West Virginia Football: C'mon Holgorsen! Or, the Intelligence of the Average Fan
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Overheard after Ohio State won the coin toss and elected to defer before the home opener against Akron—
"C'mon, Fickel! Take the ball!"
At least it took West Virginia fans at 14:02 remaining in the first quarter against Marshall before—
"C'mon, Holgorsen! Jeez Louise!" (the nice interpretation)
And, suddenly, Bowden, Cignetti, Nehlen, Stewart, and even Rich Rodriguez, the pariah of Almost Heaven, became smarter, better coaches.
Overheard behind me after LSU defensive back Tyrann Matheiu intercepted a risky Geno Smith pass deep in WVU territory:
"C'mon, Holgorsen! Run the draw! Nehlen would have run the draw!"
Back up fifteen years, the same type of fan, albeit younger—
"C'mon, Nehlen! It's 3rd and 16! Not the draw! Open it up!"
Sitting behind me at the LSU game were men, highly successful in their professions, joining in a chorus of—
"C'mon, Holgorsen! Do X and don't do Y"
How would any of the men react to coaches standing in his office yelling:
"C'mon, Jones! Get that spreadsheet going faster! We gotta go faster!"
"C'mon, Johnson! Billable hours! Get off Facebook! Billable hours!"
More examples of actual words of encouragement emitting from the men three rows behind me.
After a two yard gain on the ground—"C'mon, Holgorsen! Throw on first down! Mullen would have thrown on first down!"
West Virginia running back Andrew Buie is stopped at the line of scrimmage on 2nd and 5: "C'mon, Holgorsen! He's too small! Put in Alston!"
Big WVU running back Shawne Alston fails to convert a 3rd and 4: "C'mon Holgorsen! Speed! We need speed!"
Slot receiver Tavon Austin catches a Geno Smith pass out flat on the line of scrimmage, behind Ivan McCartney and Steadman Bailey—"C'mon Holgorsen! Not the bubble screen! We wear out the bubble screen!"
Back Andrew Buie is stopped at the line again—"C'mon Holgorsen! Call the screens! Spread the field! Call the screens!"
Geno Smith hits Tavon Austin on a hook route—"C'mon, Holgorsen! Downfield! Go downfield!"
An LSU corner, unnamed in this example, just barely breaks up a pass thrown to Ivan McCartney on a go route—"C'mon, Holgorsen! McCartney was covered like a tarp! Throw it away!"
How would you best describe Dana Holgorsen's performance against LSU?
Geno Smith, after minutes of pocket time, can't find an open receiver and throws it away— "C'mon Holgorsen! Bailey was wiiiiide open! Jeez!"
There are just a couple of minutes remaining in the rout. After a Geno Smith pass to Steadman Bailey on an out, Holgorsen challenges the incomplete call by an official on the field—"C'mon, Holgorsen! You're done! How pathetic!"
Holgorsen wins the challenge—"C'mon, Holgorsen! Jeez Louise!"
Finally realizing how utterly ridiculous I sounded, I resigned as general manager of West Virginia University football after the 2007 upset loss at the hands of 28-point underdog Pittsburgh.
It's difficult to remain silent at times. However, I've discovered I'm enjoying the game much more, especially listening to the faux experts. Talk about comic relief.
By the way, Holgorsen's challenge was the best on-field coaching call in West Virginia football history. Why? Dana Holgorsen personified a "Never, ever quit" attitude demonstrated to his team.
Argue against that.
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