“Last week, you talked about the momentum from your comeback carrying over. Can you keep it from carrying over this week?” a reporter asked Dana Holgorsen during his weekly press conference. The question is one the head coach has to challenge his team.
Two weeks ago, the team saw a hangover effect from losing a close, contested battle against TCU. David Sills was interfered with but a referee threw the flag on the Mountaineers. That frustration resulted in the ‘Eers sleepwalking through three quarters of football against the Red Raiders. Finally in the fourth quarter they woke up and scored at will to win 46-35.
That momentum carried over this week, as for three quarters, West Virginia had their way with the Baylor Bears. At the end of the third quarter, West Virginia had totaled 480 yards of offense. The defense was just as dominant as they held the Bears to negative 6 yards rushing through three quarters.
The fourth quarter against Texas Tech was the turning point for the ‘Eers and it almost was the turning point for the Bears. Matt Rhule inserted Charlie Brewer and he helped generate 284 yards of offense as he erased a 38-13 deficit and turned it into a 38-36 ballgame.
That was a good learning experience for us. Here’s the good news, we’ve been on both sides of it and we’re 2-0. When you’re on either side of it, it’s real easy to be 0-2. Being down after three quarters, a lot of teams will say that’s enough and lose. Being up and having it hand and seeing it change so quickly, a lot of teams I’ve been on say ‘this is too hard and just let them score’ and you lose that
The coach is right. Many times human nature takes over and guys quit. It is hard to keep that mentality when momentum shifts. So far West Virginia has been able to steady the ship after large shifts in momentum.