A closer look at Dana Holgorsen

December, 15, 2010
12/15/10
1:57
PM ET
As we continue to await the official announcement of Dan Holgorsen's hiring at West Virginia, ESPN analyst KC Joyner has an excellent look at the brilliance of Holgorsen's playcalling.

Joyner credits Holgorsen for creative use of several different types of screen passes and for teaching receivers how to adjust based on the way the defense is playing them. Here's the money quote:
"It may sound crazy, but at some level Holgorsen's play calling is reminiscent of Bill Belichick's New England Patriots offensive game plans. Nearly every call in a Belichick game plan is designed to either take advantage of a schematic weakness or a personnel deficiency or to throw the defense off with a variety of subterfuges, and Holgorsen's approach is quite similar."

It's hard to argue with the numbers. Under Holgorsen's direction, Oklahoma State led the nation in total offense this year at more than 537 yards per game. The Cowboys were second in passing offense (354 yards per game), third in scoring (44.9 points per game) and 29th in rushing (182.9 yards per game).

Before going to Stillwater, Holgorson oversaw similarly explosive attacks at Houston. Here are the numbers from his two years with the Cougars:

2008: Houston ranked second in the nation in passing offense (401.62 yards per game) and total offense (562.77 yards per game) while scoring 40.6 points per game.

2009: Houston led the nation in total offense (563 yards per game), scoring (42.2 points) and passing (433.7 yards per game). Quarterback Case Keenum led the nation in total offense both seasons.

And before coming to Houston, Holgorsen coached at Texas Tech, rising to offensive coordinator from 2005-2007. Here's how the Red Raiders stacked up during that time period:

2005: Texas Tech led the nation in passing offense (388.83 yards per game) and was fourth in scoring (39.4 points).

2006: Texas Tech ranked third nationally in passing offense and sixth in total offense.

2007: Texas Tech led the nation in passing offense (470.3 yards per game), was second in total offense (529.6 yards per game) and was seventh in scoring (40.9).

Players like Keenum, Michael Crabtree and Justin Blackmon have become superstars under Holgorsen's tutelage. Mountaineers such as Tavon Austin, Geno Smith and Ivan McCartney may be next.

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