West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen is fed up with the lack of effort he has seen from his team during key stretches this season. So he said during his news conference Tuesday that he might only bring 55 players with him when the Mountaineers travel to play No. 23 Cincinnati on Saturday.
Generally, West Virginia brings about 70 players to road games.
"I’m pretty serious about it," he said. "I tend to say what’s on my mind, if you haven’t figured that out by now. That makes some people mad, and others get a kick from it. We’re going to take who wants to win. We’re going to take who wants to pull for his teammates and who wants to be all in on this thing, not guys that pout and mope because they’re not playing or any of the rest of it. We’re going to be a united team, and the only way I know how to get that accomplished is to make sure that we’re only taking people that are focused and headed in the right direction."
So how exactly does he get the effort turned around in time? West Virginia is 2-2 in Big East play, and has to win out and essentially hope for Cincinnati to lose twice and Louisville to lose two more times to win the league championship.
"They have to buy in to what’s being said from a head coach standpoint, to a coordinator standpoint, to a position coach standpoint," Holgorsen said. "It’s not my team – it’s their team. We do our best to organize it in a way that puts them out there in the best position, and then it’s really about how they play. We talk about it all the time that we’re all in this together. Our job is to put them in a position to win. We’ve got to have guys that have invested enough into the program, that have enough to them, that step up and give their absolute best all the time. The leaders pinpoint guys who aren’t buying in, and they slap them around to the point that they get them bought in."