MORGANTOWN - Dana Holgorsen said he doesn't understand what was so special about his West Virginia University football team traveling to Austin and knocking off highly touted Texas, a win that prompted students and others to set fire to the streets of Morgantown.
His message to those who think victories like that are to be considered out of the ordinary: "Get used to it."
As the Mountaineers were returning home from the victory, police and firefighters were responding to about 35 fires in Morgantown, and those responders were pelted with rocks and bottles, according to police reports. These arson-related activities have become far too common in recent years in Morgantown, and University president James Clements has called the behavior "unacceptable, dangerous and inexcusable." It also prompted city leaders to call for a $20 per semester fee for students that would be used to hire additional officers and firefighters to combat this trend.
Still, Holgorsen said those events are out of his control, and he is not going to tone down the team in an effort to get Morgantown from turning into Pompeii.
"If it had anything to do with a special win, I would encourage everybody involved to get used to wins like that," the coach said during Tuesday's weekly press conference. "Was that a big win for the program? Yes. Was it good for recruiting? Absolutely. Does it count as a championship? No. It counts as one win. It counts as the same win as Baylor did, which is the same win that Marshall was, minus the conference standings. There is no difference in the Texas win and the Baylor win."
WVU, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12 Conference, will go in search of another conference victory at 3:30 p.m. Saturday when it travels to Lubbock, Texas, to take on Texas Tech (4-1, 1-1).
The game, which will be televised regionally by ABC, is just another stop along the way toward a goal of winning the Big 12 Conference title, Holgorsen said.
"Our goal is to win the conference, and we're 2-0," Holgorsen said. "Those (first) two wins are equal. If we're fortunate to prepare hard, get our guys ready to play, travel smart and safely, and go beat Texas Tech, that's going to count as a win, too."
The game will serve as the Texas Tech Homecoming. With the Red Raiders are coming off their first loss of the season,
Holgorsen expects 60,000 rowdy Texas Tech fans chomping to see that loss avenged.
"They'll be ready to go," he said. "They'll be fired up about playing. From their fans' standpoint, there will be some 60,000 people that will be anxious to get a crack at the Mountaineers."