MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- In the first 80 seconds to follow his introduction at a press conference naming him, as defined by West Virginia Coach Bill Stewart, "our new offensive coordinator and a member of my staff," Dana Holgorsen managed to fit an "aw shoot," a "doggone" and a "dang" into his remarks.
And you thought there was going to be an exotic change at WVU.
It would appear that in moving away from the Stewart Era, the Mountaineers are turning back the clock by gifting their future to a young assistant with a list of accomplishments as long as a football field. WVU is again going with a bright, brash whiz who has been designing neat little plays on the grease board while maintaining designs on a head coaching job.
If this sounds familiar, you might hope the results follow suit.
What will succeed Stewart come 2012 is what preceded him for seven seasons at WVU. Dana Holgorsen is, in so many ways, a return to Rich Rodriguez.
He's 39 years old. Rodriguez was 37 when he was hired to replace Don Nehlen in 2000. Holgorsen was an offensive coordinator, by himself, at two FBS schools before WVU. Same for Rodriguez. Both were X and O chemists whose experiments became blueprints. They were invited aboard to add excitement by way of high point and yardage totals.
Even Holgorsen, who spent this season doing a complete offensive makeover at Oklahoma State, will admit their offenses share similarities. The Cowboys finished No. 1 in the NCAA in total yards, second in passing and third in scoring.
"There are some, but the biggest difference is just what we do with the quarterback," Holgorsen said Wednesday. "We're not going to run the quarterback very much. We'll adapt the offense to what we'll be able to run with him.
"It would depend on who the guy was. Last year we had Brandon Weeden, who didn't run. I mean, it'd be comical to watch him run. Why do some zone-read stuff with him?"
Ah, but you'll remember Rodriguez's early spread featured Shaun King at Tulane and later Brad Lewis and Adam Bednarik at WVU. True, a Woody Dantzler at Clemson and a Rasheed Marshall with the Mountaineers could do wonderful things with their feet and the zone-read, but nothing like Denard Robinson does at Michigan.
No matter the quarterback, no matter the parts, this is an offense that works.
Holgorsen was the co-coordinator at Texas Tech when the Red Raiders were No. 2 in total offense and was alone in charge at Houston and Oklahoma State when the offenses were No. 1. He's plugging it in at a school where, quite clearly, the offense was not working to satisfactory standards.
The Mountaineers are moving toward a different approach and letting Holgorson lead the way.