MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen joined the media corps Tuesday for his weekly news conference. The Mountaineers (6-5, 4-4 Big 12) close out the regular season this week by traveling to Ames, Iowa, to play Iowa State (2-8, 0-7).
• OPENING STATEMENT | "Thanksgiving week for me, personally, is probably my favorite week of the year." Special to spend time with team, and if you're playing good football and this time of year, you're doing alright. Will meet for lifting and practice in the morning this week since the game in Ames is at 11 a.m. ET. "It'll be a hard game, as they all are. There's no easy game in the Big 12. Need to ignore their record." No need to look any farther than the past two years vs. Iowa State; squeaked out a win two years ago, then lost in triple overtime at home last year.
• CYCLONES OFFENSE | Iowa State has "good skill" on offense. QB Sam Richardson "runs better than he looks." Defensively, WVU "didn't touch" Kansas State's QB at all last week. "If we can't get to the QB, I don't care who we play; it's going to be a long day."
• CYCLONES DEFENSE | No change in scheme since last year. 4-3 defense that adds people to the box as needed. "Guys play hard, play with effort. They're always going to be in the right spots. We're going to have to block them, sustain blocks."
• QBs | "Clint is our starting quarterback. He's been our starting quarterback for 11 games." Trickett has been "dinged up" lately; he and WR Jordan Thompson were both concussed against Kansas State. Does not want to comment on severity of either concussion. Season has taken its toll on Trickett like it has other guys. "I don't think Clint has done anything performance-wise to jeopardize his starting QB role." QB Skyler Howard's tape "did nothing but confirm what I said Thursday night." Howard has been here for a while now, has taken a lot of reps, and things are "starting to click for him. I thought he handled it awesome." QB William Crest still has not been cleared, so in case of emergency Logan Moore and Paul Millard are available.
• E.J. BIBBS | "He is the best tight end in the league." Had him starred on his roster. Has 382 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns this season.
• SHAQ PETTEWAY | "He's a starter now." DC Tony Gibson made that decision early second quarter vs. Kansas State. Has been battling injuries his whole career but feels comfortable right now. "He's got snap to him, twitch to him."
• OFFENSE | "I've got some issues with execution; I've got some issues with ball security," but effort and attitude have never been an issue. "Our guys didn't quit. They don't know what that means."
• WEATHER | Two years ago at Iowa State, "that was tough." Thinks the weather report for Saturday is "pretty favorable."
• INJURIES | CB Daryl Worley has a "lingering shoulder injury" and was in a green jersey today. CB Terrell Chestnut has been cleared.