MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen joined the media corps at noon today for a look back at the Mountaineers’ 40-37 win against Maryland and a look ahead to a Saturday night date with No. 4 Oklahoma.
• OPENING STATEMENT | This weekend is "one of probably the most exciting events and one of the reasons we're so excited to be in the Big 12." To start the third year vs. Oklahoma "is awesome. ... We're anxious for the opportunity, fired up about the opportunity." Expecting a sellout for this second night game of the year. "It's gonna be awesome." Team is in a good spot. "Being able to host the No. 4 team in the country, I don't know if it gets any better than that." Energy and effort have been great.
• OKLAHOMA DEFENSE | "When I think of Oklahoma and Bob Stoops — ton of respect for him — ... they're good on all three sides of the ball, and their program is obviously in a good place." Ton of continuity on the coaching staff, scheme has been the same forever. It's always been about the Sooners' offense, but they're every bit as good on defense as they were a year ago. Much different look and scheme from 2012, when WVU scored 50 points. "Their D-line is relentless. Seems like every dang D-line we've played here in September is relentless." WVU is "clearly better than we were a year ago when we went to Norman." ... Very comparable to Alabama's defense last year, but Oklahoma has more guys coming back.
• OKLAHOMA OFFENSE | QB Trevor Knight "is playing great. Completely different guy from what we saw in Week 2 a year ago." Has the ability to throw and run. Even with RB Keith Ford out, "it always looks the same." WR Sterling Shepard "is as dynamic, as good of a slot guy as we'll see all year." Offensive line has a couple NFLers.
• WORLEY SUSPENSION | Depth in defensive backfield is so good that the suspension is no different from an injury — next man up. Ishmael Banks is back and can provide depth. He and Nana Kyeremeh started against Oklahoma two years ago ... they've been here before and have more bodies ready. WVU played 61 guys against Maryland. Banks has been on scout team defense the past three weeks, "done everything he's supposed to have done."
• INJURIES | CB Brandon Napoleon is out for the year, had knee surgery this morning. ... Kyeremeh was banged up recently but played a few snaps Saturday. ... Wes Tonkery was a game-time decision Saturday, didn't play, is ready to go now.
• MARYLAND'S BIG PLAYS | "Didn't come out of halftime as ready to play as we needed to, and C.J. Brown got loose." Needed to do a better job in the first half on getting off the field on third downs, but it was near-perfect in the second half. Don't like big plays, but it's going to happen from time to time in the Big 12. Never any panic on the sideline, which is a positive, and Maryland scored 3 points off four turnovers.
• PASSING GAME | "Nothing surprises me. I've seen it for a long, long time." Pass protection is "night and day" better than 2013, as is the rapport between Clint Trickett and the receivers. Was excited to see Mario Alford, Daikiel Shorts and Kevin White make plays downfield. ... With two outside threats in Alford and White, "you can stretch the field better. There was a good cat and mouse game going" between Holgorsen and Maryland defense.