West Virginia arrived in South Florida on Thursday afternoon to begin preparations for its first ever appearance in the Orange Bowl.
The team got off its charter plane to an orange carpet and bowl representatives handing out oranges, and players from outside the state were thrilled to be in warm weather. But there is a job to be done, and coach Dana Holgorsen wants to make sure his players have a good balance of fun and work in the days leading up to the Discover Orange Bowl against Clemson next Wednesday.
“First and foremost, we’ve got to understand what the Orange Bowl is all about," Holgorsen said after the team arrived. "What the Orange Bowl is about is enjoying it both on the field and off the field, so we want to take part in all of the festivities and the events they’ve got planned, but we have to understand that when its football time, it’s time to buckle in, limit the distractions and make sure we get our work done. Part of the experience is the game, and everything that leads up to the game is fun, but we’ve got to make sure we are doing our part and put the best product we can on the field.”
Holgorsen was asked about getting an opportunity to play in the Orange Bowl, compared to the other bowl games he has coached in as an assistant.
“I think it’s either my 12th or 13th in a row -- I lose track of it," he said. "But I’ve been to some pretty good ones, and everybody that I’ve talked to across the country -- whether they have been in this game or not -- says this is one of the most anticipated games in all of the bowl season. And that is due to the fact that they’ve been playing games here since 1935, having national championships and games that I grew up watching. It’s going to be a pretty good experience. You can tell from the festive environment right now that all of these guys in orange coats take this pretty seriously. They want everybody to have a good time.”
Clemson arrived in South Florida earlier this week.