when needed.
“We did a good job playing with a sense of urgency and creating our own energy on the sideline,” Holgorsen said. “Those are two things you must have when you play on the road. This week we need to play with the same sense of energy and the same energy on the sideline because it’s a road game and not just because of who we’re playing.”