MORGANTOWN - Despite surrendering 63 points to Baylor last Saturday, West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen said his defense didn't play nearly as bad as he originally thought.
"The front seven played well," Holgorsen said. "They were holding Baylor to two yards per carry. That's pretty good considering Baylor came in averaging over 250 yards of rushing."
Holgorsen said it will be up to the coaching staff to eliminate those mistakes that resulted in Baylor's big plays. He said that's the way of life in college football.
Photo courtesy of WVU
Will Clarke and the rest of West Virginia’s defense will look to slow down Texas on Saturday.
"We can't call somebody and ask for a trade or try to pick someone up off waivers," he said. "We have to get them better. The freshmen have to continue to improve, and it's our job as coaches to get the young guys more experience in practice so we can trust them a little bit more during the game."
Holgorsen said the defensive players watched the film from the Baylor game on Sunday, learned of their mistakes and then were told to forget about it. He said it is time to prepare for Texas, a team which will be WVU's first road game in the Big 12 Conference. The two top 10 teams tangle at 7 p.m. Saturday in Austin.
Both teams come into the game with 4-0 overall records.
The coach said he will not allow his players to be hanging their heads, and the staff will work toward restoring that confident swagger.
"There are different ways of developing confidence," Holgorsen said. "One is by being successful. These guys back in the secondary have been successful in the past, but others are true freshmen.
"The other way is to 'man up' a little bit and work hard," he added.
Holgorsen said he will be applying life lessons to the football field in an effort to improve his defense.
"One of the things we have told every one of our players is that no one is going to give you anything. You have to earn everything," he said. "If you don't like the result, you have to work harder to change it. That just isn't a reality in football. That is the reality in life the last time I checked."