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Holgorsen: Blocking, tackling need work

WVU travels to Maryland on Saturday after pulling away from Norfolk State

September 12, 2011
By John Wickline, Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

The West Virginia University football coaches, after viewing the previous game's film, typically award an offensive, defensive and special teams champion.

After viewing the film from Saturday's 55-12 win over Norfolk State, head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff did not name an offensive champion.

"We couldn't find anybody we felt played good enough to get the award," he said. "Film (doesn't) lie."

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
West Virginia University wide receiver Stedman Bailey (3) tries to twist his way out of the grasp of a Norfolk State defender after making a catch in Saturday’s 55-12 victory.

Holgorsen said his team has to improve upon the fundamentals of blocking and tackling prior to its next game, one in which the Mountaineers take to the road for the first time. WVU, 2-0 and ranked 18th in the AP poll and 20th in the coaches poll, travels to Maryland, 1-0, for a noon kick-off. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

"It still has everything to do with blocking and tackling," Holgorsen said Sunday night. "We probably took a step in the backward direction when it comes to tackling."

The coach said he believes the team is headed in the right direction, adding that the effort is there.

"But you have to finish, and we're not very good at that," he said. "We're trying as coaches, and we're trying as players. But we're not there yet. Some teams gel quicker than others."

Holgorsen said quarterback Geno Smith, who is coming off a career-best 371 yards passing, "gets it and does a good job with it.

"But the rest of the players are kind of lethargic about it," he said.

Holgorsen said he has been pleased that the Mountaineers have yet to be flagged for any pre-snap penalties, though he was not happy with the two penalties Saturday - a clipping call and a late hit - that happened on special teams.

"We had seven penalties, and four of them were holding offensively," he said. "That's all technique stuff, which can be fixed."



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