MCT REGIONAL NEWS
By Drew Rubenstein
The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
Feb. 07--With Rich Rodriguez, it was about playing fast: "Spot the ball" and "Play like your hair is on fire."
For the first three seasons under current WVU head football coach Bill Stewart, the Mountaineers' motto was "Leave no doubt," a style that leaned on a stingy defense, ballcontrol offense, field position and managing the clock.
With new WVU coordinator Dana Holgorsen, the offensive theme is simple.
"Show 'em the ball."
Holgorsen and his everevolving offense have roots in Hal Mumme and Mike Leach, who were Holgorsen's head coach and offensive coordinator while he was a player at Iowa Wesleyan College, in the late 1980s and early '90s.
A n d although W V U 's five offens ive coaches were at four diff e re n t schools in 2010, returning wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway is the only assistant without ties to Mumme, Leach and/or Holgorsen.
There's a common familiarity with Holgorsen's offense, which resembles Leach's "Air Raid" pass attack.
"1/8Coach Mumme3/8 said fans like to see the ball more, and so you see the ball when it's in the air. You don't really see it when you're handing it off," said WVU inside-receivers coach Shannon Dawson, who started his coaching career under Mumme, at Southeastern Louisiana University. "He said fans like to see the football. That was his opinion, and I think it's true."
That's not to say the offense can't or won't run the ball -- under Holgorsen, Oklahoma State ranked third nationally in total offense (520 yards per game) while rushing more than 40 percent of the time, for 174 yards a game -- but it is designed to sling it around quickly to a variety of receivers.
"Two years ago, I went into a game and threw it 89 times 1/8actually 853/8 and broke a national record," said Dawson, whose Stephen F. Austin quarterback Jeremy Moses set NCAA records for completions (57) and attempts, for 501 yards and four touchdowns, in a 34-31 triple-overtime loss to Sam Houston State. "If I would have ran it every time we would have lost in regulation."
Holgorsen accepted this WVU position on one condition.
"Offensively, I told Bill 1/8Stewart3/8 and Oliver 1/8Luck, WVU's athletic director3/8 that I wasn't going to do this without having these guys here," Holgorsen said of his assistants. "I was fortunate that all the guys I offered came. But I know them well and the offensive room right now is pleasant and easy because these guys already know what I'm saying and what I'm thinking. I can even step out of the room to do other things and the meeting can continue because they're on the same page as me."
Holgorsen was college teammates with WVU offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, and the two worked together at Texas Tech under Leach. WVU's head coach "in waiting" also recruited and instructed Dawson at Wingate.
Running backs coach Robert Gillespie worked on Holgorsen's staff at Oklahoma State last season and recently turned down an assistant job at the University of Florida, his alma mater, to remain in Morgantown.